Goal in the final seconds earns Barker a thrilling Class C field hockey title victory

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 1 November 2018 at 8:50 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Barker players celebrate after a last second goal earned the Lady Raiders a Class C champion win over Eden at rainy Williamsville North this evening.

Showing plenty of flare for the dramatic, top seeded Barker scored in the final seconds to nip No. 3 Eden 2-1 in the Section VI Class C field hockey championship game this evening at rain soaked Williamsville North High School.

Sophomore Natalie Bruning scored her seventh goal of the season with only 20 seconds remaining to give Barker the thrilling victory and send the Lady Raiders into the state playoffs.

“We’re ecstatic. We’re going to the regionals,” exclaimed Barker Coach Jeff Costello whose Lady Raiders will now face East Rochester in the Far West Regional at 7 p.m. Saturday at Penfield High School.

Barker co-captains Katrina Clare, left, and Ciara Gregoire proudly display the sectional championship plaque.

Barker, which had to rally from a 2-0 half-time deficit to nip Niagara-Orleans League rival Akron 3-2 in overtime in the semifinals, had to come from behind in the second half again as Eden took a 1-0 lead when Lydia Kobie scored with just two minutes to go in the first half.

With a heavy downpour pelting the artificial turf, Barker turned up the pressure in the second half putting putting half a dozen shots on the Eden net but it still remained a 1-0 game with less than 15 minutes to go.

Finally Barker was rewarded for keeping that steady pressure on. The Lady Raiders pulled even when junior Katrina Clare scored her team leading 27th goal of the season on a line drive shot from straight away with 14:50 remaining.

“They just never give up,” said Costello. “They kept peppering their net with shots. We were all over them and once we got that one I knew we could get another.”

The sectional title is the 13th in the last 17 years for Barker which improves to 16-3 overall while Eden finishes the season at 11-6-2.

Barker’s Katrina Clare advances the ball up field in the rain against Eden’s Dani Thompson.

With the heavy rain pouring down Barker’s Madison Gancasz works around Eden defender Rachel Wach.