The Grand Island girls soccer team lost a heartbreaker, a 4-3 shootout to Oneonta in Friday's New York State Class A semifinal, but retiring coach Peter Prozik wasn't complaining.
"We probably played our best game of the year. We controlled the ball and moved the ball well," said Prozik. "We outshot them, 34-2. I guess it was one of those games that wasn't meant to be for us. We had opportunities. We just didn't put it in."
Neither team was able to score during regulation, two 10-minute overtimes and two five-minute sudden deaths. After 110 scoreless minutes on the field turf at Union-Endicott, the game went to penalty kicks. The score was tied, 3-3, before Oneonta netted the game-winner.
"It's too bad it had to end in a shootout," said Prozik. "Their goalie (Brianna Gult) was excellent. She kept them in the game."
Scoring in the shootout for the Vikings were Sara Hilliard, Jessica Kuehne and Jackie Coe.
The Vikings, who ended the season 19-2-3, were making their third straight trip to the state final four. They've won five straight Section VI and Niagara Frontier League titles. Prozik is retiring after coaching the girls for the past eight years and the boys for the previous 23. His record with the girls was 138-18-12.
"It's been a great ride, I've enjoyed every second of it. These kids know how to make a coach look good," he said.
Class B semifinals: Hannah Swift scored with 3:45 left in the second 5-minute sudden victory as Fredonia advanced with a 2-1 win over IX-Highland. The Hillbillies (19-2-2) will face Marcellus of Section III for the state title today at 4 p.m. at Union-Endicott.
Swift found herself one-on-one against the sweeper, made a move to the left, and beat the goalie on a shot to the far left post for her 44th goal of the season. Kristin Buckley scored the first goal on an assist from Swift. Freshman goalkeeper Kari Ketcham had 15 saves.
"This team has been working so hard, they've been busting their humps all season, and in the preseason and on their own in practice, and that's the difference," said coach Sam Conti. "Every good thing that happens they deserve."
Class A semifinals: An over-achieving Williamsville North team dropped a 4-0 decision to undefeated Mamaroneck of Section I in the state semifinals in P&C Stadium in Syracuse.
"This team is so young, and they have all the potential in the world, the future is looking fantastic," said coach Kris LaPaglia. "Mamaroneck is a team that's been playing together a couple years, and it shows. I'm so proud of these girls for getting here -- one of the top four teams in the state -- how can you complain?"
Sophomore defender Kristen Stone was named to the all-tournament team and senior defender Jamie Molnar made the all-sportsmanship team for the Spartans (18-3-1).
Class B semifinals: Amherst was overwhelmed by three-time defending state champion Rye, 2-0.
Senior goalie Ashley Yantomasi did everything she could do for Amherst, which is what she's been doing for the Tigers for four years.
Yantomasi had 13 saves to earn all-tournament honors for the Tigers, who were outshot, 21-0, as Rye (20-1) kept the ball in Amherst's end of the artificial turf field for most of the game. The Garnets earned 15 penalty corners while Amherst had none.
Rye scored with 2:37 left in the first half when Ashley McCauley knocked in a rebound of a one-on-one fast-break shot that Yantomasi made a pad save on. It was a 1-0 game until the final minute, when senior forward Brenna Gulotta -- who pestered the Amherst defense -- scored off a cross from the right wing.
"When you're playing defense for almost 55 minutes of the game, it's tough," said Amherst coach Jennifer Higgins. "But the girls did a great job. Ashley, obviously, kept us right in the game. She kept us in there all season long -- for four years, that kid's kept us in it."
Amherst rarely threatened to even get in shooting range. The Tigers' few ventures into the Rye half of the field were usually met by a defender neatly settling the ball, then hitting it solidly upfield to send the Rye back on the attack.
It was the first time Amherst (17-4-1) reached the state final four and marked the furthest the Tigers have advanced in the state playoffs.