With so many new faces to move into its lineup, the Baldwinsville girls lacrosse team had to face the biggest possible regular-season test when it visited West Genesee last Tuesday night.
And the Bees did many things well, keeping things close for much of the contest before the Wildcats could prevail 11-8.
A season ago, these were the two dominant Class A girls lacrosse teams in the area. B'ville won in April, WG won the rematch in May and, in an epic Section III final at SUNY-Cortland, the Wildcats rallied to prevail in double overtime.
Still seared with the pain of that defeat, B'ville returned to Camillus as a heavy underdog, but did not let WG have an easy time of it. The Bees did not fear the Wildcats in any way - but it still had timing issues and turned the ball over too often in the early going, giving WG every possible chance to build a big lead.
It didn't work out that way. Goals by Morgan Corso, Bre Hudgins and Mel Murphy pushed the Wildcats ahead 3-0, but it took 12 minutes of play to get to that point as B'ville goalie Angeline Walker made several point-blank stops.
So when Sarah Clark and Ashley Gentile scored 35 seconds apart to make it 3-2, B'ville was back within reach. Lauren Michaels and Karlyn Tupper converted to take the margin back to 5-2, but Bridget Florack answered seconds before halftime, so it was 5-3 at the break.
B'ville then spent the first 3:45 of the second half in a constant attack, getting several shots at Sarah Elmer before Maggie Monnat converted, again shrinking WG's lead to a single goal.
Corso provided an emphatic answer, taking the draw and, just 12 seconds after Monnat's goal, beating Walker to make it 6-4, which began the game's decisive run.