Apr 15, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
A weird sort of atmosphere settled over the West Genesee boys lacrosse team in the second week of April as a large chunk of history loomed ahead.
The quest to put head coach Mike Messere ahead of the 747 wins Ward Melville’s Joe Cuozzo earned and become the all-time national leader for victories was nearing its climax. Success in three games during the week of the school break would put Messere just one win from Cuozzo’s mark.
Win no. 744 was achieved in a workmanlike fashion last Tuesday night, against Central Square, as the Wildcats controlled the first three quarters and cruised to an 11-5 decision.
Having no letdown after the hard-fought 7-5 win over Fayetteville-Manlius on April 7, WG was steady and patient in the first half against the Red Hawks, gaining an 8-2 edge. By the end of the third period, the margin was 11-2, which allowed for a sloppy finish.
Tim Barber and Teddy Glesener both scored three times, with Barber adding two assists and Glesener a single assist. Matt Schattner and Andrew Brown both had a goal and two assists, with Dan Ginestro adding two goals and one assist. Adam Higginbotham had the other goal. Ryan St. Croix, Tom Pritchard and Jake Darrow had assists, too.
If anything might have tripped up the Wildcats’ timetable for Messere’s win mark, it was Friday’s trip to Baldwinsville. But an airtight defense took care of any concerns as WG shut down the Bees 7-1 for Messere’s 745th win.
Though it’s a relatively new unit, WG’s back line is getting comfortable in its man-to-man setup, which is trouble for opponents.
Between Garrett Waldron, Andrew Dietz and Jake Sutherland, the Wildcats allowed nothing other than Austin McCaskill’s second-quarter goal. When the back line wasn’t breaking up chances, Scott Sidnam was turning them back, stopping 16 of 17 shots.
Though WG’s attack was modest in comparison, it did enough as Ginestro recorded three goals and St. Croix found the net twice. Schattner had two assists as Higginbotham and Pritchard earned one goal apiece.
Just 24 hours later, the Wildcats were at home, facing Loyola Academy, a visiting private-school program from the Chicago suburbs. When WG prevailed 8-3 over the Ramblers, Messere had win no. 746, one away from Cuozzo’s total.
Steadily, WG built a 5-1 halftime lead, and Barber had much to do with it. Held to one assist at B’ville, Barber would respond by scoring four times on this day, half of WG’s total.
St. Croix stepped in again, getting two goals, while Schattner had one goal and one assist and R.J. Tinklepaugh also found the net. Glesener and Ginestro chimed in with assists.
On Tuesday night at Holland Stadium, WG played at Auburn, where Messere could catch Cuozzo and give the Wildcats a chance to break the record at home Thursday night against Oswego before a Saturday trip to Jamesville-DeWitt.