By Marquel Slaughter
Special to The News
A couple of words came to mind when Brianna Krawczyk described her championship game goal.
She called her shot slow. Even compared it to garbage, for lack of a better term.
But above all else, Krawczyk’s kick will forever be the game-winning goal.
In the Section VI Class D girls soccer final, Krawczyk’s goal in the fifth minute held up and North Collins dethrone defending champion Ellicottville, 1-0, for its first sectional title in 10 years Saturday at Karl Hoeppner Athletic Field in Dunkirk.
“I was there to pick up the garbage,” Krawczyk said. “It was kind of slow. I thought the goalie saved it. It went in and I freaked out.”
In the Class C final, captain Clare Crossley scored on two direct kicks to keep Maple Grove unbeaten, dropping last year’s champion Allegany-Limestone 2-1.
“She’s a special player and she was money tonight,” said Maple Grove coach Mike Burr, whose Red Dragons improved to 19-0 on the season.
“I’m very thankful that we can win it again,” said Crossley, who was on the 2014 Class D title team.
North Collins (13-3-1) also won titles in 2004 and 2006. Its latest came courtesy of Krawczyk, a junior who didn’t give herself nearly enough credit. Her nerves and focus on the loose ball forced Robin Freaney to make a play in net.
The Lady Eagles defense did the rest.
Head coach Vince Fininzio credited Maddy Turnbull for successfully marking Evie Cortez, who entered the contest with a team-high 13 goals.
North Collins’ leader in goals, Emma Kron, entered the game with 20 goals but dropped back to add an extra defender in the final minutes to help Teryn Hidy tally another postseason shutout.
“With a one-goal lead going into the second half knowing that they were going to have to press themselves to get the ball up the field against the wind,” Fininzio explained.
“It wasn’t our day to get one,” said Ellicottville coach Mary Neilon.
In the Maple Grove victory, Crossley’s first direct kick came in the 12th minute. Placed on the right side of the net, the sophomore midfielder’s shot went sailing over the goaltender to net the go-ahead goal.
Two minutes later, Crossley had another free kick ring off the post. However, she made up for it on her third attempt in the 56th minute.
Defensively, Caroline Franczak and Marisa Schuppenhauer stepped up by limiting the Spring sisters – Alyssa and Danielle – on the outside. Molly McClelland was marked in the midfield.
Alyssa Spring, playing her final game with her sister, Danielle, a senior, beat goalie Sky Tarapacki in the 71st minute to put the Lady Gators (16-3) on the board.
A heavily guarded Brooke Giardini got off a shot that went wide left in the final seconds.
The Far West Regional round will be played on Saturday at SUNY Geneseo versus the Section V representatives.