Nichols outlasts St. Joe's
After 110 minutes of play and five even-up rounds of penalty kicks, Nichols goalkeeper Will Gisel and shooter Elliot Johnston combined to give the Vikings a victory over host St. Joe's in the Monsignor Martin semifinals in boys soccer.
The schools split their four regular-season games and finished Wednesday's playoff game tied at 1-1.
The tally by St. Joe's came on an own goal in the first half before Nichols co-captain Billy Cicere scored on a set play with an assist from co-captain Bennett Kenyon with 25 minutes left in regulation.
After two 10-minute overtime periods, the game went to penalty kicks. The first five shooters for both teams scored before Gisel made a stop on the sixth. Then Johnston scored to seal the win for Nichols (9-9-1).
"He's been good for us all year, and he's very good as of late," Nichols coach Don Wagner said of Gisel.
"We did practice PKs, both defensively and offensively. Last year against St. Joe's the same thing happened -- we went through everything -- into sudden death PKs and we lost by the same score. It was our turn," Wagner said.
Nichols will play St. Francis, a 2-1 winner over Canisius, for the championship at 2 p.m. Sunday at Canisius' Clinton Street complex in West Seneca.
St. Francis jumped to a 2-0 lead on Eric Smolarek's goals in the eighth and 10th minutes and kept Canisius off the board until Mac Garner scored in the 79th minute. Goalkeeper Ben DiCesare made 15 saves for St. Francis (8-12).
Akron upsets City Honors
Corey Baker scored three goals and Kevin Braunschiedel added a pair as No. 4 Akron (18-1-2) upset top-seeded City Honors, 5-2, in a Section VI Class B boys soccer semifinal game. Nikolas Albarran scored both City Honors goals.
Meanwhile, Barry Hunt and Kurt Knolle each scored and Dan Coulter made four saves as unbeaten East Aurora (20-0-0) beat Wilson, 2-0, in the other semifinal.
East Aurora and Akron meet at 7 p.m. Friday at Amherst.
Sacred Heart nips Nardin
Alycia Pontello scored and keeper Susan O'Rourke made 10 saves to lead second-seeded Sacred Heart to a 1-0 victory over No. 3 Nardin in a Monsignor Martin North girls soccer semifinal. Pontello's goal came on a penalty shot in the 20th minute.
"It was a very physical game by both teams, very hard-fought," said Sacred Heart coach Kelly Duszkiewicz. "The ball was back and forth and we managed to pull out the win."
Sacred Heart will meet top-seed Nichols, an 8-0 winner over Mt. St. Mary, in Sunday's final at noon at Canisius' Clinton Street complex.
Kaitlin Donahoe, Catherine Williams and Erin Collins each scored two goals for Nichols. Keeper Adele Jackson-Gibson got the shutout.
Meanwhile, No. 1 seed St. Mary's and No. 2 seed Immaculata won semifinal games to advance to the MMA South championship.
St. Mary's blanked Buffalo Seminary, 2-0, on second-half goals by Raeanne Stilwell and Victoria Fontana. Goalkeeper Maria Rosati got the shutout.
Marissa Miniri scored second early in the second half with an assist by Caitlin Fennel to break a 1-1 tie and give Immaculata a 2-1 victory over Cardinal O'Hara. Hanna Metzger scored Immaculata's first goal. Madison Kiernan was the winning goalkeeper.
St. Mary's and Immaculata play at 10 a.m. Sunday at Canisius' Clinton Street complex.
Will South plays Pioneer for title
Top-seeded Williamsville South and No. 3 Pioneer squeezed out semifinal wins to move on in Section VI Class B field hockey.
Williamsville South beat Amherst, 2-1, on goals by Kate Kurzanski (assisted by Shannon Martin) and Sarah Hunt (assisted by Blair Pembleton) after Amherst took a 1-0 lead on Katrina McQuiggan's goal.
Pioneer edged Iroquois, 1-0, on Jessica Franklin's overtime goal, assisted by Sam George. Goalie Shelby Wheeler earned her ninth shutout of the season.
Williamsville South and Pioneer play at 5 p.m. Saturday at Amherst.
Holland, Chautauqua to meet
In the Section VI Class C boys soccer semifinals, Trevor Vanderbush and Jordan Farrint scored two goals each and Skylr Carrolw got the shutout as top-seeded Holland blanked Randolph, 5-0.
Chautauqua Lake's Bryan Fish scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over Westfield. Keeper Jordan Reynolds made 12 saves.
Holland and Chautauqua play at 3 p.m. Saturday at Southwestern for the title.
Roy-Hart beats Newfane
Eighth-grader Brandon Buryta ran for 103 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown, to lead Royalton-Hartland (1-6) to a 14-6 win over host Newfane.