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Zielen-Ersing nets 5 goals in win

SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-Griffith Institute girls varsity lacrosse team took on Niagara Falls High School in a nonleague showdown. Anchored by senior captain Katie Zielen-Ersing, the Lady Griffs topped Niagara Falls 12 – 10. Zielen-Ersing scored 5 goals, in the win. She leads the team with 23 goals, so far, this season.

“Without Katie, our leader, both on and off the field, we would really be a lost team,” Coach Robbyn Robnett said. “She really brings everyone together; she keeps everyone in it. She really is the face of our team, at this point. Next year, not having Katie will be a huge detriment, to the program. I’m really just looking forward to the last few games, with her.”

Springville outshot Niagara Falls 22 – 18 and won the draw battle. Of the 23 draws in the game, Springville won 15 of them. Junior Jess Wojtkowiak and senior Hunter McCarthy each scored 3 goals, against the Wolverines. Leah Waldman added a goal and Libby Rehraurer added an assist.

“The possession control became a huge, integral part of the game,” Robnett said. “We controlled most of that, and that was able to really progress us, through getting massive scoring opportunities, along with really being able to work our zone defense, that we’ve been working on, at practices and each game. The zone really has helped us out, in both games against Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda. It’s really starting to come together and we’re seeing a little bit of a difference, of how the kids are doing back there [in the defensive end].”

Freshman goalie Sarah Gorski made eight saves, in the win. On April 29, the girls took on North Tonawanda, in another nonleague battle. Late in the game, with the score knotted 8 – 8, Springville was called for an offensive charge, that gave North Tonawanda possession. That team scored with 32 seconds left, to break the tie game.

“It was an exciting game, probably one of the most exciting games we’ve ever had, in our program,” Robnett noted. “It was a really strange offensive charging call, that didn’t go our way; that gave them possession and a nice breakaway to the net and that pretty much sealed the win, for them.”

Wojtkowiak led the Lady Griffs in the loss, scoring 3 goals. Zielen-Ersing scored 2 goals, to finish with 3 points. Waldman scored a goal, while McCarthy added a goal and an assist. The girls have won two of their three, nonleague games this season, and have seen a decrease in goals allowed, since the beginning of the season. The recent improved play is a “good sign,” according to Robnett.

“It is a good sign, moving forward,” she said. “We’re seeing major improvements. The defense is starting to come around, and they’re starting to understand the zone defense, a little better. With more experience in that, I can see us really starting to limit the number of opportunities that other teams are getting on us.

“Alex Zifra, a long-time returner, has really done her part, to really step up and sort of lead the defense, in that zone,” the coach continued. “There’s a confidence that they’re starting to get and if we can build on that confidence, we can play better against the bigger schools or schools with more established programs.”


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