A whole lot has changed in the ever-evolving dynamic between the West Genesee and Fayetteville-Manlius girls lacrosse teams.
For the moment, the pendulum is violently in the Wildcats' favor, as on Thursday afternoon WG went to F-M and used its speed and skill to blast the Hornets 18-3.
Much of the starting lineup that propelled F-M to last year's Section III Class A final has departed, and the Hornets, who were off to a 3-2 start (losses to Guilderland and Pittsford Mendon), still were breaking in a brand-new defensive lineup.
That left immense vulnerability, and WG (no. 2 in the season's first state Class A poll) went right at it. Emily Tripodi, in particular, flourished in the early going, as she assisted on all of the Wildcats' first four goals by Kara Datellas, Katey Hart, Nicole Bello and Julie Dussing.
Only the fine work of F-M goalie Steph Rutkowski, who had nine first-half saves (she finished with 15), kept the game reasonable. And WG still put things away when, in the last minute of the half, it notched four straight goals from Tripodi, Hart, Liz Lacomb and Shannon Hawley, making it 12-2 at the break.
And it got further away in the second half, as Hart finished with a team-best four goals and Mel Murphy notched her own three-goal hat trick. Bello and Datellas both found the net twice, with Erica Geremia and Kerri Taylor adding late goals.
Prior to playing F-M, the girls Wildcats went to Henninger/Nottingham last Tuesday night and breezed to an 18-3 victory to improve its mark to 4-0.
The starters mostly rested after WG streaked to a 13-0 halftime lead. In all, 11 different players got at least one goal, with Datellas and Geremia each finding the net three times and Datellas adding two assists. Three others - Hawley, Dussing and Vicki Graveline - scored two goals apiece. Murphy, Bello, Kerri Taylor, Olivia Wolfram, Marissa Rose and Alia Hildebrandt all notched single goals.