Hudgins pushes Wildcats past F-M for Class A title

Sometimes, the most exhilarating of contests can be put in the simplest of terms, as was the case with Tuesday's Section III Class A girls lacrosse final at SUNY-Cortland.

Simply put, Bre Hudgins would not let West Genesee's three-year reign as sectional champions end at the expense of Fayetteville-Manlius.

Between her domination in the draw circle and a series of late goals, including the tie-breaker with 1:03 to play, Hudgins pushed the Wildcats past the Hornets 14-13. Overall, it's WG's seventh sectional title in the last 10 years.

Since so many of the Wildcats' wins in 2010 have come in one-sided affairs, it hasn't been necessary for Hudgins, a senior All-American bound for Brown University, to assert herself in the manner she did on this day.

Here, though, it was required - for F-M was far removed from the team that the Wildcats had beaten by 16-8 and 16-9 margins during the regular season.

"We knew that, this time, they (F-M) were going to come out hard at us," Hudgins said.

In this instant classic, neither side led by more than two goals, and they were tied seven different times, including an 8-8 deadlock after a back-and-forth first half.

WG's struggles were so transparent that head coach Bob Elmer put in Libby Byrne to replace Sarah Elmer in goal. Despite Hudgins snatching most of the draws, WG could not build on an 8-6 lead, instead seeing Kelly Perry and Alex Murphy convert just before the break.

With the game even again at 10-10, the Hornets reclaimed the lead when Sarah Lux scored with 14:19 left. Just seven seconds later, Marri Ryu rushed in and beat Byrne to make it 12-10.

At this point, Hudgins said, it was crucial that the players kept each other motivated and not panic.

"We lifted each other up," she said. "We told each other that we would get through this."

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