continued Having fallen behind 7-0 in the first half of that first meeting, C-NS knew it had to get a better start here, and did, Haven getting her team on the board 2:08 into the game, just 28 seconds after WG's Vicki Graveline got the game's first goal.
That set the pattern. Every time the Wildcats wanted to get control, taking leads of 3-1 and 4-2, the Northstars would respond, as Meghan Duffy scored twice, including one late in the half that cut the deficit to 4-3 at halftime.
All the while, freshman Mary Kate Bonanni, helped by the likes of Sarah Bowles, Jill Goettel, Kaitlin Uva and Alyssa Stahr, clamped down on the Wildcats' attack, Bonanni paying particular attention to WG's top assist-maker, Hannah Elmer, who would not get a point on this day.
Sensing that it had a chance, C-NS tied it, 4-4, just 25 seconds into the second half on Tiffany Ryan's goal. Nine minutes later, Tortora fed Tiffany Ryan for the go-ahead goal as the Northstars took the lead for the first time.
Throughout the latter stages, sophomore goalie Bri Stahr dazzled as she made a series of point-blank stops to keep her team in front.
"Bri has been an unbelievable stopper," said Hamilton.
When Bowles scored with 10:09 to play, that margin doubled to 6-4, but WG wasn't done. Goals by Riley Donahue and Taylor Colilns, the latter of them with 6:27 left, evened it up at 6-6, and with the Wildcats having won so many close games this spring, it looked like the champs would escape again.
But as time wound down, C-NS made one more big defensive stop, and when the opportunity presented itself in the final minute, Haven converted.
And now the Northstars can look ahead to Tuesday night's Class A final at the Carrier Dome, where it will face no. 2 seed Baldwinsville, who beat Liverpool 10-7 in the other semifinal. Game time is at 6 p.m.
C-NS and B'ville split their two regular-season meetings, but Hamilton said his team will not have a letdown from the emotional high of ending West Genesee's long title reign.
"We're always ready to play," he said.