Lancaster and Frontier had fought for a Section VI girls lacrosse title every year since the start of the decade.
On Tuesday night, the two programs were both able to celebrate championship conquests on the same turf.
Lancaster reclaimed its Class A crown with a 15-6 victory over Orchard Park, while on the adjacent field at Williamsville North, Frontier defeated cross-town rival Hamburg 13-6 to win the Class B title.
Lake Shore (Class C) and Eden (Class D) also won sectional championships and will advance to Saturday’s Far West Regionals at Honeoye Falls.
An hour-long lightning delay suspended the Class A final midway through the first half and pushed back the start of the Class B game. When play resumed, the powerhouse programs asserted their dominance.
Frontier scored seven straight goals in a span of 13:43 of the first half after spotting Hamburg a 2-0 lead and improved to 17-0 on the season, going undefeated against local opponents for the second year in a row and ending Hamburg’s run of six straight Class B championships.
“We’ve never beaten Hamburg three times in a season before, and that’s a big deal,” Frontier coach Tim Myslinski said. “When you have a rivalry that means so much, sometimes it doesn’t matter who the better team is and who the worst team is. A game’s a game. It’s on.”
The Falcons were led by their senior captains Taylor Gehen (three goals), Marissa Comerate (three goals, seven draw controls) and Katie Dlugosz (two goals, two assists), along with seniors Haylee Tatar (two goals, five assists) and Gabby DeMeo (two goals), who along with Gehen, also helped the Frontier/Lake Shore/Orchard Park girls hockey team win a state championship.
“It feels super good winning it one last time as a Frontier Falcon,” said Gehen, who will play lacrosse next year for Division I Towson University.
Comerate was given the ceremonial dog chain after the game for her gritty effort.
“It goes to the player with the most intensity, the most hustle, the most work ethic,” Gehen said. “You are only as strong as your weakest link on the chain. If we all come together, no one can stop us.”
Frontier ended Lancaster’s five-year run of Class A championships last season. But with the Falcons moving down to Class B this year, the Legends seized the opportunity to win its 12th sectional title in 14 years.
“It was great to come back and bounce back from last year,” said sophomore Stephanie Herrnreiter, who led Lancaster with three goals and an assist. “We feel amazing about it. We knew how much this meant to each other and we played for each other, not ourselves.”
Lancaster coach Julie Buccieri said her team was disappointed that it wouldn’t get to face Frontier again in the championship game, but still was able to use last year’s one-goal loss as a motivating factor all year.
“We prepared all year for this,” Buccieri said. “We knew we wanted to be on top again. We knew it was going to be tough. These girls gave us everything they’ve got all year.”
Senior goaltender Peyton Bulera made 17 saves for Lancaster. “Best game she ever played in her life,” Buccieri said. “She kept us in it and we scored when we needed to.”
Camryn Lucarelli’s face-guarding of Orchard Park’s leading scorer Morgan Baxendale was also a major factor in the win, Bulera said.
Lake Shore was able to win its third straight Class C championship and fifth in 10 years while playing without senior captain Ivy Santana, who was in Washington D.C. to accept the Tewaaraton Native American Scholarship.
“I didn’t want to lose and have to tell Ivy we just played her last senior game without here,” co-captain Jalyn Jimerson said. “She had confidence in us. She knew we would do it, otherwise she wouldn’t leave.”
Jimerson, a sixth-year varsity player who recently passed the 200-goal milestone and will play for Syracuse University next year, had two goals and five assists in the 18-9 victory over Amherst. She frequently set up cousins Maggie Jimerson (five goals) and freshman Ella Jimerson (six goals).
“Maggie and Ella stepped up really big for us today without Ivy,” Jayln Jimerson said. “Those two couldn’t miss the net. We have so much talent on this team.”
The Eagles’ championship celebration was the least enthusiastic of the four. After coming within four goals of becoming just the second Section VI team to ever defeat its Section V opponent in the Far West Regionals last year, Lake Shore is determined to make history in its rematch with Honeoye Falls-Lima on Saturday.
Section V is 59-1 all-time against Section VI in regionals.
“These past couple of years, our biggest goal was to get past regionals,” Jalyn Jimerson said. “That’s all we want to do. The amount of times Western New York has lost to Rochester, I don’t want to be another statistic. I want to go out with a bang in my senior season and I want to make a states run.”
In the Class D final, top-seeded Eden defeated Gowanda 19-15 to win its first sectional title in program history.
“I’m super proud to be the first one,” senior Caroline Winiecki said. “I’ll always go back and remember and say, hey that was us, we did it. And hopefully there are way more to come.”
Tied at 10-10 after Gowanda scored the opening goal of the second half, Eden used an 8-0 run to break open the game.
“It was just energizing,” said junior Danielle Thompson, who led the Raiders with six goals. “Once the first two goals went in, we kept the momentum up. We started working more as a team, stringing passes together. Teamwork really made us win this game.”
Eden lost in the Class D final as the top seed last year but set its sights on earning blue sectional patches when defending champion East Aurora was moved up to Class C.
“It started last year when we got the red patch, which was kind of an upset,” Wineicki said.
“We’ve grown so much and this is such an accomplishment,” Thompson said. “It gives me butterflies just thinking about it.”