The College Power 10 ranks the top teams, players, coaches and stories in WNY collegiate athletics.
1. Canisius men’s soccer: The Griffs haven’t conceded a goal in 319 minutes and 44 seconds while extending their winning streak to four straight, which includes a 2-0 road victory at St. Bonaventure. Grand Island’s Troy Brady leads the team with four goals while Italian Filippo Tamburini and Alex Grattarola of France have three each. Brady’s 0.8 goals per game is tied for 23rd nationally while Tamburini’s 0.75 is tied for 43rd. Only 10 schools in the country have more shutouts. Dermot McGrane’s team has a big road swing ahead with games at Cornell and Rutgers.
2. Daemen triathlon’s Amber Custodi: Daemen is one of 15 schools across the country to field triathlon since the NCAA listed it as an emerging sport for women in 2014. Custodi, a redshirt freshman from Lew-Port, finished 15th overall and second among D-II competitors at the Women's Collegiate Triathlon Central Regional Qualifier in Illinois last week, earning a spot at the 2017 collegiate championships in Arizona in November. Custodi finished the 570-meter swim, 20K bike and 5K run 1 hour, 10 minutes and 24.7 seconds.
3. Canisius cross country: Both their men’s and women’s teams flexed their muscles at the Little Three meet earlier this month, beating Niagara and St. Bonaventure handily in both races. The men won the event with a perfect score of 15 (with runners placing 1-2-3-4-5) and actually had all of the top nine finishers. The the women won with a near-perfect 18, owning eight of the top 10 finishers. Sophomore Donny Glavin won the men’s 5K in 15:23.5, averaging a 4:57 mile, while junior Siobhan Quinn crushed the field in the women’s 5K, finishing in 17:35.0 – 95 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. Both teams are coached by Nate Huckle.
4. ECC soccer: The women are 5-0 and have outscored opponents 23-3 while the men have won five out of six. Lancaster product Abbey Lombard has nine goals for the women while Hamburg’s Justus Hoffmann leads the men with six.
5. UB wide receiver Anthony Johnson: Johnson, a 6-foot-2 redshirt junior from Iowa Western Community College, seems to have developed a rapport with quarterback Tyree Jackson, hauling in 14 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown in UB’s first two games, including an impressive 11-140-1 line against Big Ten foe Minnesota. Johnson ranks 20th nationally in receiving yards at the FBS level.
6. Canisius women’s soccer: The team is 5-2 with wins over UB and Bona. Sophomore goalkeeper Alana Rossi’s four shutouts are tied for 14th nationally. They don’t meet MAAC rival Niagara until October.
7. Niagara women’s soccer: Speaking of NU … the women are off a 4-2-1 start and could match last year’s win total (five) before the calendar flips from summer to fall. Eva Bachmann, Hailey Bicknell and Bayley Sullivan lead the team with two goals each.
8. Canisius baseball’s Matt Mazurek: Silver Creek native Matt Mazurek was named Canisius’ new head coach earlier this month after 12 years as an assistant under Mike McRae, who resigned in August. Mazurek, a Canisius grad who was a career .355 hitter with the Griffs, is only the school’s fourth baseball coach in the last 40 years, joining McRae, Mark Notaro and Don Colpoys.
9. Buff State men’s cross country: The Bengals edged D-II Daemen by six points, 26-32, to win the Buffalo State Daniel Walker Invitational at Beaver Island on Sept. 1. Daemen’s Joshua Bodnar won in 15:28 while Buff State’s Phil Giuga took second. On the women’s side, Daemen – ranked fifth in the Division II East Region – won the meet while Buff State’s Ronni Kordrupel won the race in 19:47.
10. St. Bonaventure golfer Corey Long: Long, a senior, finished 10th out of 83 golfers at the Alex Lagowitz Memorial Invitational in Hamilton last weekend, shooting 69-77-75–221 for his fifth career top-10.
Honorable mentions: St. Bonaventure men’s soccer, UB women’s volleyball.