May 20, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Given the huge crowd and relentless hype, one would figure that some kind of championship was at stake Tuesday night when West Genesee and Baldwinsville, the nation’s top two ranked girls lacrosse teams, squared off.
That was true — to a degree. First place in the CNY Counties League National division was on the line between the Wildcats and Bees.
As it turned out, though, the most important aspect of the Wildcats’ 10-7 victory over the Bees was the fact that it avenged what had taken place 40 days earlier at Henninger’s Sunnycrest Field.
On that chilly evening early in the season, WG had lost, 9-8, to B’ville, the first time it had been beaten by anyone since the 2006 Section III Class A finals.
Since then, the Wildcats had won 11 in a row, while the Bees built its own win streak to 15, the pair clearly separating themselves from anyone else in the local Class A ranks.
A crowd of 1,500 — perhaps as large as any to ever see a girls lacrosse game in New York State — jammed into Wildcat Stadium in Camillus to see if WG could reclaim the place at the top it had surrendered to the Bees.
It would, and Nicole Greco had a lot to do with it.
A first-year starter, Greco had toiled the last two years behind Kelly Fucillo, waiting for her chance to start on a regular basis. Once she did, said head coach Bob Elmer (who gained his 200th career win on this night), it was just a matter of gaining confidence.
And Greco had to feel confident after shutting out B’ville in the first half. Whatever shots the Bees tried — high, low or to the side — Greco blocked them, deflected them away or caught them. She had eight saves in the half and would finish with 14 saves overall.
Neither side scored for more than 10 minutes before Lauren Michaels converted to put WG on the board. Morgan Corso added two more goals late in the half, and it was 3-0 at the break.
B’ville not only had fallen behind, it had seen one of its star players, senior attacker Erika Bulken, go down with a knee injury, not to return.
Still, the Bees almost caught up. Mackenzie Kjerstad broke up the shutout, and Jen Fabian scored one goal and assisted on Kara Moschetti’s tally, making it 4-3 barely four minutes into the second half.
WG would regroup, though, as goals by Katey Hart and Maria DiFato restored the margin to 6-3, and the Bees never got closer than two goals again. Hart, Corso and DiFato all connected on goals down the stretch to seal the win.
Combined, the Wildcats’ back line of Laura Luchessi, Chelsea Kuss, Jessica Shanley and Lindsay Vona protected the net and took advantage of Bulken’s absence. While Fabian had three goals and two assists, Moschetti and Quincey Spagnoletti got held to one goal apiece, far below their season average.
WG still has to visit Cicero-North Syracuse on Friday to close out the regular season.