Eighth grade midfielder Jayln Jimerson scored a goal against Amherst on May 28 to help Lake Shore win the Section VI title. Photo by Staff Photographer Jeffrey Barnes.
The Lady Eagles finally toppled their arch nemesis.
After falling to the Tigers in the last two finals appearances, No. 2 Lake Shore beat top-seeded Amherst, 9-5, to capture the Class C Section VI Championship at All High Stadium on May 28.
The Lady Tigers won nine straight Section VI titles while jumping between Class B and Class C prior to this season, as well as sweeping both regular season matchups against Lake Shore during the spring.
“I’m so glad we redeemed ourselves,” said Alie Jimerson, Lake Shore’s senior midfielder who will play at the University at Albany next year. “It took three years, but we finally got it.”
Amherst (13-5) visited Lake Shore on May 12 and escaped with a 9-8 victory. Jimerson grew confidence that they could beat them in a third meeting with the effort her Eagles put into that contest.
“The last time we played Amherst, I knew we could beat them,” said Jimerson. “I knew we could do it.”
The championship is Lake Shore’s first since 2011, claiming the Class B crown over Hamburg during Jimerson’s freshman season.
She did not want to graduate before she earned one more.
“We weren’t going to lose,” she said. “We talked in the team room and said to keep it going. We were not going to lose this game.”
Lake Shore freshman Sophia Koenig scored the first goal of the game. Amherst came back to tie it three times after that, but the Eagles never gave up a lead.
“I had no idea I was going to get the first goal,” Koenig noted. “That really shocked me. And then from then on I just did my best to get open and get the ball in the net.”
Koenig picked up a hat trick in the victory, scoring all three of her goals in the first half.
Shelby Stevens and Symone Maracle added two goals while eighth grader Jayln Jimerson and her sister, Alie, each scored once.
Amherst’s All-WNY goaltender, Emily Bitka, did not participate in the championship game due to an injury, but you’d be hard-pressed to find another goalie in the section that could have had as good of a performance as Jenna Haring did.
Coming out of the half with a 4-3 advantage, Lake Shore’s sophomore goaltender only allowed two goals the rest of the way, including 19 saves, to capture the Class C crown.
“We just wanted to keep ourselves in the game and not let it go because we knew we had to win,” said Haring, who is in her second year as a starter. “We really wanted it. We’ve been practicing all year for it, so we were just trying really hard.”
Honeyoe Falls-Lima (Section V) ended Lake Shore’s season, 19-4, on May 31 in the Far West Regionals.
Stevens led Lake Shore (12-4) with two goals.