May 07, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In many ways, the West Genesee boys lacrosse team is going through the Section III Class A playoff grind twice during this decisive month of May.
Before undertaking the real thing, the Wildcats would tune up with four games at the tail end of the regular season (three of them on the road) that all featured opponents it could face in the sectional tournament.
In the first of those road trips, WG ventured to Corcoran Tuesday night. With a quick start, plus another strong defensive effort, the Wildcats turned back the Cougars 10-6.
WG still isn’t at full strength, since top defender Nick Mellen and midfielder Ian Cahill are out of the lineup, though both are expected to be back in time for the post-season.
But other Wildcats still manage to step up. And against Corcoran, that included an attack that has displayed uneven tendencies, even in recent victories over the likes of Oswego and Central Square.
David Procopio scored twice, with Matt Milne and Collin Kobuszewski also finding the net, as WG raced out to a 4-0 lead before the Cougars got on the board with Sterling Claflin’s goal in the waning seconds of the first quarter.
Throughout the second quarter, Corcoran’s defense started to figure out the Wildcats’ tendencies, but the Cougars hurt itself with a series of turnovers, preventing it from establishing any sort of consistent pressure.
As such, when Tyler Brown and Brad Howes scored in the last two minutes of the half (Howes’ goal coming with 2.2 seconds left), WG extended its lead to 7-2.
Corcoran’s chase continued throughout the second half. Paul Smyth, starting for Mellen on the back line, joined Alex Tripodi, Jake McCarthy and long-stick midfielder Grainger Sasso in frustrating the Cougars’ potent front line, while goalie Matt Koziol had another strong outing, recording 12 saves.
Patient on its attack, the Wildcats did enough to put away the game in the fourth quarter, Procopio earning his fourth goal of the night with 9:26 left and Nick Cunningham scoring with 3:04 to play.
In the lone home game in this closing stretch, WG would entertain 10-3 Cicero-North Syracuse, who was reeling from a 16-4 romp at the hands of Fayetteville-Manlius two nights earlier.
And there was no way that the Wildcats were going to taste defeat in front of its home crowd on Senior Night, as it methodically worked its way to an 11-5 victory over the Northstars.
Even when WG’s defense struggled in the early going, the offense responded with a flurry of goals to take a 5-3 lead. And from there, it gradually pulled way, getting a 7-4 lead by halftime and watching as C-NS only managed a single goal in the last two periods against Koziol, who again finished with 12 saves.
Brown scored three times, adding two assists. Procopio also had a three-goal hat trick, while Ryan McDonald got a pair of goals. Cunningham had a goal and two assists, with Milne and Howes adding goals. Mike Geremia and Will Northrop also earned assists.
And this set up the latest showdown between WG and Fayetteville-Manlius, set for Monday night, with a trip to Auburn also set for Wednesday before the sectional tournament gets underway.
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