CALEDONIA —‚ With 10 minutes to go in the first half of Saturday’s Class C Far West Regional, Byron-Bergen ninth-grader Ava Gray netted a penalty kick to give the Bees a 1-0 lead over the visiting Frewsburg Bears. Gray’s tally turned out to be the game-winner, as a strong performance from the Bees’ defense helped preserve the shutout and propel them over their Section VI foe, 1-0, and into the NYSPHSAA semifinal.
“These kids just refuse to lose,” said B-B head coach Wayne Hill. “They play even-tempered and focused. Frewsburg pushed us to play differently than how we wanted. But we always stress the basics in practice and we had to fall back on those basics, especially on defense.”
Byron-Bergen goalkeeper Brooke Jarkiewicz recorded 10 saves to continue her strong postseason for the Bees, who will face the Carle Place Frogs of Section VIII this Saturday at 10 a.m. at Homer High School. The winner advances to the state title game to be played at SUNY Cortland on Sunday.
“All I know at this point is we play Carle Place on Saturday,” said Byron-Bergen head coach Wayne Hill. “I’ve started to watch film on them. We’re similar in that I believe this is their first time in the final four as well. We’ll look to set up a game plan later in the week. The kids are tired and stressed out, they’re playing longer into the year than ever before and it’s wearing on them. We’ll keep practice light until the end of the week.”
Byron-Bergen is now 19-3-0 heading into their matchup with the Frogs, who defeated Section IX’s Seward, 7-2, in their regional.