Even though it stayed unbeaten, the West Genesee girls lacrosse team dropped out of the top spot in the state Class A rankings, replaced by St. Anthony’s (Long Island), who has beaten top opponents from six different states.
The Wildcats can’t match that sort of resume, but it still has swept all of the possible Section III Class A challengers in the regular season, and only had a couple of serious tests left before the playoffs got underway.
One of them was on Saturday afternoon, against yet another Section V foe, Honeoye Falls-Lima, a state Class C finalist a year ago and no. 7 in the current state rankings.
Like Canandaigua, Pittsford and Penfield before them, HF-L put a scare into the Wildcats – but like them, the Cougars could not quite pull off the victory, WG holding on to win 8-7.
Employing the strategy that so many others had used, HF-L took its time whenever it had the ball on offense, figuring that it was the best way to keep the Wildcats off the board.
That didn’t quite work, though, as WG still forged a 3-2 halftime lead, and every time the Cougars would convert, the Wildcats provided an answer as the pace quickened in the second half.
As time ran low, HF-L pulled within one, but in those waning minutes the Wildcats picked up the ball and never let the Cougars have it again, using its vaunted possession game to put away another nail-biter.
Hannah Elmer paced the modest attack with two goals, including what turned out to be the game-winner, along with two assists. Riley Donahue had a three-goal hat trick as Alia Hildebrandt put up two goals and one assist. Michaela Ciciarelli had the other goal.
That ended an otherwise routine week for the Wildcats, which started last Tuesday with a visit to Rome Free Academy and a 21-1 romp over the Black Knights.