Apr 27, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
The overwhelming sense of frustration and bitter disappointment felt by the West Genesee girls lacrosse team was familiar – and unwelcome.
True, the Wildcats’ controversial 6-5 overtime defeat to Skaneateles on April 19, when Marissa Hudgins’ possible game-winner in the final seconds of regulation was disallowed due to an illegal stick, did not count in the standings, nor did it affect the team’s eventual no. 2 placement in the first state Class A rankings of the season.
But it still proved a stark reminder of what could happen to WG if the pace slowed down and it ran into a strong defensive foe, as what happened a season ago in that bitter Section III Class A semifinal defeat to Cicero-North Syracuse.
With all that as a backdrop, the Wildcats hosted its annual tournament a weekend later, drawing a stellar field that included reigning state Class B champion CBA and Long Island power Garden City, winner of more girls lacrosse state titles (13) than any other school.
The event also served as a celebration of the 20-year anniversary of WG’s girls lacrosse program, with players from that original 1994 team on hand for a halftime celebration during Saturday’s game against Garden City.
Originally, this was a four-team tournament, but Westwood, a visiting school from Massachusetts, had to pull out due to a death in the family of one of the team members.
As a result, there was just two games, both involving the Wildcats, starting with Friday’s showdown with CBA, a team it lost to a year ago as the Brothers eventually earned the state Class B title.
Many stars, like Taylor Poplawski and Marisa Romeo, are gone from that team, and WG eventually proved too much for the current CBA crew, pulling away late to beat the Brothers 11-2.
Grace Osterdale got it started with a goal at the five-minute mark, and WG led 3-0, with only the strong work of CBA’s defense keeping it from an early runaway.
In fact, it was 3-1 late in the half before a key sequence late in the half. Jackie Pardee scored, and amid a flurry of yellow cards, Hannah Elmer put one home 3.6 seconds before the horn, giving WG a 5-1 cushion at the break.
Quiet for a large portion of the second half, WG would score five times in the last 10 minutes, starting with Mackenzie Baker’s goal with 9:42 left. Pardee, Donahue, Elmer and Madisyn Kittell would all find the net, too, as Katherine Widrick was superb in the net, turning back 10 of CBA’s 12 shots for the game.
So on Saturday, WG met Garden City, who had lost that scrimmage to Skaneateles 14-10, but would nearly win here as the Wildcats needed a big rally late in regulation, plus some hard work in overtime, to get past the Trojans 12-11.
Up 3-0 in the first half, WG could not hold on to it as Garden City caught up, 3-3, and they stayed on even terms until halftime, where it was 6-6. After another exchange of goals early in the second half, the Trojans moved out in front, 10-8, with five minutes left.
At just that moment, though, Donahue started winning draws on a regular basis, and it paid off with more possession time in the homestretch. Donahue’s own free-position goal made it 10-9, and when Hudgins found the net with 1:29 to play, it was even again, 10-10.
And that’s where it would stay headed into overtime. During the first of the two three-minute extra periods, Donahue scored, and then Hudgins returned to find the net just as that period ended. Garden City would get within one in the second OT, but the Wildcats were able to run out the remaining clock.
For the day, Elmer had three goals and four assists, with Osterdale adding three goals and one assist. Hudgins and Donahue both managed two goals and one assist as Cailyn Negus got the other goal and Widrick made a pair of saves.
As a tune-up, WG, in its first game since the Skaneateles loss, took out its frustrations on the Syracuse city squad in a 19-2 romp.
Even with Syracuse’s vast improvement, 5-2 record and first-ever win over Liverpool (in overtime) earlier in the month, it could not stop the Wildcats, who roared to an 11-2 halftime lead and never let up on its attack.
No less than 13 WG players got at least one goal, with Donahue and Mackenzie Baker each scoring three times. Osterdale, Pardee and Taylor Collins had two goals apiece, with Elmer adding a goal and four assists.
Hudgins, Kittell, Gianna Branca, Madisyn Kittell, Brigid Regin, Jessica Dussing and Nicky Delany each scored, too, with Kittell getting two assists and Lindsey Rose one assist.