Camillus May 24, 2013 remains a vivid memory for the West Genesee girls lacrosse team, and because of what took place that day, anything short of a championship this season will prove a major disappointment.
Back on that unusually cold, windy late spring afternoon at Christian Brothers Academy's Alibrandi Stadium 10 months ago, the Wildcats' six-year reign as Section III Class A champions was abruptly halted in a 7-6 defeat to Cicero-North Syracuse.
Ever since, the 20 returning players, including 17 seniors, have waited for a new season and a chance to, in their own minds, restore normalcy in Camillus - which means going after sectional and state titles.
WG won each of its four scrimmages played last weekend in Wilton, Conn., against opponents from across the region, including reigning state Class A champion Farmingdale.
Then the Wildcats returned home and opened its season against Baldwinsville, the team that beat C-NS for the sectional title a year ago, and put together an emphatic performance, rolling past the Bees 16-3.
Unlike WG, B'ville had to replace a host of top players from 2013. Worse yet, injuries kept two of its returning stars, Kennedy Frink and Taylor Gebhardt, out of the lineup.
But even if Frink and Gebhardt were out there, it may not have kept WG from controlling matters, starting in the draw circle, where Riley Donahue grabbed eight of the first 10 draws, which allowed her side to control possession through most of the first half.
Before the game was six minutes old, the Wildcats had a 6-1 lead. Jackie Pardee scored in the opening minute and, after B'ville's Stephanie Roberts answered, WG rattled off five straight goals, three of them less than a minute apart as Donahue, Marissa Hudgins, Hannah Elmer and Grace Osterdale each took turns finding the net.