Once again, the West Genesee boys lacrosse team’s concerns about its offense are well-founded, as it took rare back-to-back defeats to the area’s other primary Class A contenders.
Though it managed to rally past Penfield in its March 30 opener, the Wildcats were less fortunate in last Tuesday’s game against visiting Fayetteville-Manlius, taking a 6-4 loss to the Hornets.
That Penfield win was a costly one, as top defender and senior captain Garrett Waldron tore a meniscus, which will cause him to miss most of the regular season. Another senior, Nick Saeger, replaced him in the starting lineup.
What added to the challenge, for both sides, was snow, wind and temperatures in the 20s that had caused most of the day's other games, boys and girls alike, to be postponed.
They played on here, though, and WG took advantage of the Hornets' early jitters, getting goals from Ryan St. Croix, Ted Glesener and Mark Niechcial to take a 3-0 first-quarter lead.
But from that point forward, F-M's defense would shut the Wildcats down. Anchored by Josh Pulver, Jake Pulver and Ben Jeffery, plus new starting goalie Brian Bedell, the Hornets blanked WG through the entire second quarter, giving it time to climb back into it.
Just as important was the way that F-M midfielder Dan Cahill dominated in the face-off circle. He won all but one of the draws in the first half, and that started to produce results when Jack Wilson and Kevin Lux scored goals less than 90 seconds apart. Clay Arnold's goal late in the half tied it, 3-3, where they stood at the break.
In the third quarter, Cahill continued to claim the face-offs, no matter which WG player opposed him. In a 55-second span, Clay Arnold took a pass from Kroy Arnold and scored the go-ahead goal, followed by Cahill finding the net that extended F-M's lead to 5-3.