State Class C field hockey semifinal is next for Barker on Saturday at Alden

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 14 November 2019 at 7:23 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman -Barker’s Ciara Gregoire and her Lady Raiders teammates will take on Bronxville in the Class C state semifinals on Saturday at Alden.

Looking to keep the momentum from last weekend’s Far West Regional field hockey win, Barker will face Bronxville (Section 1) in the Class C state semifinals at 11:45 a.m. Saturday at Alden High School.

The victor will advance to the championship game at 10 a.m. Sunday at Alden against the winner of the Carle Place (Section 8) vs. Johnstown (Section 2) semi. The Carle Place vs. Johnstown game will be played at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The state semis and finals were originally scheduled to be played at Williamsville North but were switched to Alden because Tuesday’s snow storm left North’s fields unplayable.

It marks the second year in a row and the sixth time since 2000 that Barker has advanced to the state semifinals.

“You don’t get this far without being good so we expect Bronxville will be  very good team,” said Barker Coach Jeff Costello. “We had good scoring balance and depth in the regional and we will need that again. And our goalie (Courtney Hillman) came up with some big saves which was good to see and we will need more play like that as we try to push through to the finals.”

Improving to 17-3, Barker defeated East Rochester 6-1 in the regional as five different players contributed goals  including two by Ciara Gregoire and one each by Serena Harris, Natalie Bruning, Rachel Hurtgam and Madison Gancasz as Katrina Clare dished out four assists.

On the season Clare leads the Lady Raiders with 18 goals and 21 assists. Gregoire has 17 goals, Hurtgam 12, Ginger Alexander 9,  Emily Wagner 6, Gancasz and Bruning 5, Ella Gooding and Harris 4, Ella Fox 2 and Lena Fazzolari and Brianna Bachman 1.

Bronxville, which is 15-3-2, defeated Taconic Hills (Section IX) 5-0 in the regionals.

The other regionals saw Carle Place nip Pierson/Bridgehampton (Section II) 1-0 and Johnstown edge Greene (Section IV) 2-1.

Carle Place bested Barker 5-0 in last year’s state semifinal.

In all Barker is 1-4 in those previous semifinal contests since 2000.

Barker’s lone semi win came in 2000 as they outlasted Pierson/Bridgehampton in a marathon contest decided in a stroke-off. The Lady Raiders then dropped a 5-1 decision to Afton in the title game.

In the other semi appearances the Lady Raiders lost by narrow margins of 1-0 to Pierson/Bridgehampton in 2010, 2-1 to Southampton in 2012 and 1-0 in double overtime to Cazenovia in 2013.