What had started as a night of festivity and excitement for the Baldwinsville girls lacrosse team turned into concern and consternation by the time it was done.
The Bees' 10-7 loss to West Genesee in Tuesday night's clash of the nation's top two ranked teams at Wildcat Stadium in Camillus drew one of the largest crowds (1,500) ever to see a girls lacrosse game in the state.
All the anticipation had started back on April 9, when B'ville stunned WG 9-8, the first time anyone had beaten the two-time defending state Class A champion Wildcats since 2006.
Since then, the Bees had built a 16-game win streak and risen to the top of the state and national rankings, while WG had won 11 in a row as a response.
Now they met again, exactly two weeks in advance of a possible third clash in the sectional Class A finals at SUNY-Cortland, and from the start, the Bees felt a lot of frustration.
Neither side scored for more than 10 minutes, the two defenses taking hold. In the Bees' case, it had a majority of the shots, but it kept firing into the body of WG goalie Nicole Greco, who had eight of her 14 saves in the first half.
Lauren Michaels' goal at the 10:23 mark got the Wildcats on the board. Moments later, while charging to the net, B'ville senior Erika Bulken fell to the turf, having suffered a knee injury, the first serious injury any Bees player had suffered this season.
Shaken by all this, B'ville would not get on the board in the half, as Lauren Corso's pair of goals extended WG's lead to 3-0 by halftime.
After some harsh words at the break, the Bees stormed out and nearly caught the Wildcats.
Mackenzie Kjerstad's goal 2:01 into the second half finally got B'ville on the board. Then, in a span of 45 seconds, Jen Fabian scored one goal and assisted on Kara Moschetti's tally, making it 4-3 and causing the large B'ville fan contigent to roar at full volume.