Weekly Feature



2018-11-07 / Sports

North upends field hockey team in ‘A’ final

by JASON NADOLINSKI
Reporter


Clarence’s Elise Bearance, right, stretches out to knock the ball away from Williamsville North’s Erin Roland during the Lady Red Devils’ 5-0 loss to the Lady Spartans in Thursday’s Section VI Class A final at Williamsville East. Photo by Kathleen Kramer Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Clarence’s Elise Bearance, right, stretches out to knock the ball away from Williamsville North’s Erin Roland during the Lady Red Devils’ 5-0 loss to the Lady Spartans in Thursday’s Section VI Class A final at Williamsville East. Photo by Kathleen Kramer Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com There was just something about Williamsville North’s field hockey team this year that proved tough to overcome, Clarence was reminded Thursday, as the Lady Spartans – the only team to top the Lady Red Devils in the regular season – ended Clarence’s bid for a Section VI Class A championship in shutout fashion in a game played in less-than-ideal weather conditions at Williamsville East High School.

Clarence had trouble getting through North’s defense and wasn’t able to pass as well as it normally does, leading to the Lady Red Devils’ 5-0 defeat. Defenders Alyssa Johnson, Brooke Tangelder and Morgan Cole, along with goalie Quinn Laczkowski, did all they could to give the Lady Red Devils a fighting chance, but co-coaches Marissa Faso and Gina Stephan conceded that “we just did not play Clarence field hockey.”

“We were on our game throughout the season, but against North in the final, we just had an off day at absolutely the wrong time,” the co-coaches conveyed in a joint written statement. “We had a tough game, struggling to connect all game long. We hope to work on our composure and intensity during the offseason to better prepare the girls for situations like this next year. But, we wish North the best of luck as they represent Section VI at states.”

Clarence, which suffered its only other loss of the season at North’s hands in mid-September, arrived in the championship game by shutting down Lancaster in the semifinal round on Oct. 24, 3-0. Kaitlyn Scioli and Elise Bearance each scored a goal and had an assist, while Kailee Godesiabois chipped in with an assist as well for Clarence, which opened up the game in the second half.

“The first half we didn’t play our best, but the second half the girls turned it around.,” the co-coaches stated. “They created more passing opportunities for each other and had better communication. In the second half, the girls did much better passing to each other and seeing the space on the field. Kailee did well possessing and transferring the ball to her other midfielders and forwards, who advanced it into the circle.”

Clarence, which finished the season 16-2 overall, went undefeated at home this year, outscoring its opponents by a 92-10 margin in the process. Morgan Kelkenberg scored nearly a third of those goals herself, finishing with a team-best 30 goals and 13 assists, which was tied for the team lead. Morgan Berndt chipped in with 18 goals and eight assists, while both Scioli (13 assists) and Madison Leeper (10 assists) added seven goals each.

Bearance finished with six goals and 11 assists, while Godesiabois added three goals and nine assists for the Lady Red Devils, who lose five seniors – including two who will continue their playing careers in college – to graduation off the squad.

“Overall, we are very proud of our girls, who worked incredibly hard to reach their individual and team goals – and our record reflects their tenacity,” the co-coaches noted. “We focused a lot on team chemistry and possession, areas they improved in after each game. We are looking forward to seeing the girls grow in the offseason to prepare for next year. And, fortunately in that regard, many of our girls play club in the offseason, where they’ll have the opportunity to focus on fundamentals skills and play with different players that will challenge their ability. Many of them also attend camps and prospective clinics where they’ll learn new skills to perform on the field.

“We are going to continue the success of our Clarence field hockey camps throughout the summer to develop the younger generations. We welcome everyone new to the game to come spend a day with us to learn more. The Western New York field hockey community has continued to grow and we are excited to be a part of growing the game.”

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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