Far apart from each other, the Westhill lacrosse teams started off on their respective 2012 seasons, which will mostly be spent on the road.
Due to the installation of a new artificial turf field at the high school, both groups of Warriors will have to travel, even for home games that will be played at, among other venues, Solvay High School’s Earl Hadley Stadium and Onondaga Community College.
Westhill’s boys team, off a 2011 campaign where it went 8-9 and lost to Skaneateles in the Section III Class C quarterfinals, played its opener Thursday night at General Brown, where it had to work all 48 minutes to get past the Lions 7-6.
Strong defense and opening-night jitters contributed to the fact that Westhill and GB both struggled on the attack, but the Warriors had a few more scoring chances and converted enough of them to hang on.
Owen Nicola, a second-team All-League selection last spring, led Westhill with a three-goal hat trick. Ryan Suddaby and Austin Webb each had a goal and two assists, while Mark Purcell and Richie Easterly got one goal and one assist apiece. In the net, Jack Sweeney recorded six saves as Kendall Vecchio led the Lions with two goals and one assist.
Much closer to home, Westhill’s girls lacrosse team began its season at Liverpool, outplaying those other Warriors for large portions of the night, but paying for a brutal start in a 14-8 defeat.
With most of its experienced players on the attack and midfield, Westhill knew that its defense would need a lot more work. Liverpool, thought to be a top Class A contender in 2012, proved this point by roaring to a 6-0 lead before the game was eight minutes old.
After coach Theresa Masse took a time-out, though, Westhill settled down and, with back-to-back goals from Brenna Rainone, got on the board. Liverpool expanded the margin to 10-3 by halftime, but Westhill chopped away at that deficit throughout the second half.