To get a shot at the Section III Class C championship, the Westhill girls lacrosse team would have to win three playoff games in a span of 72 hours -- but it never got to the third part.
That's because, right in the middle, lay Skaneateles, the defending Class C champions that had struggled through 2009, but still had dragged the Warriors to overtime on two different occasions this spring.
Seeking to end the no. 7 seed Lakers' six-year title run, No. 2 seed Westhill instead saw its own terrific season cut short when, on a last-minute goal by Carly Davis, the Lakers beat the Warriors 11-10 in Thursday night's Class C quarterfinal.
Remarkably, despite the close nature of the entire contest, the Warriors never led once, forced to rally the entire night amid a tempo it did not want.
Following an early exchange, Skaneateles made its first move, grabbing a 4-2 lead, only to see Westhill use goals by Erika Eipp and Brenna Rainone 23 seconds apart to tie it again, 4-4.
However, the Warriors did not convert again for more than nine minutes, enough time for the Lakers to seize its biggest lead of the night at 7-4.
Westhill closed to 7-5 at halftime. They traded goals early in the second half, then Annie O'Connor struck for back-to-back tallies, tying it once more at 8-8.
The tense exchange resumed. Westhill tried to speed things up, but Skaneateles used long, patient possessions to conserve energy.
Twice, the Lakers scored to go in front. Twice, Westhill answered. O'Connor's fourth goal made it 9-9, and after Katherine Pille put Skaneateles ahead 10-9 with 8:43 left, Mackenzie Rainone tied it for the sixth time at 10-10.
Skaneateles won the ensuing draw, though, and held the ball until the final minute of regulation, waiting for the right moment to attack. Finally, Davis flashed open and, off a feed from Maddy Morrissey, beat Morgan Roach for the go-ahead goal with 49.9 seconds left.