Orchard Park football 10th in East
The Orchard Park football team has been ranked 10th in the East Region by USA Today.
This is the first time a Western New York football team has cracked the newspaper's regional rankings since St. Francis did so in 2004. The Red Raiders reached No. 5 in the East that season.
USA Today ranks a national Super 25, then has four regional top 10s. The East includes Pennsylvania and Maryland and all the states to the north, up through and including Maine.
Orchard Park, which reached the Class AA state semifinals last season, is 6-0 this year and has been ranked first among Western New York large schools all year. The Quakers conclude their regular season at Niagara-Wheatfield on Saturday.
Amherst upsets Will North
For the first time since 2006, Williamsville North lost a field hockey game.
At the 18-minute mark of the first half, Katrina McQuiggan scored off an assist from Carolyn Sobol to give Amherst a 1-0 win over the top-ranked program in Western New York.
The Spartans, the defending New York State Class A champions, went 23-0 last year and were 12-0-1 entering Wednesday's game.
But a solid team effort from Amherst put the Tigers in contention for the upset.
"The girls were really looking forward to the challenge," said Amherst coach Laurie LeGroff. "We had some players return to the lineup who had missed a number of games with injury and illness. It was just an outstanding team effort. Our transition played well both offensively and defensively. [Goalie] Erin Edson stepped up and negated some chances for North but our outstanding defense did a solid job of negating some of the North attacks."
Williamsville North's last loss came in the 2006 Section VI championship, when it fell to Sweet Home, 2-1, in penalty strokes. The last regular-season loss for the Spartans was a 2-0 loss to Williamsville South on Oct. 6, 2006. That loss ended a 35-game ECIC unbeaten streak.
Amherst improved to 6-7-1.
Wirth leads Iroquois
Brigid Wirth scored on a penalty corner with no time on the clock in the first half to give Iroquois a 1-0 win over Lancaster in ECIC field hockey.
As the half came to a close, the officials called a penalty corner, which set up the play.
"Maybe 20 seconds before that [Wirth] had a shot off the goal post," Iroquois coach Pete Tonsoline said. "She came back to get the goal on a great play.
"We tried to shut down their big scorer [Melissa] Kurzdorfer and limit her from getting a big shot at the top of the circle. That helped us, and our defense came up with the ball a lot. Their defense did pretty much the same thing with us. We're a quick team and their defense matched our speed."
Grace Kincella had the shutout for Iroquois (10-4-1).
Akron wins N-O boys title
Akron clamed its second straight Niagara-Orleans League boys soccer title with a 3-2 win over Newfane.
Freshman Peter Duerden tied the game, 1-1, in the first half for Akron and the Tigers took a 2-1 halftime lead on a goal by Kevin Braunscheidel.
Newfane tied the game about seven minutes into the second half, but Cory Baker scored the gane-winner at 20:45. It was the 23rd goal of the season for the senior.
"Last year we went to the state final four with a lot of juniors and now we have seven or eight seniors and a number of starters from that team," Akron coach Charles Pfohl said. "The thing about today's game is that we had four starters out of the game for various reasons. We were short-handed, and I brought up two players from JV on defense. So it was a very strong team effort in an adverse situation."
Akron, which won the league at 8-1-1, improved to 14-1-2 overall.
Williams paces Orchard Park
Tyler Williams scored two goals in the second half to give Orchard Park a 3-1 win over Williamsville North in ECIC I boys soccer action.
Williamsville North scored in the first five minutes of the game to take the early lead. Scott Campbell scored late to tie the game, 1-1, at halftime.
"They had a lot of opportunities and our goalie, Sean Conway, made 15 saves," Orchard Park coach Josh Dannecker said. "Some of those came on breakaways and good quality shots. We leaned on our goalie a lot tonight. He kept it close and we used his saves to get momentum and carry us forward."
The Quakers improved to 11-4-1 and moved into second place in the ECIC I standings behind leader Clarence, which beat Jamestown, 7-0, as Tyler Hammill scored two goals and Nate Konitzer recorded the shutout.