Camillus 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.