While there are many different markers in this, the final season for Mike Messere and Bob Deegan coaching West Genesee boys lacrosse, last Tuesday’s trip to Fayetteville-Manlius was an important one.
No one was more of a rival to the Wildcats than the Hornets in Messere’s 43-year coaching tenure. More often than not, the Section III and state titles that WG won were at F-M’s expense.
Yet the respect between the sides never dissipated – in fact, it only grew. So it surprised no one that, prior to the game, F-M presented Messere and Deegan with a special gift.
It was a framed portrait of a lacrosse stick, and below it read a caption: “Best Wishes From the Fayetteville-Manlius Boys Lacrosse Community”.
Then the game got underway, yet another trademark battle between the Wildcats and Hornets – but one that went in favor of WG, who prevailed by a score of 10-6.
Much of the contest was in close quarters, but timely scoring spurts would make the difference. Tommy Farry’s goal was the only one for F-M in the first quarter as the Wildcats used back-to-back tallies late in the period to go in front 3-1.
Staying in touch, the Hornets closed the gap to 5-4 by halftime and even tied it, 6-6, late in the third quarter. But WG netted three consecutive goals late in the third quarter to take the lead for good, and the defense was sensational, containing F-M the rest of the way as goalie Luke Staudt stopped 16 of the 22 shots he faced overall.
Kevin Sheehan led the Wildcats, scoring four times and adding an assist. Max Rosa had two goals and one assist, while single tallies went to Jack Howes, Ryan Sheehan, John Bergan and Ryan Smith, Howes and Sheehan joining Noah Sabatino in the assist column.
For F-M, Farry and Jack Shanley also scored twice. Chris Lubrino and Nick Papa had the other goals as Kyle Gilroy joined Papa in the assist column.
Compared to all this, Thursday’s home game against Syracuse was rather routine, but WG handled it, prevailing 20-6 as it steadily built a 12-3 halftime advantage on the Cougars and saw 15 different players score at least once.
Again, Kevin Sheehan was strong, with four goals and two assists, while Sabatino got two goals and three assists and Howes amassed five assists. Rosa scored twice as David McCarthy had a goal and two assists.
Bergan, Smith, Brad Cunnigham, John Galimi, Derek Pettinelli and Lucias Allen each came up with one goal and one assist. Ryan Sheehan, Jimmy Bergan, Jeremiah Sparks and Anthony Datellas also scored.
WG’s annual showdown with Jamesville-DeWitt Saturday would provide quite a prelude to a first week of May where the featured attraction is Thursday night’s clash with Baldwinsville, this one at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium and likely without the snow and slick conditions that marred the Wildcats’ 8-7 defeat to the Bees on April 17.