Grace Fabian and Hannah Rivett couldn’t agree on whose performance was more important.
Fabian credited Rivett’s game-winning goal with 11:34 left in regulation for Clarence’s 1-0 Class AA title game victory over Williamsville North on Tuesday night at Williamsville East. Rivett argued that Fabian’s leaping save just a minute earlier was more important.
"I looked at it coming in and I was like, ‘Oh no,’ and then when I saved it, I was just in shock," Fabian said. "But it’s Hannah who scored. She really did everything."
"No, Grace saved the game," Rivett said. Then she described her goal, which was assisted by Natalie Armon. "The ball was coming at me and I was like, ‘I’d better make this one,’ and I did, thank God. I was in disbelief when I saw it go in the net."
"My goalie just stood on her head to make that save, and then we picked one up late," said Clarence coach Dave Stephan. "It was a beautiful shot from the outside, and that’s what we’ve been trying to work on a little bit. We are kind of known for getting in the back door and kind of sliding it in for easier goals, so to hit one from the outside was perfect."
Fabian made seven saves for the shutout.
The game was every bit the nail-biter Stephan and his team expected after close wins all season, including their regular season matchups against North.
"We only beat them two-nil and one-nil during the season, and they were getting better as they were going along," Stephan said. "I knew it was gonna be probably a one-goal game. I was hoping for three, but I knew it wasn’t gonna happen. They’re so good … We outplayed them, I think, a fair amount, but they were dangerous."
He told his team to "dig in deep," and the Red Devils’ hard work paid off finally on Rivett’s goal.
"I think coming into this game, things have been clicking the past couple games, and we really connected like a family, and it really showed on the field today," Fabian said.
"These girls are like my family," agreed Rivett.
Tuesday’s championship was Clarence’s seventh in a row, but Rivett’s first.
"I’m completely in shock," Rivett said. "This is awesome. It’s my first year on varsity, and I’m just really excited. It’s a great experience to have."
"I can’t believe we won again," said Fabian. "It’s amazing and I can’t believe it."