When it took the field at Liverpool High School Tuesday night, the West Genesee girls lacrosse team would try to claim its fifth consecutive Section III Class A championship.
The undefeated (17-0), top-seeded Wildcats earned that chance by outscoring no. 4 seed Fayetteville-Manlius 18-10 in last Thursday's semifinal at Solvay's Earl Hadley Stadium.
This game fell in between the two regular-season encounters the long-time rivals had shared. WG romped past F-M 18-3 in mid-April, but won a closer 18-12 decision over the Hornets on May 17, just nine days prior to their playoff encounter.
At least for a while, both sides would have little trouble converting on the offensive side during a high-scoring first half. WG started out 3-0 in the first three minutes, causing F-M to use a time-out, and for a while the Hornets would start answering every Wildcat spurt with one one of its own.
It remained that way until the 10-minute mark of the first half. Starting with Nicole Bello's goal off a feed from Emily Tripodi, WG notched five straight, capped by Erica Geremia's goal that made it 12-6.
Trailing 12-7 at the half, the Hornets could not put together the sustained run it needed, and WG would play with patience and calm, capping the show with more goals from Bello and Geremia.
In fact, Geremia would find the net six times, mainly a result of the passes from Tripodi, who had eight assists to go with her pair of goals. Bello had a three-goal hat trick as Katey Hart and Kara Datellas both had two goals. Julie Dussing, Mel Murphy and Liz LaComb earned the other goals.