May 24, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Everything about the West Genesee girls lacrosse team’s push through the Section III Class A playoffs involves atonement of some kind, starting with going back to the very scene of last season’s semifinal defeat and making things right.
Granted, Cicero-North Syracuse wasn’t the opponent in the 2014 edition of the Class A semifinals – Baldwinsville was – but the venue, Christian Brothers Academy’s Alibrandi Stadium, was the same, as were the cold, overcast and gloomy conditions that served as a backdrop 12 months earlier.
Given all that, WG’s effort was exemplary on Friday night, as with ruthless defense and aggression on all ends of the field, it put away the defending sectional Class A champion Bees by a score of 14-2.
“It (the semifinal loss in 2013) was still in our stomachs,” said Bob Elmer. “So it was big to get past this one.”
And it also didn’t prove too stressful, especially since, right from the outset, Riley Donahue handled the draw controls, winning the first four, all of which led to goals in the first five minutes – two by Cailyn Negus, one each by Hannah Elmer and Grace Osterdale.
After B’ville took a time-out, it did get on the board with Stephanie Roberts’ goal, the first allowed by the Wildcats in the first half of any game since April 26 (the overtime win over Garden City), and it even surrendered another goal, from Taylor Gebhardt, later in the half that made it 5-2.
But that was all for the Bees, who from the start had difficulty clearing the ball out of its own end as WG’s midfielders put on constant pressure, leading to bad passes, turnovers and more possession time for the Wildcats’ attack.
Whenever B’ville did get some chances, they were turned back. Defenders Liz Bova, Mia DiBello and Maddy Pritchard would help the Wildcats pitch a shutout in the game’s last 37-plus minutes, Katherine Widrick recording four saves before fellow goalies Jazmin Bello and Angelo Ponto saw some late game action.
Fittingly, WG’s senior leaders, Hannah Elmer and Marissa Hudgins, helped put things away, scoring the last four goals of the first half between them to make it 9-2 at halftime, and then doing more in the second half.
Hudgins finished with four goals and two assists, with Elmer and Negus both finishing with three goals and Osterdale adding two goals and two assists. Nicky Delany and Gianna Branca added goals late in the contest.
And that leads to the second part of the atonement quest – beating C-NS, which the Wildcats will get a chance to do Tuesday night at 8 p.m. at the Carrier Dome with the Class A sectional title on the line.
The Northstars handled Fayetteville-Manlius 13-8 in the other sectional semifinal game, and C-NS remembers that the Wildcats beat them 10-7 in frigid conditions back on April 15. It will be a lot warmer for the rematch – and a lot more is on the line, too.