Before the weather could even get a chance to warm up, the Baldwinsville girls lacrosse team may have seen a chance at CNY Counties League regular-season honors go away.
The Bees' 17-11 defeat to four-time defending Section III Class A champion West Genesee Tuesday night at Wildcat Stadium in Camillus featured the visitors staring at a 10-goal deficit before making it interesting late.
Though B'ville and WG will play twice in the regular season (the rematch is May 5), this was the game that counted in the league standings, a reversal from the norm where teams will have a non-league contest first, then have the league meeting later in the season.
So the Bees, playing for the first time since its season-opening win over Saratoga Springs a week earlier, had to plunge into league play earlier than normal - and against a potent, powerful Wildcat squad returning most of its starters from 2010.
Sure enough, WG, paced by two goals apiece from returning juniors Emily Tripodi and Kara Datellas, put B'ville behind 6-1 before the game was 10 minutes old, forcing coach Doug Rowe to use a time-out.
For a brief moment, the Bees recovered, as goals by Erin Ward and Erika Wilcox cut the deficit to 6-3, but WG again took over late in the half, stretching the margin to 12-4 even as two yellow cards forced the hosts to go one player down.
Early in the second half, it got worse, thanks to back-to-back goals from Erica Geremia that made it 14-4. But a third yellow card again gave the Bees a one-player advantage and, more importantly, it started to win draws and force scoring opportunities.
That led to five straight goals, and suddenly the Bees were within 14-9. As if that wasn't enough, Ashley Gentile's back-to-back goals, less than a minute apart, made it 15-11 with 5:05 to play. That was sufficient time to complete the improbable comeback.
Finally, though, WG's defense made a stop, and it used late goals from Datellas and Nicole Bello to put the game away.
Even in the loss, B'ville showed nice balance in its attack as Gentile, Ward, Meghan Cuddy and Claire Monnat each landed two goals. Maggie Monnat earned four assists, adding a single tally as Claire Monnat got two assists.