N I A G A R A G A Z E T T E niagara-gazette.com
GI shares title, but season over
wins in penalty kicks
for second time in
by NATE BEUTEL
AMHERST - Williamsville East was partying like it was 2006 Saturday. And that's not a good thing for Grand Island.
The second-seeded Flames downed No. 1 Grand Island in penalty kicks just as they did three years ago to earn the right to represent Section VI in next weekend's Class A Far West regional. The teams are technically considered Class A co-champions since they played 110 minutes of scoreless soccer.
"The frustrating thing is that you feel like you got the better play from your team and you don't get to keep playing," GI Coach Dave Bowman said. "Still, a lot of teams would be very happy to be where we ended up. I'm very proud of the girls."
GI had several good chances in the overtime sessions, including four corner kicks in the third OT and a mad scramble with East's goalkeeper out of the net in the fourth OT. Nothing reached the back of the net, though.
"All game long we just couldn't get that one break to go our way," Bowman said. "Nothing seemed to quite click. It was close, but nothing crossed that line."
That trend continued into penalty kicks when Jordan Dudish, Sara Wilczek and Jennie Taylor each came up empty on their attempts for GI. Wilczek and Taylor's shots hit the crossbar. Meanwhile, East's first three players buried their shots past Vikings' goalkeeper Kristin Wegrzyn, who made 20 saves in the loss.
It's really unfortunate because my shooters had been ripping the side of the net all week in practice in preparation for PKs," Bowman said. "And Kristin did a great job with some dangerous balls. It's just too bad that it comes down to one person, whether it be the shooter or the keeper, between moving on or ending your season."