May 24, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Doug Rowe put it well in the wake of the Baldwinsville girls lacrosse team’s 14-2 defeat to West Genesee in the Section III Class A semifinals Friday night at Christian Brothers Academy’s Alibrandi Stadium.
The long-time Bees head coach said that his team, which was trying to defend the sectional title it won a year ago, never was whole this spring, and had to parade out 18 different starting lineups in 18 games, which made it difficult to find any sort of consistency.
Yet even if B’ville had found that magic formula, trying to upend the top-seeded Wildcats would have proven a monumental task.
They had met twice in the regular season, WG winning big on both occasions, including an 18-5 decision on May 2 at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium where the Wildcats, playing close to perfection, led 15-0 at halftime.
So the Bees had to try to turn around those lopsided results, and do so against an opponent fiercely motivated to avoid another shocking Class A semifinal defeat, as it faced in 2013 when Cicero-North Syracuse beat the Wildcats, opening the door for the Bees’ run to the sectional championship and its appearance in the state finals.
Making the task even more daunting was the fact that, again, B’ville was at less than full strength, with Erin Nagle and Jaclyn Hingre both out of the lineup.
One thing B’ville tried, perhaps as a motivational rallying point, was to don all-black jerseys instead of its usual red outfits. But the Bees were facing the same Wildcats side, who were in good form regardless of what color the opponent was wearing.
Right from the outset, WG’s 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.
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.
B’ville now looks ahead to the off-season, and the departure of nine seniors, including goalie Nicole Burrows, defender Samantha Ward and midfielders Natalie Kaufman and Lexie Pastore.
But a large cast is set to return in 2015, and with West Genesee graduating 17 seniors, the door might be open for the Bees to quickly get back on top.