Thursday June 6, 2013 | By:Michael J. Petro | Sports
Julia Hackford and Frontier did all they could to come-from-behind against Lancaster but ran out of time in a 9-8 loss. (Photo courtesy of Ron Larson)
Class A’s top-seed Lancaster did everything possible to strengthen its reputation as the best team in Western New York, getting out to a five-goal halftime lead in the Section VI final. The Redskins would need every bit that cushion they created for themselves.
Second-seeded Frontier showed off the grit that got it to the final, making a huge second half push before falling just short to Lancaster 9-8 on Wednesday (May 29) at All-High Stadium.
Lancaster repeated as a sectional champion and won a title for the eighth time in the last nine seasons playing Frontier for a third straight year in the finals. Frontier ended the Redskins six-year reign atop Class A in 2011.
“We really wanted to get going early, get our draws going and really wanted to make sure we scored early and we did a great job with that,” said Lancaster head coach Julie Buccieri, whose team went unbeaten against fellow WNY teams.
“Right off the bus, we were saying ‘we’ve got to get the first goal,’ and we’ve got to get the momentum our way,” added junior Canisius College-commit Allie Stewart, who also credited Lancaster’s defense. “Once we got the lead, I think we felt a little too much of a cushion. They came back on us but I’m just glad we got the W.”
Frontier scored the last three goals over the final 8:43 of the second half to cut the lead to one. The Falcons had the ball with less than 20 seconds in Lancaster’s end but turned it over and the Redskins ran out the final 13 ticks on the clock.
“We weren’t out of it,” Frontier head coach Tim Myslinski said. “We’re going to do it one step at a time, just like we’ve done it all year. That’s how our girls do it. They didn’t worry about six goals, they worried about one goal at a time.”
Lancaster got out to such a quick start as senior Emily Sendker scored all three of her goals during a first half in which the Redskins built a 7-2 lead into halftime. Grace Gabriel added one goal and three assists for Lancaster.
“We knew it would be really tough because Frontier is always such a good team and this is such a good rivalry,” said Sendker, who took possession of the ball in the final seconds of the game and ran out the clock.
Seniors Hannah Christiansen and Amie Jordan led the Frontier comeback, both scoring twice in the second half. Hannah Lease and Meg Evancho added second half tallies and Julia Hackford and Jackie Dufresne scored in the opening half.
Myslinski believes the game could have been different if not for a number of missed calls by the referees. He referenced what he believed were missed calls on charges on Lancaster goals and a few sticks to the heads of Frontier players.
“I hate to see referees dictate what goes on on the field,” he said. “I don’t mean to sound like sour grapes…That’s a great team, the best in Western New York and we played right there with them. And you know, a call here and call there, it’s a different game and maybe we’re winning by one.”
Frontier is looking to start offseason work immediately to get right back to this spot and change the result. Myslinski hopes his underclassmen learn from the eight seniors, including captains Grace and Hannah Christiansen and Emily Pasternak in net, who all worked so hard to help the team get to this point.
“Next year, we’ll get back here and we’ll be the team to win by one,” Myslinski proclaimed.