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High School Extra / News and notes

Clarence pitches a shutout

The Clarence boys soccer team has mastered a basic lesson: If you don't give up any goals, you don't lose.

The Red Devils, ranked No. 1 among large schools, improved to 15-0 with a 1-0 victory against Section V's Spencerport. It was Clarence's 12th shutout of the season; it has allowed four goals all season.

"It definitely was a back-and-forth game," Red Devils coach Mike Silverstein said. "This was a defensive battle. Neither team had many chances."

But when Tyler Hammill had a chance, he converted on it. He got in alone on the Spencerport goalie and converted with 11 minutes left.

"My defense played great from there. They had no chances inside the 18-yard box," Silverstein said.

The coach was particularly happy to get a win against a Section V opponent.

"It's great to go out and play a Rochester team," Silverstein said. "Rochester is known for having high-quality teams. They played very well. The shot total was 14-10 in favor of them."

Matt Schroen recorded the shutout.

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Starpoint stays on top

Top-ranked large school Starpoint swept No. 7 Sweet Home in three games, 25-16, 28-26, 25-14, in girls volleyball to sweep the season series from the Panthers and clinch at least a tie for the ECIC II title.

Senior Samantha Palka had 22 kills, younger sister junior Sydney Palka had 33 assists and junior Veronica Crosby had 12 kills and nine service points for the Spartans, who are 10-0 in league play.

Starpoint, which has matches against Williamsville South and Iroquois remaining, was down, 19-15, in the second game before coming from behind.

"We worked hard to get back, tied it up, took the lead and won the game -- that definitely gave us some momentum," said Starpoint coach Sue Rexford. "We just kept rolling in that third game. We're having a great season. The girls work hard, work well together and they're a great bunch of girls."

Kelsey Maving had 10 kills and 11 digs while Larissa Svesson had 19 digs for Sweet Home (8-2).

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NC left almost speechless

Niagara Catholic girls soccer coach Brian Harrison nearly ran out of ways to say how happy he was that his team beat St. Mary's of Lancaster, 2-1.

"It was a huge game," he said. "We have seniors that have never beaten them. It's been at least four years. It's a humongous upset."

Harrison credited his team's defense for keeping the Lancers' offense in check. Then it was a case of getting the ball to Jenna McCune, who had both goals for the Big Red.

"Our D was strong. They stayed the way they are supposed to," Harrison said. "The bounces were going our way, and we just pitched the ball up to Jenna.

"Renee Polka had 14 saves, and they were all huge saves. Our record overall is 3-9, 2-5 in division play. . . . It was amazing. I wish you could [print] every name on the team."

Sometimes coaches after such upsets will say they knew such an effort was coming from their team. There was none of that from Harrison.

"It was shocking," he said. "The last two games, we haven't played well at all. For them to do this is great. We were shocked to go in at halftime up, 1-0. We talked to them that we just won a half, and said to go win the second half.

"I couldn't be prouder. No matter what has happened, they haven't given up. Even when we've been blown out, they haven't given up."

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