To get things started in a proper manner, the West Genesee girls soccer team tested itself with back-to-back games on Labor Day weekend against neighbors from the Class B ranks, and won them both.
The Wildcats, who went 14-4 last fall and reached the Section III Class AA semifinals before falling to eventual champion Liverpool, met Westhill on Friday afternoon. The Warriors were 15-3 a season ago, also ousted (by Marcellus) in the sectional semifinals.
For 80 minutes of regulation, neither side could produce a goal, but an overtime breakthrough propelled WG to a 1-0 victory over the Warriors.
Gradually, the Wildcats’ attack picked up in the second half. Though unable to convert, WG stayed patient and, sure enough, in the overtime period Emily Barriere rifled a low shot past Westhill goalie Sam Pebbles and inside the post to win it.
Overall, Peebles had a terrific afternoon, recording 12 saves, while WG counterpart Andrea Francisco faced her fair share of pressure, too, but stopped all nine shots she faced.
Both West Genesee and Westhill would move on to wins on Saturday, as WG went to Skaneateles and this time didn’t wait to get on the board as it blanked the Lakers 3-0.
A first-half goal proved enough, but WG tacked on two more as Barriere, Mia DeBello and Morgan Ribble each converted. Melissa Fumano and Becky Brien chimed in with assists. Francisco again got a shutout, amassing 13 saves.
Meanwhile, Westhill had its OHSL Liberty division opener against Solvay on the Warriors’ brand-new artificial turf field, where the hosts outscored the Bearcats in a wild 7-4 affair.
Neither side excelled on the defensive end, but it was Westhill inching out in front 4-3 by halftime and gradually pulling away as Solvay wore down a bit.
Maggie Tripodi gave the Warriors a three-goal hat trick, adding an assist. Nicole Easterly had one goal and one assist, with Emily Mizer, Grace Powers and Sam Toscano also converting. Tatiana Monds and Kelly Lippert added assists.
Solvay, in defeat, got two goals from Chelsie Delperuto, with Brianna Wiesczynski earning the other tally. Combined, Bearcats goalie Julie Gardner and Maria Leonardo combined to make 14 saves.
Jordan-Elbridge began its season on Friday with a 7-0 defeat to Chittenango, a newcomer to the OHSL Liberty division. Kali Kimak made 21 saves, but the Bears proved too powerful as Lauren Billington and Kayla Bain both scored twice.