East Rochester nips Barker in regional
Avenging shutout losses the last two years, East Rochester nipped Barker 1-0 in the Class C Far West Regional field hockey championship game this evening at Webster Schroeder High School.
The speedy East Rochester squad made a lone goal scored 11 minutes into the first half by Meghan Brock, on a quick rush up field, stand up for the narrow victory earning the Lady Bombers a trip to the state semifinals.
“They are very quick and their speed was key,” said Barker Coach Jeff Costello. “We just couldn’t finish.”
Barker’s best scoring opportunity of the first half came on a scramble in front of the East Rochester net off a corner opportunity just seven minutes into the game but the Lady Raiders could not punch the ball in.
Then at the outset of the second half Barker put on steady pressure firing three rapid fire shots from close range but could not dent the East Rochester cage.
Several minutes later Barker’s Gabby Clare stole the ball in the East Rochester goal area but the Lady Raiders could not take advantage of the turnover.
Barker goalie Caitlyn Mason, who had one big save in the first half, had no less than five more key stops in the second half, including one diving save, to keep the Lady Raiders within one.
Barker kept good pressure on the East Rochester goal over the final 12 minutes rattling one shot off the post with 10 minutes to go and just missing on no less than three other shots from close range over the next eight minutes but could not capitalize.
The Lady Raiders final chance came on a corner opportunity with 56 seconds to go but the East Rochester defense quickly made the clear to preserve the narrow lead and the victory.
“We certainly spent a lot of time in their end,” said Costello. “We had our opportunities. We just couldn’t finish.”
Barker, which advanced to the regional by edging Akron 2-1 last week in the Section VI Class C title contest, finishes the season at 16-1-1.
East Rochester, which is the lone Class C team in Section V field hockey, advances to the state semis Saturday with a 12-4-2 record.
It marked the seventh straight year that Barker and East Rochester have met in the Far West Regional. The Lady Raiders won 1-0 last year and 2-0 in 2012 but the Lady Bombers now hold a 4-3 edge in the series over that stretch.