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Lady Raiders repeat as Regional champions

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 9 November 2019 at 1:53 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Barker’s Serena Harris scores the first goal in the Lady Raiders 6-1 victory over East Rochester in the Class C Far West Regional this morning at Williamsville North.

Getting goal production from five players Barker captured a second straight Class C Far West Regional field hockey championship by romping past East Rochester 6-1 this morning at Williamsville North.

The victory propells Barker into the Class C state semifinals against Bronxville (Section 1) at 11 a.m. next Saturday at Williamsville North. Bronxville advanced with a 5-0 regional win over Taconic Hills (Section IX) this morning.

The Barker scoring parade included two goals by Ciara Gregoire along with one each by Serena Harris, Natalie Bruning, Rachel Hurtgam and Madison Gancasz.

Katrina Clare chipped in with four assists for the Lady Raiders giving her a team leading total of 21 on the season as Gancasz had two and Aaliyah Wheat one.

Barker goalie Courtney Hillman knocks a shot attempt away.

“We got contributions from a lot of players which was great,” said Barker Coach Jeff Costello.

Courtney Hillman made 8 saves in goal for the Lady Raiders.

Barker built up a commanding 4-0 lead at the half as a quick three goal scoring burst in the final 11 minutes broke the contest wide open for the Lady Raiders.

Harris gave Barker a 1-0 lead when she scored her fourth goal of the season at 17:08 off a nice centering pass from Clare.

Bruning made it 2-0 with her fifth goal of the campaign at 11:07 off another assist from Clare, a tally which ignited a burst of three goals in 10 minutes.

Hurtgam followed up with her 12th goal of the season at 3:34 from Gancasz and then Gancasz scored herself, her fifth of the campaign, at 1:10 from Clare to round out the decisive scoring burst.

“I thought we passed the ball really well in the first half,” said Costello. “We moved the ball down field really well and got off some hard shots.”

Gregoire rounded out the Barker scoring parade with two goals in the first 13 minutes off the second half, her 16th and 17th of the season. She tallied at 28:02 from Wheat and again at 17:11 from Clare.

The Lady Raiders improve to 17-3 on the season with their fifth Far West Regional victory since 2010.

Barker, which had to go into overtime to nip East Rochester 4-3 in last year’s Far West Regional, advanced by downing Eden 4-0 in the Section VI Class C championship game on Tuesday.

East Rochester, which is the lone Class C team in Section V, had an automatic berth into the regional.

Click here to see the national anthem.

Click here to see Barker do their pregame cheer.

Click here to see Head Coach Jeff Costello give the halftime speech.

Click here to see Madison Gancasz score Barker goal #4.

Click here to see Ciara Gregoire score goal #5

Click here to see Barker celebrate at the end of the game.

Barker’s Natalie Bruning celebrates after scoring the Lady Raiders second goal.