How much can change in a span of 26 days?
Well, in the case of the Corcoran boys lacrosse team, a whole lot, as it demonstrated last Wednesday night by putting a major scare into West Genesee before taking a 13-12 loss to the Wildcats.
Everything about this game was different from when last year's Section III Class A finalists meet on April 1 in Camillus. Back then, WG took full advantage of 28 Corcoran turnovers and pummeled the Cougars into 17-2 submission.
Corcoran had not lost since and entered the state Class A rankings at no. 16. Meanwhile, WG was 8-0 before taking a 5-3 defeat to defending state Class B champion Jamesville-DeWitt, and were desperate not to get beat again.
When the Wildcats bolted to a 3-0 lead, it looked like the rout was on again. But two goals by Dylan Smith and Connor Lyons seven seconds apart late in the first quarter helped set a pattern that lingered into the second half.
Four different times, WG would get a three-goal lead, including 7-4 early in the third quarter. Every time, the Cougars would fight back, culminating in a 4-0 spurt that, late in the period, led to Lyons' goal that put Corcoran in front 8-7.
That lead lasted all of 13 seconds, as Cody Hoose countered to tie it 8-8, but from there the two sides would go back and forth the rest of the night.
Again, the Cougars would fall behind, 11-9, and again it would rally as goals by Ryan Cook and Smith pulled the hosts even 11-11. Another exchange followed - Tim Barber put WG ahead, then Cook put in his fifth goal of the night with 5:32 left.
So it was a 12-12 game - but Corcoran missed on two chances to pull out in front, Wildcat goalie Tim Birchler making some clutch stops. Then WG's Corey Herrington, who had four goals and four assists on the night, beat Noah Galvan with 1:20 left, and the Cougars could not get the ensuing face-off, watching as WG ran out the clock.
Cook, Smith (three goals, one assist) and Lyons (three goals, three assists) accounted for most of WG's offense, with Dillon Brown and Cree Cathers getting the other goals. Galvan had six saves. Air Force Academy-bound Dylan Donahue gave the Wildcats five goals and one assist.
Corcoran and West Genesee are done seeing each other in the regular season, but could have one more encounter - in the Class A playoffs, when it would mean the most.