Camillus 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.