What was true in the early stages of the season remains true now as the playoffs near - the West Genesee girls lacrosse team remains in front of the Class A pack, and might not get caught.
The Wildcats reinforced this point Thursday night, at Fayetteville-Manlius, where its depth, balance and strong all-around game wore down the Hornets and produced a 16-10 victory.
When the two teams first met back on April 6, WG dominated the first half, 8-2, and breezed the rest of the way to a 16-9 victory.
And it would end up close to the same margin in the rematch - though it proved tougher to get to that point.
F-M had an effective attack in the first half, keeping pace with the Wildcats in a way few teams have done all season. At the half, WG only carried an 8-6 lead.
Sensing the danger, WG began to assert itself more on the defensive side. Kara Datellas, Liz Powell, Dana Anderson and Madison Huegel all kept F-M from scoring for large portions of the second half, and Sarah Elmer picked up 11 saves.
What also emerged was how many players WG can utilize in its attack. By game's end, nine different players had scored, with Katey Clark leading the way as she got four goals and one assist.
Karlyn Tupper, Lauren Michaels and Morgan Corso each scored twice, with Corso adding two assists. Emily Tripodi backed up her single goal with three assists as Bre Hudgins and Shannon Hawley had matching totals of one goal and one assist. Datellas had an assist, too.
Hudgins had a big week, as the Brown University-bound senior learned that she was named to play for the North team in the Under Armour All-American game on July 3 at Towson University near Baltimore. Hudgins joins Carthage's Katie Ferris and CBA's Katie Webster as Section III
As the top seed in the five-team Class A playoff bracket, WG awaits a semifinal on Friday against the survivor of an opening-round game between Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool, while F-M and Baldwinsville square off in the other semifinal. The championship game is June 1 at SUNY-Cortland.