Apr 05, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
It didn’t go to overtime, and it didn’t carry the same stakes as the last time they got together 10 months ago.
But once again, the Liverpool boys lacrosse team got the better of West Genesee, relying on its most veteran hands to put together a 7-4 victory over the Wildcats Thursday afternoon at LHS Stadium.
Back in that 2012 sectional final, the Warriors, atoning for a bitter overtime defeat to WG in that same round a year earlier, had to go to OT once more – but this time prevailed, 6-5, claiming its first championship in 23 years and ending the Wildcats’ decade-long reign at the top.
Now, in a new season, the two sides met in new circumstances. Liverpool had only played once this spring, holding off Cicero-North Syracuse 7-6 on March 28, and had seen Tuesday’s scheduled game with Baldwinsville snowed out.
WG was 1-1 and had played on Tuesday, falling to 6-4 Fayetteville-Manlius in frigid, windy conditions. Rarely, in Hall of Fame coach Mike Messere’s long tenure, has any of his Wildcat teams lost back-to-back games, but now the Warriors could make that happen.
The formula, in this game, was the same one that had bothered the Wildcats so much in that sectional finals – playing a zone defense that forced WG to take outside shots of the low-percentage variety.
As a result, though the Warriors’ attack did not capitalize too much, it still led 3-1 at halftime, and continued to build the margin in the third quarter, making it 5-2.
WG could not catch up, as those outside attempts got turned away by Liverpool’s senior goalie, Dominick Madonna, who stopped 17 of the 21 shots he faced.
Peter Flood paced the attack, earning a three-goal hat trick and adding a pair of assists. Jamie Kuppel offered the support, scoring twice and gaining an assist, while Justin Renk had a goal and two assists. Kendall Keahey added a goal and Harry Sardella contributed an assist.
Liverpool also would avoid a letdown on Saturday, at Westhill, turning back that other group of Warriors in a tough 9-7 decision.
Two goals by Richie Easterly nine seconds apart put Liverpool behind, 2-0, early in the first quarter, but it quickly recovered and saw Kuppel, Keahey and Dom Castiglia score to push the visitors in front for good.
All told, Liverpool made a 6-0 run that stretched deep into the second quarter. Westhill didn’t wilt, though, moving back within 7-5 early in the fourth quarter, only to see Kuppel get one goal and assist on another, by Sardella, to put it away.
The Warriors are back home Tuesday, the weather cooperating this time for a game against Baldwinsville (the other will get made up later this season). Liverpool will visit Oswego Thursday and host Essex, a team from Vermont, on Saturday morning at 10 a.m.