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Frontier girls lacrosse off to a flying start

In case the members of the Frontier Falcons girls lacrosse forget their team goals for games and for the season, they don't have to look too far for reminders.

"Both are hanging somewhere where they can see them every day," Frontier coach Tim Myslinski said. "Through the girls' long-term goals they have set one short-term goal – to give everything they have."

The Falcons have done just that so far as they entered Tuesday as Western New York's only unbeaten team with a 9-0 mark, including a 5-0 league record. The start includes an 8-4 win over old friend and defending Section VI Class A champion Lancaster.

"If a player or coach is having a bad day, it's up to the collective team to bring them up," Myslinski said. "We as a team need to attack everyday with full force and passionate enthusiasm."

The Falcons have 13 returnees from last year's Section VI Class A runner-up team. That includes fourth-year starter and senior captain Hannah Kennedy. She has 33 goals and 114 during her career.

Juniors Taylor Gehen (24 goals, 29 draw controls), Katie Dlugosz (20 goals, 12 assists), Haylee Tatar (second-leading 26 assists, 17 goals) and goalkeeper Sam McIver (top goals-against average in area at 4.7) also are have helped Frontier thrive.

The Falcons have lost in the final the past five years since winning the Class A title in 2011. They don't want to focus on anything other than preparing for their next game, which is Wednesday's 5 p.m. home game against Clarence.

"The main goal of the season is to attack every game like it is our last," Myslinski said. "Rise and grind for every time we are able to step on the field as a team."

Lancaster looks to keep it going

Lancaster and Frontier split regular-season meetings last year before the Legends captured an 11-5 decision in the Class A final to win their fifth straight Section VI title and 11th in 12 years.

Lancaster lost eight seniors from that team, including six who are playing either at Division I or II college programs, but the cupboard isn't completely bare. The expectations remain the same for coach Julie Buccieri's program.

"Our goal like every season is to get to the championship game," she said. "We want to compete every game to get prepared to have the opportunity to compete for a section title."

The Legends return three starters looking to help them maintain their postseason success – including freshmen Maddie Mazur and Stephanie Hernreiter.

Mazur, who scored 30 goals last year, has potted 20 this season and controlled 59 draws. Hernreiter does a lot of the dirty work for the team at midfield, according to Buccieri. Senior Alyssa Markowski leads the Legends in goals (22), has a shooting percentage of .790 and is heading to Division II Edinboro in the fall.

Orchard Park (7-3, 5-1) could play the role of spoiler for those anticipating another Lancaster-Frontier final. The Quakers' start includes a 7-6 win over Lancaster. For a team with a goal of improving on last year's record – it's almost mission accomplished since OP won just seven games all of last season.

Key players include seniors Grayson Favata and Riley Johnson. Johnson is described as a "workhorse who can run forever," by coach Bridget Callahan. Junior Morgan Baxendale leads the Quakers in goals (28) and points (35). Goalkeeper Maddy Stevens has performed well too, Callahan said.

Clarence is 5-5 with a one-goal loss to OP. Key players include seniors Lauren and Julia Nicotra and junior Jamie King.

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