Upon further review, Williamsville North boys soccer fans shouldn't start resurrecting a certain "No Goal" bumper sticker.
The overtime goal that gave Sweet Home a 1-0 victory at Williamsville North in the Section VI Class AA semifinals Friday, which prompted a brief overreaction by some of North's players, was witnessed by Section VI chairman Art Jaspe.
Jaspe is an assessor of officials for the United States Soccer Federation for both college and professional games. Although he was not acting in that capacity for the game, he called the referees' decision the "correct call at a critical time."
Sweet Home was awarded a free kick from the left side of the field. The kick was taken from outside the penalty box and a few yards from the out-of-bounds line -- essentially a short corner kick. The ball was crossed in front of the goal into a group of players, with Sweet Home's Ryan Baroudi shooting it on goal. The Williamsville North goalkeeper knocked the ball away, but he happened to be standing inside the goal when he did it.
The referee was on the left side of the goal while the assistant referee -- the linesman -- was standing on the goal line in the right corner.
When the referee signaled for a goal, fans grouped near the middle of the field were wondering why a shot that appeared to be saved was called a goal.
"Everyone was yelling and screaming to find out what had happened," said Jaspe. "But I saw the assistant referee raise his flag, which means that the ball has left the field of play. They were right on the line and the ball did indeed go inside the goal. Nobody had a better view than those two officials. They did exactly what they were supposed to do."
Jaspe credited Williamsville North Athletic Director Steve Ferenczy with making sure a heated situation -- in which players were screaming and ripping their jerseys off while coaches and parents yelled at the referees -- did not get out of control.
"I commend the AD for his quick involvement," said Jaspe. "He got in there when the players were upset at the referees. The players were yelling and screaming and tearing their shirts off, but the referees were not in fear of their lives. They just made the call and they understood the consternation of the fans. It's a tough call on their home field, and it happens."
In other soccer news:
* North Collins is going for a soccer double play. The boys team, which has won 18 sectional titles, is looking to build on its legacy when it plays Hinsdale at 5:30 p.m. today in the Class D championship at Olean's Bradner Stadium. The girls' team is already a Class D champion after it knocked off Ellicottville last week -- making it just the second time in the last 20 years in which the four-time state champion Ellicottville girls have not won the Section VI title.
* The Iroquois boys soccer team is easy to spot these days. The players are the ones with the funny haircuts. Three years ago, senior Chris Griffiths shaved his head and left only a "mohawk" stripe down the middle, and the Chiefs ended up going to the state final four. He repeated the buzzcut this year, and about two-thirds of the team has joined his hair club. So far, so good: the Chiefs take on Williamsville East for the Section VI Class A title at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lew-Port. The teams shared the ECIC II title.
* Nichols boys assistant George Truscott got the perfect ending to a storied career at the Buffalo private school when the Big Green won the state independent title Sunday. Truscott, 67, is leaving Western New York for Delaware after 40 years at Nichols, during which he has served as athletics director (1982-1987) and coached boys hockey (1966-1982), girls hockey, lacrosse, football, and baseball. A soccer assistant since 1988, he coached two players this season -- Joe Walter and Peter Marlette -- whose fathers played hockey for Truscott. "The kids just love him," said Nichols head coach Don Wagner. "And there's nobody that's gone to Nichols for the last 40 years that doesn't know him."
Heisman pose for Lundgren
Jamestown track standout Julie Lundgren has been named New York State's female winner as Wendy's High School Heisman. The 10-year-old award, which honors students for academic, athletic and community achievement, is given to a male and female student from each state.
Lundgren, who won the Section VI indoor track triple jump title last year, was named as a state winner along with East Rochester's Leo Smith. The pair are now eligible to be named among 12 finalists for the two overall national awards.
There were more than 15,000 nominees for the award. Eighteen students were selected as state finalists, including Erica Somogyi of Orchard Park, Brennan Payne of Pioneer and Ryan Rimmer of Lockport.