SYRACUSE Absent a Section III Class A title for 17 years, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls lacrosse team was bent on ending that drought on the same Carrier Dome turf where Baldwinsville kept them from the crown a year ago.
The only problem was that, this time around, an even better – and more determined – opponent – stood in the way.
West Genesee, bent on atoning its defeat to the Northstars in last year’s sectional semifinals, did so with a commanding all-around effort last Tuesday night, using a physical defense and an overwhelming attack to beat C-NS by a score of 17-6.
The roots of this result traced back to that 2013 semifinal game at CBA’s Alibrandi Stadium, where a young, upstart C-NS team stunned unbeaten top seed West Genesee 7-6.
Ever since, the Wildcats had essentially prepared for this game to get back at the Northstars, even though the two sides had already reunited back on April 15 in Camillus and, amid frigid conditions, WG prevailed by a 10-7 margin.
Goals were tough for either side to attain in the early stages, which provided a showcaes for WG's defense. Liz Bova, Mia DiBello, Maddy Pritchard and the rest of the Wildcats' back line tailed the Northstars' attackers everywhere and forced a series of early turnovers.
What made the mistakes worse for C-NS was that DiBello went to the bench with a card in the opening minutes and the Northstars couldn’t take advantage, not getting on the board until Meghan Duffy scored 7:14 into the half.
WG didn't take the lead for good until Marissa Hudgins' goal at the 9:49 mark of the first half, which made it 2-1, but only hinted at the rout ahead.
When Riley Donahue found the net with 9:50 left in the half, things really start to spin out of the Northstars' control. Just 34 seconds later, Hudgins fed Donahue for another goal to make it 5-1, forcing C-NS to use a time-out.