Two games into the season, the young Williamsville North girls soccer team didn’t look much like a championship team. But the Spartans matured quickly and, don’t look now, but they’re back in the Class AA Section VI championship game.
Second-seeded Williamsville North got a first-half goal from Melanie Krysiak and rode another strong defensive effort to a 1-0 win over No. 3 Niagara-Wheatfield on Wednesday night at Depew.
“We’re a very young team,” Williamsville North coach Doug Kircher said. “To go from 0-2 all the way to finals, that’s a pretty nice accomplishment for our team.”
Krysiak scored the game’s only goal in the 35th minute of the first half after a free kick for her seventh of the season. She also set it up with a strong rush that resulted in her being tripped to set up the free kick.
“Our girl got a high ball in and I was just able to head it in over the goalie,” Krysiak said. “This is a great win for us.”
The Spartans (13-2-1) advance to play rival Clarence – a 2-0 winner over Frontier in the second half of Wednesday’s semifinal doubleheader – at 6 p.m. Monday back at Depew.
“It’ll be a good game,” said Clarence senior Gabrielle Loewer, who scored one of the Red Devils’ two goals. “They’re a good team but I’m confident in my team. We’ve been doing well.”
But the Spartans are on a 13-1-1 roll since early September. Williamsville North has allowed just two goals in six October games. Isabelle Ciambella picked up her seventh shutout of the season.
“Our defense has been solid since midseason,” Kirchner said. “We made a couple of adjustments and our defense is playing really well.”
Hannah Wilson made eight saves for the Falcons (13-4).
In the nightcap, Frontier – which was competitive with Clarence in the regular season, losing 4-1 and 1-0 – gave the Red Devils a challenge. The Red Devils got a goal in the 24th minute from Anna Davies, her 34th of the season for a 1-0 halftime lead and then Loewer added her ninth in the fifth minute of the second half.
“Frontier is just so gritty,” Clarence coach Dave Stephan said. “They’ve given us the strongest competition all year long of anybody in our league. But you’ve got to get through some tough teams to be the best. I’m thrilled with what we did tonight. Normally we put up more goals but Frontier’s goalie (Brianna Stegmeier) is very good, she’s maybe the best in our league.”
Frontier ended the season at 8-9-1.
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