Now the Corcoran boys lacrosse team understands that, at its best, it can hang right with the best in the Section III Class A ranks.
Led by James Cathers and Derek Eccles, the Cougars withstood squandering a four-goal lead to reigning Class A champion West Genesee late in regulation and won, 12-11, in overtime Tuesday night in front of a loud, appreciative home crowd.
Cathers and Eccles each finished with five goals, carrying Corcoran's attack, so it was fitting that they would team up for the winning goal 32 seconds into overtime.
The Cougars won the faceoff in OT. Defying conventional strategy, head coach Shaun Smith did not call a time-out, saying that he would prefer the game to be in his top players' hands.
Sure enough, Eccles ended up with possession of the ball. He drew two WG defenders, then passed it to Cathers, standing next to the net, who easily flicked the ball past Wildcat goalie Tim Birchler.
So ended an exciting contest where Corcoran, coming off a season-opening win over Binghamton April 1 where Cathers had eight goals and two assists, led most of the way, only to fall victim to a furious West Genesee rally.
Going in, Corcoran knew that it had a great chance to get a rare win over WG. While the Cougars return most of its starters from 2009, the Wildcats have eight new starters and had fought hard to earn a 2-1 start, which included a 16-8 season-opening loss to Jamesville-DeWitt.
In the first quarter, the Cougars, up 3-1, squandered that edge. Goals by Chris Murphy, Jim Cordon and John Glesener had WG in a 4-3 lead by the time the period was done.
After Eccles tied it 4-4, Cathers unleashed two goals in a span of 35 seconds, then hit again for a fourth goal three minutes later. Eccles returned for his third goal, and the Cougars took an 8-5 lead to the half.