Faced with the rare prospect of back-to-back defeats, the West Genesee boys lacrosse team made a timely escape.
The Wildcats, coming off a 5-3 loss to Jamesville-DeWitt on April 23, were in similar trouble during Wednesday night's game at Corcoran, but timely defense and clutch play from the likes of Corey Herrington helped WG edge past the Cougars 13-12.
Herrington, who finished with four goals and four assists, took a pass from Matt Schattner and beat Corcoran goalie Noah Galvan for the go-ahead goal with 1:20 left. Then Schattner directed the ensuing face-off to Tim Barber, and WG ran out the remaining clock.
In no way did this game resemble the 17-2 romp the Wildcats laid out on the Cougars back on April 1 in Camillus. Corcoran, no. 15 in the state Class A rankings at 8-1, had committed 28 turnovers on that cold, snow-filled night, and it took much better care of the ball in the rematch.
And the Cougars did not get rattled when WG raced out to a 3-0 lead, either, as Dylan Smith and Connor Lyons scored seven seconds apart late in the first quarter, starting a night full of momentum shifts.
The Wildcats worked its way to leads of 5-2 in the second quarter and 8-5 in the third quarter. Both times, Corcoran came back, and even sneaked into a brief 9-8 lead on Lyons' goal late in the third quarter before Cody Hoose tied it just 13 seconds later.
They continued to go back and forth all the way to the end. Barber broke an 11-11 tie when he converted with 6:49 left, only to have Ryan Cook answer with his fifth goal with 5:32 to play to make it 12-12.
Just when it was needed, though, goalie Tim Birchler made a pair of big saves on a Corcoran man-up situation, setting up the final push and Herrington's game-winner.
Dylan Donahue led WG with five goals, plus an assist. Barber had two goals and one assist as Connor Khammar also converted. Aside from Cook, Smith and Lyons paced Corcoran with three goals apiece.