Apr 04, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
The last time they were together, West Genesee’s boys lacrosse team was celebrating yet another Section III Class A championship on the Carrier Dome turf while, on that same field, Fayetteville-Manlius dealt with the heartbreak of yet another opportunity that slipped away.
Nothing close to those stakes was in play on Thursday night, but once again the Wildcats finished on top, getting timely goals to turn back a game effort from the Hornets and prevail by a score of 10-6.
Much has changed since that sectional final more than 10 months ago, with F-M undergoing a large roster turnover that has led to some early-season struggles, including a 9-6 defeat to Cicero-North Syracuse two nights before it came to Camillus.
As for the Wildcats, coming off Tuesday’s 16-0 shutout over Liverpool, it started out intending to do the exact same thing to F-M. Goals by David Procopio, Nick Cunningham and Tyler Brown put WG in front 3-0 and forced F-M to use a time-out.
That seemed to help the Hornets settle down. Trailing 4-1 going into the second quarter, it started to win face-offs and ground balls, which led to possessions and success on WG’s end of the field.
Corey Green scored early in the period, and John Cote added back-to-back goals that pulled F-M even, 4-4. But the tie only lasted two minutes as Ian Cahill and Procopio scored 30 seconds apart, though Luke Krizman converted 19.9 seconds before halftime to make it 6-5 at the break.
Senior captain Matt Milne hit on a pair of goals early in the third quarter, restoring WG’s early margin, before F-M’s Jack Wilson beat two Wildcats defenders for a goal that made it 8-6 going to the final period.
Here, though, was where the Wildcats’ patience on offense was rewarded, as it won the fourth-quarter face-off and controlled the ball for more than three minutes before Cahill hit on his second goal with 8:25 left.
Procopio’s conversion with 6:02 left gave him the hat trick, and the defense, anchored by Nick Mellen, Collin Kobuszewski, Jake McCarthy and Alex McCarthy, made sure that the Hornets were kept off the board for the entire fourth quarter.
Two nights earlier, WG had its home opener against Liverpool, who won the sectional title in 2012, but this game quickly turned into a one-sided romp.
Not pleased with the way its offense was contained for much of a 4-3 season-opening overtime defeat to Penfield on March 29, WG passed that total by the end of the first quarter, negating the Warriors’ much-talked-about zone defense.
By halftime, the score was 11-0, and the only question was whether the Wildcats could pull off the shutout – which it did, even with many reserves on the field during the second half.
Procopio burned the Warriors for five goals and one assist ,while Cahill continued to emerge as a star with three goals and three assists and Cunningham found the net four times. Milne had a goal and four assists, with Kobuszewski managing one goal and two assists. Derek Farrell and Mike Fletcher had the other goals.
The Wildcats would stay at home Tuesday night for another key early-season test against Baldwinsville before venturing to the Rochester area again, this time to face Fairport on Saturday night – a game WG ice hockey players that are also on the lacrosse team, like Procopio have undoubtedly circled since the Red Raiders beat them 1-0 in the state tournament at Shove Park more than a month ago.