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North Collins Lady Eagles fall in Far West Regionals to Section V Avoca, 7-1

WILLIAMSVILLE — The North Collins Eagles girls’ soccer team has been one of the most consistent, dominant teams in section six as they won four consecutive sectional title to play in the far west regional. However, the Eagles have not been able to get past that hurdle to advance past the regional. The Avoca Tigers scored early and often on Friday night as they defeated the Eagles 7-1 to advance to the state final four. “It has been a neat experience for the kids to get this far every year,” North Collins coach Vince Fininzio stated. “It goes to show the hard work that they put in through the years and hopefully set a goal for the younger kids to not only get this far, but advance past this stage.”

Avoca scored their first goal of the game less than two minutes into the contest as the cross was put into the back of the net after taking a unique deflection. About eight minutes later, a through ball went up the middle, where Avoca’s speed was in full display as Delaney Stowe broke free to place a hard strike by the goalie. “I watched them the other day, and they were contained nicely,” Fininzio stated. “It was probably their competition, but I was surprised at how quick they were able to move and have good touches on the ball. It is a credit to the type of team that they are and the teams that they have played this year.”

After the Tigers explosiveness to start, North Collins was able to settle down and control most of the possession. The Eagles kept the ball in Avoca’s end for extended periods of time, but they struggled to get a shot off. According to Fininzio, “Sometimes we play well, but the bounce does not go our way. They did a good job of making everything difficult for us.”

Avoca responded with two quick goals in the 24th and 27th minute on deep strikes from their forwards that found a small amount of space outside of the box.

With less than a minute before half, North Collins applied the pressure on Avoca. A pass was sent to Lina Young in front of the net, where her shot was deflected wide, but awarded her team with a corner kick. Madison Turnbull took the corner and placed it perfectly to Rebecca Holmes, who was able to finish with a shot into the corner of the net. “In the other six regionals that we played in, we were not able to score a goal,” Fininzio stated. “It is great to see the result for the hard work as those seniors did a great job to connect.”

North Collins had a few chances early in the second half and they were able to get their shots off, but could not get by the goalie. Avoca would follow with a flurry of shots. After dribbling through the defense, the pass went to Stowe in front of the net, where she was able to finish for her third goal of the game. The Tigers added two more goals over the next fifteen minutes.

North Collins had a few more chances in the last ten minutes with multiple chances coming with the ball in the box, but the shot could not get through the defense into the net before Avoca was eventually able to clear. “Overall, I am proud of how we played,” Fininzio stated. “We had a successful year and it has ended against a quality opponent, but we fought hard until the very end.”

Myah Gabel finished the game with 16 saves for the Eagles.

Seven seniors played in their final game for the Eagles; Taylor Kaufmann, Maddie Turnbull, Cate McConnaughay, Robin Hidy, Rebecca Holmes, Myah Gabel, and German exchange student Pia Froelich. “Most of these girls have been part of this run that we have had over the past four seasons,” Fininzio stated. “It goes to show their dedication and heart for everything they have done. They are great students and their soccer careers are something that they should be proud of.”

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