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Iroquois field hockey hangs on, is final four bound

Iroquois broke through the Whitesboro defense just once Saturday on a first-half goal by sophomore Riley DeGrace, but it was enough for a 1-0 victory over its Section III field hockey opponent in the Class B Super Regional at Cicero-North Syracuse High.

Coach Pete Tonsoline’s Chiefs will have to take on a giant-killer role in the state semifinals next Saturday against Lakeland of Section I at Maine-Endwell. Lakeland has won the last seven state Class B titles.

DeGrace crashed the net to score with the rebound of a shot by Chantel Gauthier.

“It was a fantastic effort, Tonsoline said.

The game went down to the final second and beyond. Whitesboro was awarded an untimed penalty corner as time ran out. Iroquois stopped it, but a second penalty corner was awarded to Whitesboro. Again, the Chiefs held.

Lakeland won the Section I playoffs with an 8-0 rout of Red Hook on Saturday.

The other state semifinal will have Vestal facing Garden City.

In the Class A, Baldwinsville (18-1) broke open a close game with five second-half goals and defeated Williamsville North, 6-0. North finished the season at 15-6.

Nardin in state final

This is perhaps the most successful season for Nardin soccer.

The Gators (16-1-1) advanced to the championship game of the State Catholic High School Athletic Association with a 3-0 victory over Kennedy Catholic Saturday at Niagara University.

Sydney Scello and Ally Evoniuk scored first-half goals, and Olivia Jerge scored unassisted in the second half for Nardin.

“Our defense,” of Abby Adams, Juliana Pelicano, Abby Molloy and Shannon Clough, “was stellar,” said Nardin coach Frank Cottronio

Panthers come a long way

From 0-20 to the Section VI Division II-A finals.

That’s the journey Sweet Home’s boys volleyball team has taken. Coach Rich Cicero’s Panthers gained a place in Tuesday’s finals against Hamburg by winning a four-set match at North Tonawanda on Saturday, 26-24, 25-12, 18-25, 25-16.

Last season Cicero decided that rather than try to bolster the varsity with call-ups from the strong junior varsity he would let the young players develop on their own.

“We decided to let them play at their level and learn how to win,” Cicero said. “It worked. … They developed a winning attitude. They’re athletic and they believe in each other.”

Senior Dylan Aarum had 13 kills and senior captain Colin May had 12 in Saturday’s victory. Juniors C.J. Genau (five aces), Jonathan Miller (18 assists) and Evan Bezak (20 digs) were big contributors, too.

Hamburg earned its place in the division final with a four-set win over Williamsville East. Jacob Couzens had 12 blocks for the Bulldogs while Jake Storey had 30 assists in the 25-8, 25-23, 16-25, 25-20 win.

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