Weekly Feature



2018-11-07 / Sports

North field hockey reaches state semis

Lady Spartans host final four


Williamsville North’s Breanna Shannon, right, battles for possession of the ball with Clarence’s Natalie Myslinski in the Section VI Class A final Thursday at Williamsville East. The Lady Spartans won 5-0, securing the squad’s fourth straight sectional title. Photo by Kathleen Kramer Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Williamsville North’s Breanna Shannon, right, battles for possession of the ball with Clarence’s Natalie Myslinski in the Section VI Class A final Thursday at Williamsville East. The Lady Spartans won 5-0, securing the squad’s fourth straight sectional title. Photo by Kathleen Kramer Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com The Williamsville North field hockey team’s goal all season was to win a state title on its home turf.

The Lady Spartans are two wins away from achieving their goal after blanking Clarence, 5-0, in the Section VI Class A final Thursday at Williamsville East for the program’s fourth-straight section title and defeating Fairport, 3-1, in the Far West Regional Saturday at Penfield High School to reach the state semifinals.

North (18-1) hosts Section XI’s Sachem East in the state semifinals at 10 a.m. Saturday. The winner plays either Section I’s Mamaroneck or Section IV’s Maine-Endwell in the state finals at 10 a.m. Sunday at North.

“We are excited to move on to state play and will continue to work hard in achieving our goal of winning the state championship,” North coach Jess Rys said.

Rys called the Clarence victory a great team effort.

“Every player from the sideline to the field played their role,” Rys said. “Forwards Emma Roland, Jordan Cooper, Molly Martin, Gabby Manzella and Jenna Piotrowski attacked relentlessly. Midfielders Erin Roland, Sydney Moyer and Lauren Rabinowitz held the midfield and controlled the tempo of the game. Defensive backs Bre Shannon, Paige Timby and Ryleigh Bies were brick walls on defense. All of these players were aggressive and pressured relentlessly. I am very proud of our performance and efforts.”

“It was a great feeling outperforming and out-hustling Clarence,” Rys said. “We had great stick-to-stick passing sequences. Our corners were also on. Once we got momentum in the second half, we really ran with it.”

Cooper scored from Emma Roland for North’s lone goal in the first half against Clarence.

In the second half, Cooper scored from Emma Roland, Shannon tipped in a shot from Erin Roland, and Emma Roland and Martin each had unassisted tallies.

Goalie Sam Mallare recorded six saves.

“Sam came in the clutch when we needed her to, making beautiful saves, including several split saves, when necessary,” Rys said.

The win over Fairport avenged a loss to them in last year’s regional.

Rys said Fairport came out strong, but North battled and maintained possession for the majority of the game.

“Our passing sequences were on,” Rys said. “We had a lot of scoring opportunities, but couldn’t capitalize on all the rebounds. The girls had a hard time receiving on the turf, which changed the game.”

Rabinowitz scored the lone goal in the first half, assisted by Erin Roland.

Fairport tied the game early in the second half. Erin Roland, from Emma Roland, scored the game-winning goal with 17 minutes left.

Emma Roland tallied an insurance goal, assisted by Rabinowitz with 5:54 remaining.

Rys said forwards Emma Roland, Cooper, Piotrowski, Martin and Manzella hustled on offense.

She said midfielders Erin Roland, Moyer and Rabinowitz were key to maintaining possession.

Defensive backs Shannon, Bies and Timby did a nice job of stopping Fairport, and Mallare had some amazing saves and stepped up when needed, she said.

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