Camillus Much of the time, the Christian Brothers Academy girls lacrosse team leans on, and showcases, its high-powered attack.
However, that had to change on Thursday night, when the Brothers went to Camillus to face unbeaten, defending state Class A champion West Genesee, always a difficult opponent against which to score goals.
The Wildcats did contain CBA for the most part - but the Brothers' defense stepped up in response, doing what it needed, especially in the homestretch, to pull out a 7-6 victory.
Never trailing in the game, CBA couldn't get away, either, a byproduct of WG forcing the Brothers into rushed passes and turnovers, something that head coach Doug Sedgwick expected.
"We got stagnant with the ball and made dumb mistakes," said Sedgwick. "The tempo forced us into it."
It was the same kind of tempo the Wildcats had relied on to win many of its 14 straight games this spring, including several close decisions over the likes of Penfield, Pittsford, Canandaigua and Honeoye Falls-Lima.
But the Brothers responded well to it. After Taylor Poplawski scored with 9:08 left to give CBA a 7-5 lead, it did not score again, and Alia Hildebrandt cut the margin to one barely a minute later.
That left CBA nearly eight minutes to hang on to a tiny margin. It did so with the same defense that had worked much of the night, one that relied on shutting down WG's trademark backdoor cuts before they could develop.
Sedgwick saved particular praise for senior Maddie Calkins and sophomore Alexa Radziewicz, who followed the Wildcats' assist leader, Hannah Elmer, and broke up several scoring opportunities.
In the last minute of regulation, WG defender Dina Cavallaro intercepted a wayward CBA pass, giving the Wildcats one more chance to force overtime - but they forced Hildebrandt into a charge near the net, causing a turnover, and ran out the remaining clock.