Nearly two months ago, when the Liverpool boys lacrosse team first played West Genesee and lost in a 16-4 rout, head coach Jay Graham said that his players had the wrong approach.
Acccording to Graham, the Warriors "played to the uniform" -- meaning that they were awed or intimidated by West Genesee's past championship tradition and didn't pay enough attention to the actual players on the field.
So when Liverpool reunited with West Genesee in Tuesday's Section III Class A semifinal at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium, it did a far better job -- even if the Wildcats still prevailed, 10-5, to advance to the title game against Corcoran.
For much of the first half, in fact, the Warriors hung right with WG, not surrendering any kind of sustained run and only trailing 6-3 going into the break.
The big problem came in the third quarter, where the Wildcats' man-to-man defense shut down Liverpool and didn't allow a goal, giving WG time to construct its winning margin.
Still, the Warriors battled to the end as Matt DiMarco, with three goals, and Matt Savlov, with two goals, accounted for all the offense. Austin Hope, Joe Corapi and Chris Spencer earned assists as Jamie Campagna picked up 11 saves. WG had two players -- John Glesener and Dylan Donahue -- earn three-goal hat tricks, with Glesener adding a pair of assists.
Liverpool finished with a 10-8 mark, and sees just six seniors graduate, including DiMarco, Corapi, Brian Linger and Pat Brosnan. Savlov, Hope, Spencer, Campagna, Nick Kline and Devin Clegg lead a deep returning cast in 2011 that will finally get to play real home games on the new turf field at the high school that was just installed.