If any group of people could fully grasp the concept of moving ahead through tragedy, it was the Westhill girls lacrosse team.
A year ago, the Warriors took the field just weeks after one of its senior leaders, Anna Pullano, lost her life in an automobile accident near the Syracuse University campus.
Now, that same group drew the assignment as the first sports team from Westhill to take the field in the spring sports season, three days removed from the death of senior football player Reed Derrenbacher - this after the boys lacrosse opener against Baldwinsville was postponed due to weather.
Still carrying heavy hearts, the Warriors faced General Brown, and in a tough, close contest, Westhill pulled it out, beating the Lions 12-11.
A solid first half gave Westhill a 7-4 edge, but GB didn’t falter, rallying behind the work of Bryanna Fazio, who had a hand in nearly all of her team’s scoring plays, finishing with six goals and three assists.
As it turned out, Haleigh Farrell’s goal, scored with two minutes left in regulation, held up as the game-winner. Farrell joined teammate Shelby Stack as they each scored four times, with Stack adding a trio of assists.
Helping out, Ryann Liable earned two goals, with Dana Radin and Liz McAnaney gaining single tallies. Lydia Gosson managed an assist as goalie Esther Clifford recorded four saves. Lions netminder Katelyn Longamore had 12 saves to keep her team close.
Also in girls lacrosse, Marcellus took the field on Friday night, hosting Jamesville-Dewitt. Fresh off reaching the Section III Class C final a year ago (where it lost to archrival Skaneateles), the Mustangs started strong here, too, roaring past the Red Rams 18-7.
Playing at a furious tempo, Marcellus wore J-D’s defense down, gradually working its way to a 10-4 halftime lead and then stretching that margin to double digits in the late going, never letting the Rams make any kind of sustained run.
Grace Nolan, Ally Burrows and Audrey Cerrone took turns carving up J-D’s back line, each of them netting five goals as Nolan added three assists, Cerrone two assists and Burrows one assist.
Another top returning player from 2013, Grace Hunt, gladly took on a supporting role, earning four assists. Maddie Conklin had a goal and two assists as Molly Tice and Keelin Kelly earned the other goals.