May 24, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Kept quiet for most of Friday night’s Section III Class A boys lacrosse semifinal, West Genesee’s Brady Hoose made the biggest noise at just the right time.
Hoose’s goal with 3.1 seconds left in regulation completed a fourth-quarter rally and gave the no. 2 seed Wildcats a 9-8 victory over no. 3 seed Baldwinsville at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium.
In a tense, sloppy contest that went back and forth, WG blew a three-goal first-half advantage and was shut out for most of the second half, yet rescued itself by taking full advantage of the Bees’ self-inflicted wounds down the stretch.
Yet it still looked headed for overtime when B’ville’s Ronnie Bertrand put in the tying goal with 26.0 seconds to play, making it 8-8 and helping the Bees atone for allowing a two-goal lead to slip away.
That atonement was only temporary, though. WG chased down the ensuing face-off, and not calling a time-out, it moved the ball around until it came to Hoose on the right side.
Having not scored in this game, Hoose, who has 29 goals on the season, made a swift move on the right side, beating his defender, and flung a hard shot past All-American goalie Parker Ferrigan for the game-winner.
The game was every bit the battle that WG expected after it beat B’ville 9-6 earlier this month. Cold, windy conditions and the fact that the Wildcats had not played in 10 days were reasons for concern.
But it was the Bees that were far off its game in the first quarter, shut out and lucky to only trail 2-0 as Ryan St. Croix and Ted Glesener both connected for early goals.
Bertrand’s first goal early in the second period finally got B’ville on the board, and Steve Petrelli tied it, 2-2, but the Wildcats dominated the rest of the half, as Tom Pritchard and Mark Niechcial put WG back in front and St. Croix’s second goal made it 5-2.
Following that tally, though, WG would go more than 21 minutes of game time before finding the net again, repeating what head coach Mike Messere described as a season-long pattern of not putting two good halves of lacrosse together.
B’ville used a deflected goal credited to Bertrand to cut the margin to 5-3 at halftime, and then it zoomed out in front during the third quarter on consecutive goals from Zach Bulak, Bertrand and Steve Petrelli, the last of them a pretty give-and-go with J.P. Walker that left WG trailing 6-5 with one period left.
When Matt Zandri found the net 28 seconds into the fourth quarter, the Wildcats’ deficit grew to 7-5, but it would not score again, unable to use long possessions early in that period to put WG away.
And as it has done so many times in the past, WG stayed patient and waited for the Bees to make mistakes – which it did, twice committing penalties that led to man-up situations that WG converted with goals by Glesener and St. Croix 90 seconds apart that tied it, 7-7.
St. Croix returned with 1:50 to play and earned his fourth goal with 1:50 left, briefly giving the Wildcats an 8-7 lead, and it won the ensuing face-off, only to turn it over with an offsides call, setting up the last-minute drama where Bertrand evened it, but Hoose would have the final word.
WG’s escape means a trip to the Carrier Dome for a third shot at unbeaten (17-0) top seed Fayetteville-Manlius in Tuesday night’s Class A final. The Hornets, who beat the Wildcats twice during the regular season, narrowly escaped a furious late comeback from Liverpool to win the other sectional semifinal by a 10-9 margin.