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Gregoire Answers the Call For Barker; Eden Advances to Class C final

Barker (#1) vs Akron (#4)

Before the game, Barker Field Hockey Jeff Costello talked to his junior co-captain, Ciara Gregoire challenging her to do more for her team.

Gregoire couldn’t have answered that call any louder Wednesday.

The junior scored the game-winning goal in the No. 1 Raiders’ come-from-behind 3-2 overtime win over the No. 4 Akron Tigers in the Section VI Class C Field Hockey semifinals held at Clarence High School.

“I ran out on the field I was so happy,” Costello said. “I was in tears running out on the field because I talked to this girl earlier today about getting going and what she can do for this team and she scored the biggest goal we’ve had all year.”

The winning score came on a breakaway as junior Katrina Clare raced up the field with the ball before hitting it toward the net. Gregoire quickly raced to the right goalpost where she flicked in the ball with 7:45 left in the first overtime.

“I reverse flicked it up and it went right in,” Gregoire said. “I just balled my eyes out, I couldn’t help it. Everyone came down and like attacked me with excitement.”

Barker will face the Eden Raiders in the Section VI Class C Field Hockey championship game next Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Williamsville North High School.

The Akron Tigers appeared to be getting their second-straight post-season win over the Raiders after taking a 2-0 lead at the half.

But a two-goal deficit was no match for a close-knit, seasoned Barker team.

“We had like three or four minutes left (in the half) and I said to the players ‘stay here.’ The coaches left and we all just talked about what we, as player, recognized that needed to be done. We went out and did it,” said Gregoire.

Eight minutes into the second, Rachel Hurtgam finally put the Raiders on the board as she slipped the ball in. The junior followed that up 11 minutes later with another goal, tying the game up.

“When we finally broke through and got that first one you could just see the players exhale,” Costello said.

After scoring their first goal of the game on a corner, Akron had very little success getting any offense going off of corners for the rest of the game. The Tigers had three corner opportunities in the final minute but could not generate anything on net.

“That was huge,” Costello said. “When we played them earlier in the season it was a similar situation for us. We had corners and didn’t capitalize on them. Our defense held strong.”

Sophia Jones and Alexis Bell both scored for the Tigers.

Roy-Hart (#2) vs Eden (#3)

In the other Class C semifinal senior Kelsey Pressing scored just seven minutes into the game to help No. 3 Eden to a 2-0 win over No. 2 Roy-Hart.

“That first goal was great because it cut the tension for us,” Eden coach Phil Archibald said. “We really struggle to score so getting that first one was nice because we rely on our defense. So, it gave us a sense of comfort.”

Pressing tipped a pass into the net just seven minutes in to give Eden the confidence they needed to allow their defense to take control.

“She’s been playing right forward all season,” Archibald said. “Last week we moved her to the left side and she scored a hat-trick.”

Emma Cooper scored the second goal with 1:02 left in the game to seal it.

Senior Sissy Harman, who only started playing Field Hockey last year, got the shutout for the Eden.

“I just joined the team a year ago,” Harman said. “It means so much that my team, which is my family, can do this. I’m an ice hockey goalie and they said ‘hey, what about field hockey?’ and I said ‘sure.'”

Eden’s win last night allows them to advance to their first sectional final since 2013. The game will be held at Williamsville North HS @ 7:30pm on Thursday, November 1st.

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