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West Genesee girls wins seventh state lacrosse title

Senior-heavy Wildcats pull away, beat West Islip

West Genesee's girls lacrosse team brought home its seventh state Class A championship when it beat West Islip 15-10 in Saturday's state final at SUNY-Cortland. It's the Wildcats' second state title in three years, and followed a triple-overtime state semifinal win over Pittsford.

West Genesee's girls lacrosse team brought home its seventh state Class A championship when it beat West Islip 15-10 in Saturday's state final at SUNY-Cortland. It's the Wildcats' second state title in three years, and followed a triple-overtime state semifinal win over Pittsford.

What it came down to, for the West Genesee girls lacrosse team, was the simple idea that 17 seniors, bitterly disappointed a season ago, did not want to go through that disappointment again.

And the Wildcats didn't have to, riding its hunger and determination all the way to the seventh state Class A championship in program history, attained Saturday afternoon at SUNY-Cortland with a convincing 15-10 victory over West Islip.

One of those seniors, captain and midfielder Marissa Hudgins, said the victory proved that 2013, when WG lost in the Section III semifinals to Cicero-North Syracuse, was a misstep that her team was bent on correcting.

"We learned from that loss and we worked so hard to get back," she said. "We put everything we had into this game."

For head coach Bob Elmer, the game had a particular meaning, since his youngest daughter, Hannah Elmer, capped off her exemplary senior season with four goals and five assists, garnering tournament MVP honors on the same SUNY-Cortland campus where she will return to play college lacrosse.

"It's just amazing," said Bob Elmer. "She loves the sport so much, watches so many game tapes. She's been through it all."

And that's not an exaggeration. When Hannah was 4 years old, she was considered the team's mascot when WG won its first state title back in 2001. Since then, she's literally grown up within the arms of the Wildcats' program, right to the last and most satisfying chapter.

As it turned out, WG's biggest challenge on this day was recuperating from Friday's draining state semifinal epic, where it prevailed 10-9 over Pittsford in triple overtime. Bob Elmer said he told the players to get plenty of rest and eat well before taking the field on Saturday, and they listened.

Waiting for them was a West Islip team from Suffolk County, Long Island playing in its first-ever state final. But the Lions were far from scared, as it demonstrated by erasing WG's early 3-0 lead with three straight goals in the middle of the first half.

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