EYE ON THE PRIZE — S-GI’s Sara Marren chases down the ball, with an East Aurora Blue Devil hot on her tail. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — East Aurora and Springville lined up against each other on Sept. 20, for a matchup between last year’s co-champions of ECIC III. This time around, Springville knocked off the Blue Devils 2-1. Alena and Tia Woodarek each scored a goal in the first half and that was all Springville would need, to clinch the win.
“That was a great win; it was a battle,” said Springville coach Shawn Bullard. “East Aurora came ready to play, but for the most part, we held them out. For the most part, our defense held strong. We’re just getting better and better, each game.”
The 2 goals that Springville scored marked the most goals scored against East Aurora in a single game, this season.
“I think having the home field advantage really helped,” Bullard noted.
“Our field is one of the largest in the division, so we get used to spreading teams out. You have to have players who make plays and, eventually, they have to get the ball in the back of the net. Against some teams, you might only get two to three opportunities a game; you have to bury them and we did.”
A day earlier, Springville played a double overtime marathon with Pioneer that would end in a 1-1 tie. Springville’s lone goal came from Alena Woodarek in overtime.
On Sept. 23, Springville hosted Maryvale in the annual homecoming game that is played on the Pop Warner football field. Woodarek broke a 0-0 tie with a goal in the 31st minute, on a feed from her sister Tia Woodarek.
Maryvale tied the game at 1-1 in the 55th minute, with a goal from Alexis Aquilino. Woodarek broke the tie, with 15 minutes remaining in the game.
From there, the Lady Griffs would cruise to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Flyers. Woodarek finished with 2 goals and 2 assists, while Alena Woodarek finished with 2 goals in the victory. Dakota Nesselbush chipped in with an assist. Bullard noted that playing on the football field was a big shift from their usual soccer pitch.
“I’ll tell you, it was different,” Bullard said. “This field was too short; it was too small and that hurt us. We had to battle through. We didn’t really step on the gas pedal until they tied it up. Then, we started to almost hit the panic button and [played] a little harder. The standard was a little low tonight; we have to raise the bar.”
Springville recognized their eight seniors in that game. Beth Lazarus, Leah Waldman, Shea Schelble, Ashley Blidy, Kate Darling, Nesselbush and the Woodarek sisters were brought out to midfield, with their parents.
“It’s been a long, long way coming,” said Alena Woodarek, a five-year varsity player.
“I can’t even imagine myself as a senior now. I’ve waited for this day for a long time and it’s crazy to believe that it’s over in a month. We’re really hoping to take the division title and finish our season strong.”
Springville is now tied for first place in ECIC III with Amherst. The girls traveled to Amherst on Sept. 26, in the battle of first place teams.