DUNKIRK - When Frewsburg squared off against Holland on Wednesday evening for their Section 6 Class C semifinal battle, it was classic playoff soccer.
It was a gritty battle, played mostly between the 18s with scoring chances - for either squad - few and far between, and when it was all said and done, one shot proved to be the difference.
Unfortunately, for the Frewsburg faithful on hand, it was Holland, not the Bears, that took advantage of that one, best opportunity.
Frewsburg’s Janessa Annis heads the ball during the Bears’ Section 6 Class C semifinal against Holland. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Rob Tucker
After 90 minutes of scoreless soccer, Holland's Jill Faltyn beat Frewsburg goaltender Reyanne Strong in the third minute of the second overtime to clinch her squad the hard-fought, 1-0 sectional semifinal win.
"We knew it was going to be a 1-0 game," Frewsburg coach Ericka Alm said, "It just wasn't our one. We had our opportunity and missed it. They had their opportunity and made it.
"That's what it came down to."
The victory was the 16th in 18 tries for No. 2 Holland, which last won the section in 2010, vaulting it into the sectional final against top-seeded Allegany-Limestone on Saturday at 4 p.m., at Pioneer High School.
For Frewsburg, the defending sectional champions, the season comes to a close with a 12-6-1 overall record.
Faltyn, who has now scored 17 goals this season (good for a second-place tie on the Lady Dutchmen) carried the ball down the right sideline into Frewsburg territory, and as defenseman Annie Berg ranged over to halt her progress at the top of the area, the senior made a cut to the inside and took a shot with her left foot that soared into the net.
"She's got a strong left foot," Holland coach Leanne Gedraitis said of Faltyn, who is a natural righty. "She's come through for us a few times in close games when (our opponents) have got the Schmidts (Olivia, 34 goals, and Abby, 17 goals) shut down. She's been a crutch for us late in the year."
The game-winning tally was just the seventh shot taken by Holland during the game. And it was that solid defensive effort by the Bears' that garnered special praise from Gedraitis.
"Defensively, (Frewsburg) was the strongest team we've played this year," she said. "They really limited our opportunities."
For Frewsburg, meanwhile, which managed just three shots on goal in the 20-total minutes of overtime, had its own opportunities, but each was turned away by Holland.
With 20 minutes left in regulation, Sam Mann sent a curling shot that sailed just wide of the right post and then late in the opening overtime period it was Mann again, this time crossing the ball through the Lady Dutchmen area. But the ball went untouched by any Frewsburg forwards and rolled harmlessly out of bounds.
Nevertheless, Alm couldn't have been much prouder of her squad's performance.
"These girls played hard," she said. "Every one of them. It's a stinky way to go down, but I'll tell you what, I think people thought that we'd come in and get blown out. We played great, though. We deserved to be here and they showed that today.
"I couldn't have asked for a better game."