Barker extends field hockey sectional title string
AMHERST – Sparked by a quick two goal scoring burst midway through the first half, top seeded Barker went on to score a rain soaked 3-1 victory over No. 3 Eden on the turf here this evening to capture the Section VI Class C field hockey championship for the sixth straight year and the 10th time in the last 12 years.
Dominating play throughout the first half, Barker broke onto the scoreboard with 19:16 to go on a goal by Brooke Bodine and again at 16:18 on a tally by Olivia Denny off a corner by Melissa Grosshans. The goals were the fifth of the season for Bodine and the seventh for Denny.
“That was huge to get out and play well early and set the tone,” Barker coach Jeff Costello said. “In the first half especially we really played well. We really came out and established ourselves. We ran well, moved the ball well and passed the ball well.”
Barker upped the advantage to 3-0 on a goal by Gabby Clare, her sixth of the season, just 4:36 into the second half.
Eden finally put together some offensive pressure over the last 12 minutes but could dent the Barker cage only once during that stretch on a goal by Abby Waldorf with 10:24 to go.
Barker goalie Caitlyn Mason, who wasn’t tested in the first half, came up with three big saves, two of the diving variety, down the stretch to help limit Eden’s surge to just one goal.
Improving to 14-1, Barker will now face a very familiar foe in Section V champion East Rochester in the Far West Regional at 1 p.m. Saturday at Medina’s Vets Park.
The Lady Raiders defeated East Rochester 2-0 in the regional last year to advance to the state semifinals for the second time in three years.