Kristen Taylor scored the winning goal the last time the Fayetteville-Manlius girls lacrosse team beat West Genesee. That was in 2006.
Eleven long years later, with Taylor and her older sister, Kelly Tormey, coaching the Hornets, that drought ended Wednesday night with F-M overcoming early and late deficits to top the Wildcats 16-13 and improve to 4-0 on the season.
“That was a total team win, a huge win for the program,” said Tormey. “To get a win like this is something that can help us down the road.”
The Hornets had already endured one dramatic game this season, surviving triple overtime in an April 5 win at Marcellus. But in that game, it never faced the kind of deficit it had to deal with against West Genesee, who had won its first three games this spring.
Midway through the first half, F-M trailed 5-0. Three Wildcats goals in the first 3:23 of the game, two of them by Mackenzie Baker, forced the Hornets to use a quick time-out, but Baker returned to assist on a goal by Lauren Ferris and convert for the third time to extend the margin.
This happened despite the work of Sydney DeGiralomo in the draw circle, as her work was giving F-M multiple possessions. The Hornets just didn’t convert any of them until Katie Shanley converted at the 12:40 mark.
Once it got on the board, though, F-M erupted, scoring six times in a span of less than eight minutes as Amanda Cramer’s goal put the Hornets in front. Baker countered with two more goals, giving her five for the half, but last-minute goals from Cramer and Kiera Shanley helped the Hornets take an 8-7 lead to the break.
Tormey gave full credit to DeGirolamo’s credit in the draw circle. “Sydney did an outstanding job,” said Tormey. “She works harder than anyone else and the team feeds off her.”
Early in the second half, F-M pushed that margin to 10-7, but Baker’s remarkable effort continued as she scored three straight to tie it again, 10-10. Another exchanged followed, and with 10:11 to play, Ferris converted, putting the Wildcats back in front, 12-11.
That would be WG’s last lead. Kiera Shanley’s sixth goal tied it, and after a series of chances, Shanley returned to convert for the seventh time with 4:33 to play. Just 29 seconds later, Annie Steigerwald made it 14-12.
Instead of sitting on the lead, the Hornets made WG chase them, leaving the net open for Katie Shanley to score a pair of clinching goals to offset Baker’s ninth tally in the final minute.
Now F-M will turn its attention to two more CNY Counties League rivals next week with games at Baldwinsville Tuesday and Liverpool on April 21.