WILLIAMSVILLE — It was a tale of two distinctly different games and ultimately, two Section VI Class B-2 semifinal outcomes on Tuesday night for local Niagara-Orleans League girls soccer teams.
Senior stalwart Skylar Munnikhuysen and talented freshman Sara Urban netted second-half goals for No. 6-seeded Wilson as head coach Thomas Baia's Lakewomen advanced to the B-2 title game this Saturday with a well-deserved 2-0 victory over N-O rival No. 2 Akron at neutral Williamsville North High School.
Earlier in the day, Allegany-Limestone's Alyssa Spring scored four times, out-dueling Roy-Hart's super sophomore Kara Choate, who finished with a three-goal hat trick, leading the top-seeded Lady Gators to a 6-3 B-2 semifinal victory over head coach Richard Jenning's No. 4-seeded Lady Rams in a high-scoring affair.
Wilson advances to take on Allegany-Limestone at 3:30 p.m. this Saturday in the B-2 championship game at Williamsville East High School. Rounding Saturday's slate of sectional girls soccer title games involving local schools at Will East this Saturday are 1-Grand Island vs. 2-Amherst (Class A-2, 11 a.m.) and 1-Hamburg vs. 2-North Tonawanda (Class A-1, 1 p.m.).
Will East will also host this year's Far West Regionals against Section V on Friday, Nov. 8
CLASS B-2 SEMIFINALS
6-Wilson 2, 2-Akron 0
The Lady Tigers (13-5) won the first two Akron/Wilson N-O meetings of the season in shutout fashion, but the Lakewomen (12-5-2) reversed everything with a strong performance throughout up and down the line-up.
Wilson sophomore keeper Isabella Lemke stopped everything but the airplanes flying overhead, while co-captains Munnikhuysen, a forward with outstanding dribbling skills, and junior midfielder Lilly O'Lay (Wilson's other two captains are senior Melanie Gray and junior Kenzie Beyer) stepped up with big games as well.
Following a scoreless first half, Munnikhuysen got the Wilson entourage on their feet with a spectacular goal with 29:57 left, breaking free down the right side and rifling a bullet past the Akron keeper for a 1-0 lead.
About eight minutes later Munnikhuysen blasted another shot off the crossbar, but this time, Urban was there with an excellent trap, then quickly fired a shot that beat the Lady Tigers keeper with 22:02 left.
“Skyler was outstanding. She just played a great game. She answered the call,” coach Baia said. “Lilly was dominant and by her admission didn't have her greatest game, but worked her tail off. Bella's got amazing hands and that was her seventh clean sheet this year.”
NOTES: The Akron/Wilson game referees were Chuck Taber, Peter Epiane and Chris Mazgaj.
1-All.-Limestone 6, 4-Roy-Hart 3
Choate, just a freshman, showcased her many talents with a hat trick for the No. 4 Lady Rams (12-5-1) in Tuesday's loss to No. 1 Allegany-LImestone (16-2).
Trailing just 2-0 at halftime on goals by Spring and Molly McClelland, Roy-Hart fell behind 5-0 early in the second half to the strong Lady Gators, who are led by the 30-plus goal scorer Spring, but bounced back with three straight Choate goals to cut the lead to 5-3 with 9 1/2 minutes still left in the game.
“One of the things I love about our girls is they never quit. There's a no quit mentality for sure,” R-H coach Jennings said. “We're a family. We don't quit on each other, no matter how bad things get or how tight the situation gets. They love each other.”
AL's Grace DeCapua netted a final goal with 6:20 to go to round out the scoring.
But Choate and other R-H underclassmen proved that the future looks very bright for the purple and white. Assists on her goals were credited to sophomore Reaanna Perkins and freshman Nadia White.
“We have a lot of strength coming up. We're looking forward to what the future holds for this team,” Jennings said. “Kara's a strong player who doesn't quit. She fights hard and knows how to finish and she continues to get better. Im proud of her.”
Choate said she started playing soccer at the age of three, and it shows with her speed, despite the ball at her feet. She's a product of both Roy-Hart and Lockport travel soccer programs.
“I'm on one of the most successful teams in Roy-Hart history,” she said. “We all love each other. This is really a great experience and a great team to be on. We have one senior this year and a bright future for the rest of us.”
NOTES: The AL/R-H game referees were Eric Gustason, Marc Levy and Mike Lucie ... Among those attending the game was former Lockport youth and recreation department director Paul Foster.