Apr 07, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
True, the boys lacrosse game between West Genesee and Fayetteville-Manlius on Saturday afternoon did not count in the league standings. But it still meant a lot, especially to the likes of Tim Barber.
Over the last two seasons, Barber and his fellow Wildcats had twice gone into battle against the Hornets, and had twice lost. Defeats by F-M (to Corcoran in 2010, to Liverpool in 2011) in the Section III Class A semifinals had prevented a post-season rematch.
Determined to end that drought, WG went out and did so on this day, prevailing by a 7-5 margin, and fittingly it was Barber offering the clincher as he scored the final goal of the day with 51 seconds left.
Just as important as the win was the way the Wildcats held its poise as three different modest leads disappeared at F-M’s expense.
The Hornets held the lead once, for a grand total of 18 seconds, after Derek Andrake’s goal 2:23 into the game, giving that edge up when Dan Ginestro answered.
Twice in the first half, the Wildcats would move out in front, thanks to goals by Teddy Glesener and Ryan St. Croix. Both times, F-M caught up, as Kroy Arnold and Dan Cahill converted, and the two sides went to halftime in a 3-3 deadlock.
It stayed that way until the latter stages of the third quarter, mostly a product of fine work in the net by the two goalies – WG’s Scott Sidnam, who had 11 saves by this point (and would finish with 14), and F-M’s Matt Wells, who excelled in just his second start with 13 saves.
But in a 52-second span, the Wildcats moved in front 5-3 off back-to-back goals from St. Croix and R.J. Tinklepaugh. Before it could get away, though, WG saw the Hornets pull within 5-4 as Arnold scored his second goal just three seconds before the period ended.
For most of the fourth quarter, the Wildcats clung to that one-goal margin, but with 3:35 to play F-M’s Ryan Simmons made a strong move from the left side and beat Sidnam for the tying goal.
Again, though, the Wildcats kept cool. Glesener won the ensuing face-off, and WG worked it around until Tinklepaugh flung a shot past Wells with 2:42 left, less than a minute after Simmons had tied it.
Even with a 6-5 lead, WG did not sit on the margin. Instead, after Glesener claimed another face-off, it burned off some clock, but Barber took possession and made all the F-M defenders chase him. And when Wells came out of the net to force a turnover, Barber shifted past him and threw the ball into the unoccupied net.
This, of course, is just the first of two regular-season meetings. West Genesee will play F-M again on the Hornets’ new high school artificial turf field on May 1.
By that point, Messere is likely to have the national record for wins by a high school lacrosse coach. He has 743, four short of Joe Cuozzo’s mark set at Ward Melville, and the Wildcats could get three more wins this week against Central Square, Baldwinsville and Loyola Academy, the last of them a visiting team from Chicago whom WG will face next Saturday.