By Tom Dinki
Special to The News
DUNKIRK – While revenge isn’t much of a motivating factor for Dale MacArthur, the Allegany-Limestone girls soccer head coach admitted his players have discussed two goals since preseason: win the Class C title and beat Maple Grove.
The No. 3 Gators accomplished both of those goals Saturday, as they claimed a 3-0 victory in the Section VI Class C final over No. 1 Maple Grove, the team that beat them in last year’s final. The game was the second of two played on a rainy afternoon at Dunkirk High School, as North Collins defeated Frewsburg, 1-0, earlier in the day in the Class D final.
“They’ve had it on their minds,” MacArthur said. “(Maple Grove is) a fantastic team. They’re the hardest working team I’ve seen all year. Today we were able to take some of that away.”
Allegany-Limestone got two goals from sophomore Alyssa Spring, who opened up the scoring with just over two minutes left in the first half after redirecting a direct kick from sophomore Kaitlyn Higby. Spring went toward the goal alone to put the Gators up 3-0 early in the second half after receiving a long pass from senior Hallie Domes, who scored less than six minutes prior to give the team a 2-0 lead.
Maple Grove head coach Mike Burr said Allegany-Limestone was disciplined and controlled the ball well, and that the Gators’ second goal may have deflated his Red Dragons team that was the defending Class C champs.
“We were vulnerable at that point,” he said. “I thought we did a really nice job of disrupting their rhythm (in the first half) and I thought it was a fairly even half for the most part. The second half was just not a good half.”
Maple Grove was without its captain and one of its top scorers, junior Clare Crossley, who broke her tibia in a game earlier this month.
Earlier in the day, No. 1 North Collins claimed its second straight Class D title, over second-seeded Frewsberg. The Eagles got on the board four minutes into the second with a goal from junior Destiny Neamon. With rainy conditions and a lead, North Collins was content to lock down and play defense the remaining 36 minutes.
“After we scored the goal we said, ‘We’re going to play a little bit more defense than offense. We don’t want to give up a cheap goal,’” said North Collins coach Vince Fininzio. “I’m ecstatic we were able to win it again. … When you win one you want to win again.”
Allegany-Limestone and North Collins advance to the Far West Regionals next weekend at Williamsville South against yet-to-be-determined Section V opponents. Allegany-Limestone plays Saturday at 2 p.m., while North Collins plays at 5 p.m. Friday. A trip to the New York State final four the following weekend will be on the line.