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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.

Yet the Wildcats never trailed, going in front for good on Elmer's goal with 7:57 left in the first half, and she found the net again later in the half, though Lena Ripotella answered to pull West Islip within one, 5-4, at the break.

Determined to put things away, WG turned to Hannah Elmer, who in a 90-second span early in the second half scored twice and then assisted on Jackie Pardee's third goal of the afternoon.

An exchange of goals brought the Wildcats to the homestretch clinging to an 11-8 lead, nearly the same margin that it squandered late in regulation against Pittsford.

"We were not letting that happen again," said Hannah Elmer.

And it didn't, as Hudgins fed Mackenzie Baker for a goal that started a decisive 4-0 run. Of course, Elmer was right in the middle of it, scoring once more and assisting Grace Osterdale and Cailyn Negus on goals that helped put another state championship away.

Aiding in that cause was the likes of defenders Mia DiBello, Liz Bova and Madison Pritchard, who played at their best down the stretch. Bob Elmer singled out his long-time assistant coach, Dan Hallinan, for particular praise for the work he did with the defensive unit all season.

DiBello made the All-Tournament team, as did Pardee, Hudgins and Riley Donahue, who put up three goals and one assist in the state final. More than the honors, though, was the way the Wildcats turned the disappointment of 2013 into a rallying cry - and a run toward more history.

"Last season was tough for us, and I never let them forget it," said Bob Elmer. "I'm so proud that it turned out this way."

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