Not long after it stepped out for the 2011 season under new head coach Mike Felice, the Liverpool boys lacrosse team got an up-close look at the dynasty it wants to topple.
The Warriors' second game of the season involved a trip to Camillus Thursday night to face nine-time defending Section III Class A champion West Genesee - who knocked out Liverpool in last year's sectional semifinals.
For a brief while, Liverpool handled the Wildcats' unique set of challenges - but a second-quarter spurt changed everything, and by the time it was done the Warriors had suffered a 17-6 defeat.
Joe Corapi won a fair share of first-quarter face-offs, allowing Liverpool a chance to possess the ball for long stretches of the first quarter. Thanks to goals by Corapi, Kyle DeAngelis and Austin Hope, the Warriors seized a 3-2 lead.
All that changed, though, early in the second period. Liverpool's zone defense got burned as, in a stretch of two minutes, 32 seconds, WG attacker Cody Hoose put in four goals, giving his side the lead for good.
Liverpool still only trailed 7-3 at halftime, but by the time it got on the board again, WG had put together five straight goals in the third quarter to all but settle matters.
Corapi finished with three goals, while Matt Savlov converted in the fourth quarter. Other than Hoose, Corey Herrington (two goals, six assists) and Dylan Donahue (five goals, all in the second half) led the Wildcats along.
Two nights earlier, Liverpool, who spent the 2010 season playing home games at Solvay's Earl Hadley Stadium, had a true home game to start the season - and used a big mid-game surge to beat the Oswego Buccaneers 16-9.
In contrast to the Warriors, Oswego had already played three times, winning them all. Despite this gap in game experience, Liverpool played the Bucs to a 2-2 first-quarter draw, waiting for the offense to warm up on a windy, chilly night that featured dashes of snow.
Sure enough, in the second period Liverpool raced ahead for good with seven goals, then kept on tearing up Oswego's defense in the third period until it had a 15-6 lead.
Corapi and Savlov led the charge, both of them finishing with five goals as Corapi added two assists. DeAngelis scored
twice, while Chris Spencer earned a goal and two assists. Jeff Conley also had a goal, with Hope and Harrison Sardella gaining one assist apiece.