Having already produced one big surprise in the Section III Class AA playoffs, the West Genesee girls soccer team went after another -- but could not pull it off.
The Wildcats, forced into a defensive mode all through last Wednesday's AA semifinal against Christian Brothers Academy at Marcellus High School, hung in there for a long time, but finally gave in down the stretch of a 2-0 loss to the Brothers.
WG's 2-1 upset of no. 3 seed Liverpool in the quarterfinal round on Oct. 30 caused a lot of buzz in Camillus, and a large contingent of Wildcat fans made the short drive to Marcellus to see if it could apply some more magic against CBA, the no. 2 seed.
That task, on the surface, appeared easier since the Brothers did not have the services of one of its top players, forward Caitlin McConnell, out because of cards attained in previous games.
CBA adjusted by putting Taylor Gait in McConnell's spot -- and proceeded to work WG's defense over in a game-long push. With great team speed and skill, the Brothers kept pouring into the Wildcats' end, looking for that go-ahead goal.
Somehow, WG prevented it from happening through much of regulation. Part of it was the brave work of defenders like Jenna Farrell, Shelby Milne, Deanna Apps and Karlyn Tupper, who all took turns clearing the ball out of their end. Also, goalie Moriah Saidel had a superb effort, making a series of point-blank stops. A little luck didn't hurt, either, as three times CBA shots crashed off the goal post or crossbar.
Only on occasion did the Wildcats try and counter-attack, with runs from the likes of Brianna McGraw, Morgan Corso and Mel Murphy, but those chances were quickly doused.
Still, it remained 0-0 deep into the second half, and WG appeared to get another break when CBA's leading scorer, Alexis Koval, went to the sidelines with a cramp.