The heartbreak hasn't lasted along as the Chicago Cubs' or Cleveland Indians', but Iroquois has lost to Amherst by 1-0 scores in each of the last three Section VI Class B field hockey playoffs.
Coach Pete Tonsoline's Chiefs will give another try at 11 a.m. on Saturday in the championship game at Orchard Park. This time Iroquois won't have to worry about Amherst; the opponent will be No. 2 seed Williamsville South.
Iroquois is 18-0 for the season and has outscored the opposition 80-7, and is ranked No. 1 among all Section Vi teams, no matter the class.
Still, Tonsoline is nervous.
"It's not easy when you're No. 1 and every opponent is out to get you," Tonsoline said after Wednesday's 3-1 victory over Williamsville East at OP. It was the same score and outcome as their regular season meeting in East Amherst. The No. 4 seeded Flames had taken care of Amherst (4-2) for Iroquois on Monday in the quarterfinals.
Iroquois went into halftime locked in a 1-1 tie. Senior Hayley Fonfara had the Chiefs' goal in the first half.
Then junior wing Sam Gaglio scored off a penalty corner 7 minutes into the second half for the go-ahead goal. It was her 15th of the season after she scored three in Monday's 5-0 win over East Aurora in the quarterfinals and closed the regular season on a scoring binge.
"She's got the magic touch," Tonsoline said.
Mia D'Amato scored the third goal for Iroquois
"That third goal kind of put the game on ice," Tonsoline said. "Our goalie, Abbi Greier, made one or two critical saves and East's goalie played fantastic. We probably had more shots on net than they did."
It's Akron-Barker again in Class C hockey
Akron and Barker will reprise their 2015 Class C championship game - won by the Tigers, 3-1 - when they meet for the third time this season on Saturday at Orchard Park (3 p.m.). Barker will be seeking its 17th sectional title.
The Raiders triumphed over Wilson, 2-0, in their semifinal on Wednesday at Clarence. Ciara Gregoire scored off a scramble at 10:09 of the first half. Katrina Clare got the second goal, also in the first half with 10:25 left, off a penalty corner.
"It was well-executed," said Barker coach Jeff Costello of Clare's goal. "Jillian Moeller had the assist and Haley Brown and Grayce Weller were also involved."
"Grayce Weller had a really nice clear when Wilson was threatening us in the first half," Cosello said. "Our three center mids, Moeller, Emily Annable and Casey A'Hearn were big factors. They really controlled the play for us in the first half."
Defending sectional Akron (15-0) swept past No. 5 seed Eden, 2-0, on goals by senior Abby Enfield, her ninth of the season, and senior Heather Cummings, her team high 17th. Madison Krzykowski, who has allowed only three goals all season, made two saves for the shutout on the turf field at Clarence.
Akron defeated Barker, 1-0 and 4-0 in their regular season games in the Niagara-Orleans League. Barker and Wilson had split 2-0 games, each winning on the other's field, during the season.
North advances on Krysiak's header
Melanie Krysiak headed a shot over the Niagara-Wheatfield goalkeeper from 5 yards off a free kick in the first half and Williamsville North held on for a 1-0 victory over Niagara-Wheatfield in their Class AA girls soccer semifinal at Depew.
Krysiak, a sophomore, scored after junior Maya Palmer chipped the free kick to her in front of the goalkeeper.
Kircher started the season with a roster that included only four seniors but it's an experience group now.
"We've been lucky, We stayed away from injuries and illness for the most part," Kircher said. "The underclassmen are jelling with the experienced kids. They've come together, and they're getting better and better each week."
The second-seeded Spartans of coach Doug Kircher will face No. 1 seed Clarence in the AA sectional championship game at 6 p.m. on Monday at Depew.
Clarence defeated Frontier, 2-0, in the later semifinal at Depew on goals by Anna Davies in the first half and Gabe Loewer in the second, both goals coming off crosses from Emma Faso on the first and Lauren Cullinan on the second
The Red Devils' backline of Cassie Bykowicz, Megan McCraith and Julia Darlak defended so well that goalkeeper Grace Fabian needed tomake only one save.
North lost both games to Clarence in division play during the regular season.
Recruiting night scheduled
The WNY Football Alliance and the Section VI Football Federation/ WNY Football will hold the annual College Football Recruiting Night in the Jim Kelly Club at New Era Field at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6. The event will be open to all senior public and private high school football players in Western New York and their parents. College coaches will be on hand to discuss a variety of recruiting and financial aid issues. Division II and Division III college and university football representatives will be on hand to answer questions. Players who attend should bring DVDs and other media and or high school transcripts with them. The event is a follow-up to the High School Football Junior Combine held last May. Those who attend should enter New Era Field from Abbott Road into Lot 6 and Gate 6 and enter the Jim Kelly Club through the West Entrance. For further information go to: www.wnyamateurfootball.com.