Camillus A wide array of challenges greeted the West Genesee boys lacrosse team in the first full week of April, with plenty of motivation to meet those challenges head-on and eventually conquer them.
At home last Tuesday night, the Wildcats faced Baldwinsville, whom it had beaten in a dramatic Section III Class A semifinal a season ago. Here, the competition was just as tough, but WG didn’t require any last-second heroics as it pushed past the Bees 8-5.
What was required, though, was a lot of patience. All through the first quarter, the Wildcats constantly turned it over, but B’ville couldn’t capitalize as goalie Matt Koziol made at least five key early saves.
Still, WG fell behind 1-0 as the Bees’ Steve Petrelli scored before David Procopio answered in the last minute of the period.
Much of the second period was goal-free, too, except for Matt Milne putting one past Dan Thomas, which gave the Wildcats a modest 2-1 edge going into halftime.
When Petrelli’s second goal tied it again, 2-2, early in the third quarter, Tyler Brown answered, putting WG in front for good. WG stretched the lead out to 5-2, only to see the Bees score twice in 14 seconds to pull within one before Milne’s third goal restored the margin to 6-4 with one period left.
That was as close as B’ville would get in the final period. Though Petrelli found the net again to make it 7-5, the Wildcats’ defense, anchored by Nick Mellen, Alex Tripodi and Jake McCarthy, made key stops down the stretch to preserve the lead.
All told, Koziol stopped 16 of the 21 shots he faced. Procopio, with two goals, trailed Milne’s hat trick as Derek Farrell and Collin Kobuszewski notched second-half goals. A key to the victory was WG controlling nine of the 11 face-offs taken during the second half.
That was the last time WG would play in Camillus until April 26, when it met Loyola (Md.), so the next five games were on the road, starting Saturday, when it goes back to the Rochester area for the second time this season to face Section V power Fairport.