Akron, Williamsville South win sectional titles - The Buffalo News
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Akron, Williamsville South win sectional titles

Akron weathered the rain to win its second straight Section VI Class B girls soccer championship.

Williamsville South waited for the air to clear a bit before pouring it on Hamburg, 5-0, and winning its third consecutive Class A crown.

And in the misty nightcap of Saturday’s tripleheader at Amherst’s Dimp Wagner Field, Clarence whitewashed Williamsville North, 1-0, to win its first Class AA title since 2009.

All three teams will return to the turf in Snyder next weekend for Far West Regionals. Akron (16-2-1) faces Section V champion Hornell at 7:30 p.m Friday, Williamsville South (19-0-0) will meet the No. 1 ranked team in New York State, Honeoye Falls-Lima, at 4 p.m. Saturday, and Clarence (16-2-0) will go up against state No. 6 Webster Thomas at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

The opener was the most dramatic game of the day, as No. 4 seed Akron and No. 3 seed Tonawanda were tied for all but a minute in the first half and two minutes in the second.

Erica Papke scored with 1:42 left in regulation to give Akron the 2-1 win. Paige Battaglia scored the tying goal one minute after the Tigers fell behind in the first half. Midfielder Cailin Regan assisted on both.

“I got the ball and I was trying to play it to my teammate but I ended up scoring instead,” Papke said.

The sophomore stood out among her older teammates by wearing one pink cleat and one green one, the unusual jersey No. 62, and short sleeves.

“I can’t wear Under Armour, it suffocates me,” Papke said. “My hands were cold, so it hurt a lot when my teammates jumped on me.”

Tonawanda (12-4-0) came into its first sectional final since 2002 ranked 12th in the state and took a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute when Kristin Carson’s corner kick curved into the bottom corner of the net.

In the second game, top-seeded Williamsville South dealt with less rain and less resistance from No. 6 Hamburg (12-4-3), a team it had already beaten twice in the regular season.

The Billies, who are ranked No. 3 in the state in Class A, got two goals apiece from Carissima Cutrona and Jamie Boyar and a goal and two assists from Nicole Gruber.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my teammates,” said Cutrona, a senior who has played on all three of South’s Sectional championship teams. “Everyone worked so hard this season, and we are not done yet.”

Cutrona weaved in to open the scoring 30 minutes into the game, and Boyar, a sophomore, roofed a shot in the opening minutes of the second half to put the Billies up, 2-0.

Cutrona buried a corner kick to make it 3-0 in the 14th minute of the second half, Boyar broke free to score her second goal in the 23rd minute and Gruber, a freshman, scored the final goal less than a minute later on a penalty kick.

In Cutrona, Boyar, and junior Fiona Dargan, the Billies have “three forwards unlike I’ve ever had before on a high school team,” South coach Kevin McNamara said.

“This team is super close in everything that we do,” Boyar said. “Without the girls behind me, I wouldn’t be able to do anything.”

When the rain picked back up and the floodlights came on, Clarence relied on its defense to beat a Williamsville North team it had allowed six goals against in two earlier matchups.

“We had to endure,” Clarence coach Tom Furminger said. “It was kind of a sloppy game, the turf was so fast because of the rain and the possession wasn’t great.”

Clarence scored its lone goal off a turnover in the opening minutes of the first half, when Sydney Cerza set up Kristen Benson for an easy finish.

“Sydney Cerza, who is usually our goal scorer, played unbelievable defense,” Furminger said.

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