Fredonia upsets top seed in girls soccer

BUFFALO — Entering the playoffs as a No. 8 seed with a record of 1-12-1, the Fredonia Lady Hillbillies didn’t look to make it far at all in the postseason. Their first matchup was against No. 1 Riverside, though the Lady Hillbillies put records aside for a remarkable upset in girls soccer on Friday.

The Lady Hillbillies shutout Riverside, 2-0, as the top seed falls in the first round of the playoffs.

“I get it. When you see 1-12-1, most people aren’t thinking they (Fredonia) will put up much of a fight,” Fredonia coach Brett Gould said. “In sports, if you know the people and how they feel, their records don’t mean much when it comes to the playoffs. … It’s that mentality.”

The game was up in the air for most of the match. It was in the 52nd minute when Melisa Berg put Fredonia on the board with Hannah Sellari getting the assist. Just nine minutes later, Maddie Engel added to Fredonia’s lead to go up 2-0, with Kazlan Beers getting an assist on the goal.

The stout defense and goaltending by Bri Rosen, who had eight saves, prevented any comeback by Riverside.

“For us, we said at the beginning of the season, I am not going to focus on our record or score lines,” Gould said. “We made the commitment to be relevant. With the young team that we had, we knew it would take a while to be relevant. Day by day getting a little better every day. I know everybody outside of our locker room thought we had no chance. We took that field expecting to win tonight.”

Becca Leon was in net for Riverside in the loss.

Fredonia will face No. 4 Wilson at Williamsville North High School on Tuesday. The game will begin at 8 p.m. On the other side of the B-2 bracket, No. 2 Akron will be at Williamsville North facing No. 3 Southwestern at 6 p.m. on that Tuesday.

When a young team wins its second game of the season over the top-ranked team in the bracket, you’d expect the reaction to be Super Bowl winning-like. However, the team knows there is more ahead.

“It’s funny. They didn’t act like it was the World Cup,” Gould said. “They were excited, but knew there was more work to do. The excitement tonight was there, but we knew that there was more. They are ready for tomorrow practice. … They want that next game. As a coach, that’s all you ask for.”