Through most of the West Genesee girls lacrosse team’s 2014 quest for a seventh state Class A championship in program history, there was little need to discuss the role of fate or destiny, since most of the wins in both the regular season and post-season were of a lopsided nature.
Or at least that was the case until Friday afternoon’s state Class A semifinal against Pittsford at SUNY-Cortland, a game for the ages.
Blowing a four-goal lead late in regulation, the Wildcats trailed at one point in overtime and were nearly extinguished several other times, but somehow survived it all and, with Lexie Meager's goal early in the third extra period, fought past the Panthers 10-9.
Meager, who had not scored all game, flashed open just long enough for Riley Donahue, working behind the net, to pass to her and, in one motion, Meager sent the shot past Pittsford goalie Molly Maguire to put an end to the epic.
“It was so surreal,” said Meager. “Riley gave me a great pass. Our team deserved to win.”
WG head coach Bob Elmer said his team overcame a less-than-stellar effort to make its way to the state finals.
“I don’t think our kids played their best game,” he said. “But they were disciplined, and I’m proud of them. Pittsford has a lot of heart.”
That heart was shown by both teams, on both ends, from the moment the game started. Four times in the first half, the Panthers went in front, but each time WG equalized before a pair of goals by Taylor Collins 17 seconds apart in the last minute of the half gave the Wildcats a 6-4 edge at the break.
Through most of the second half, WG’s defense, anchored by goalie Katherine Widrick, with Mia DiBello, Liz Bova and Madison Pritchard working on the back line, shut down anything Pittsford tried to establish.