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Published: November 18, 2005 11:29 pm

Vikings bow in state semis

Niagara Gazette

The good news is that the Grand Island girls soccer team made it to the state semifinals for the fourth straight year.

The bad news is that, for the fourth straight year, the Vikings were unable to move on to the finals after Friday’s 7-2 loss to South Side in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A Semifinals at Binghamton.

“It was a great season,” said first-year head coach Dave Bowman, whose team finishes the season at 21-2-1. “There’s not shame in losing to a team like this in the state semifinals. They’ve won 12 state titles — they have a great program.”

Stephanie Blair had three goals for the Cyclones (15-3-1), while Molly Dreska added two goals and Katie Starsia and Melissa Gimpel also scored.

Jessica Walsh made five saves in goal for the win.

“They came right at us from the get-go,” Bowman said. “They were quick and they played a great game. They were the better of the two teams tonight.”

Alicia Barnaby netted both goals for the Vikings, with assists from Jessica Remmes and Ashley Mazurkiewicz.

The Cyclones led 3-0 at the break and were up 4-1 early in the second half when Grand Island sophomore goalkeeper Allie Weiser suffered a concussion on a collision in front of the Viking net. She was replaced by eighth grader Kristin Wegrzyn, who did a credible job in the first playoff action of her career.

The loss ended the career of Remmes, the program’s all-time leading scorer. Headed to James Madison University next year on a full scholarship, Remmes finished with 168 goals and 107 assists at Grand Island.

Afterwards, GI athletic director Jon Roth was grateful to the parents of the players for all of their work during the season.

“All of the soccer parents have been very supportive,” he said. “There was a rumor going around that the district wouldn’t fund this trip to the semifinals, but that wasn’t the case. The parents have been great.”