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OP exacts revenge on Amherst Quakers dominate in 14-7 rout

Orchard Park hadn't been this hungry to exact revenge on an opponent from Western New York in about 12 years.

That's because that's the last time it was in this position.

An Orchard Park team fueled by the reminder of last year's loss to Amherst -- one that ended an 11-year unbeaten streak against Western New York opponents -- overwhelmed the host Tigers, 14-7, in a nonleague game Friday night before an estimated 450.

The Quakers jumped to a 7-1 halftime lead that it extended to 11-1 in the third quarter.

"That's all we were thinking about for the last year," said senior attackman Matt Ciambella, who had three assists. "They broke our streak, we just couldn't wait for this game. Every day during our practice, we said we were getting ready for Amherst. And it came, and we were ready."

Amherst's victory last year was notable not only because it broke OP's 129-game local winning streak, but because it was so dominant (14-5).

Friday night, it was the Quakers' turn. They took out their frustration of last year by owning every area of the field.

OP's possessions started with faceoff wins by midfielders Nick Brink and Justin Maderer, and the offense featured flashy finishes by junior attackman Greg Michael (five goals) and senior midfielder Tom Mitchell (three).

When Amherst managed an offensive set, most of its possessions ended abruptly with OP stick checks knocking the ball to the ground followed by a maroon-clad Quaker scooping up the loose ball. Juniors Derrick Danieu and Piercen Hicks, senior Donnie Keating and sophomore Greg Wagner helped shut down the Amherst offense, and senior goalie Vinny Lepore made some momentum-building saves early.

"Our guys were really looking forward to this game," said Orchard Park coach Gene Tundo, whose Quakers (2-0) play Section IV power Ithaca at Cornell University today. "We started real well, our goalie made some great early saves and our defense played awesome."

Sophomore attackman Casey Rich had a pair of goals for Amherst (1-1), which outscored OP, 4-2, in the final 7:23.

"They out-athleted us, they beat us to every [ground ball]. We were a mad scramble on offense," said Amherst coach Stefan Henn. "They had great sticks tonight, and they were very methodical. That's why they're the best team in Western New York, even if we beat them last year."

e-mail: kmcshea@buffnews.com

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