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High School Extra: Iroquois girls soccer rallies for overtime win

Down 2-1 against East Aurora in a key ECIC III girls soccer match, Iroquois coach Richard Violanti ran five forwards and pushed everyone up in a desperation attempt to obtain the equalizer.

Haley Thomas emerged from a scrum in the 18-yard box and touched the ball over to Grace Donovan, who tied the game with a minute to go in regulation and forced overtime.

“It was just a beautiful reward for the hard work and hustle on the play,” Violanti said.

Grace Kulniszewski scored her second goal of the game on a penalty kick five minutes into the first period, which proved to be the game-winner.

Ali Bakowski made 19 saves for the Chiefs, including some huge stops in the second overtime.

East Aurora (6-2-2, 5-2-1) beat Iroquois (5-3, 4-3), 5-2, in the first meeting.

The parity in ECIC IV also keeps growing.

No. 6 small school Tonawanda rebounded from its 7-2 loss to No. 7 Holland Thursday with a 1-0 win at No. 5 Alden on Friday.

Taylor Hollock scored the lone goal 14 minutes into the game off an assist from Hope Balling. Kelsey Pohzehl had the shutout in net.

In ECIC I play, Lancaster came away with a 2-0 shutout at No. 5 large school Williamsville North. Alli Jurkowski assisted on goals scored by Brianna Grazen and Caitlyn Vonvreckin.

Chiefs remain perfect

Iroquois, the No. 1 field hockey team in the Western New York coaches poll, remained perfect on the season with a 4-2 win at No. 5 Lancaster. Lexi Bonafede scored twice and had an assist as the Chiefs pushed their record to 7-0.

Catherine Angiers scored the first goal 15 minutes into the game for Williamsville North and Samantha Mallare earned the shutout as the Spartans (7-0) won, 2-0, over Amherst.

Raiders come through

The student section set the atmosphere for the undefeated ECIC III boys volleyball clash between Eden and Maryvale with a white out in the stands, and the Raiders delivered on the court with a three-set sweep of the Flyers (25-19, 25-20, 25-21).

“The energy was awesome, but it can also get away from the home team,” Eden coach Robert Pierce said. “They’re an excellent team. It was really important for us to establish and get that first-game win.”

Drew Hesse led the way with 12 kills and three aces, while Collin Rigley added 10 kills of his own.

“Our seniors Collin and Drew really maintained a high level of performance,” Pierce said. “They set the tone and directed the energy in the right way.”

Eden’s current league winning streak is well over 100 games, dating back 10-plus years.

No. 3 Canisius improved to 8-2 with a three-game sweep at No. 10 West Seneca West by set scores of 25-17, 25-10 and 25-18. Alex Kurdziel led the Crusaders with 11 kills and two aces.

No. 5 Clarence (7-2) swept St. Joe’s in another public-private matchup by set scores of 25-13, 25-17 and 25-13. River Reinhardt had four aces for the Red Devils.

In ECIC II girls volleyball, Willimasville South improved to 4-2, 3-1 with a four-set win at Sweet Home by set scores of 25-19, 22-25, 25-15 and 25-14. Amari DeBerry had 14 kills and Gabby Presutti 20 digs for the Billies.

Canisius victorious at Finger Lakes Cup

Derek Bartlow’s game-winning goal gave the Canisius boys soccer team a 2-1 win over Henninger of Section III (Syracuse area) in the first round of the Finger Lakes Cup.

Bryce Chretien had his second assist on the goal for the Crusaders, who play Saturday in the final.

No. 9 large school Sweet Home and No. 10 Starpoint played to a scoreless draw in ECIC II boys soccer.

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