Sara Schlagenhauf is an All-Western New York goalkeeper who wants to own her own construction company someday. Talk about a person with tools.
Good feet, reaction time and instincts are just part of the package this Clarence senior brings. She's also ready to pursue her goals in the building construction trade this fall as she starts studying for a business degree from St. Bonaventure.
It looked like Schlagenhauf was ticketed to Morrisville State and its two-year residential construction program. That was before St. Bonaventure saw her play against Nichols and offered her a chance to play on the Division I level. An honor roll student, her academic and athletic monies cover her full tuition plus room and board.
"It was very hard for me to decide to stick with what I wanted to do academic-wise because Morrisville had the exact thing I wanted," said Schlagenhauf. "Then I thought how business could take me into the next step, instead of working on houses, possibly own my own home-building business someday."
Schlagenhauf is one of 14 players named to the 15th annual All-WNY team, chosen by area coaches. She also represents WNY as its only first team All-America selection by U.S. Lacrosse. She was the Red Devils' team MVP, a two-time captain and one of five Clarence players who will be continuing their careers in college.
Lily Timlin of Amherst and Paige Matecki, Jill Tokarczyk and Lauren Basil of Nichols, were All-America honorable mention.
Schlagenhauf joins Julia Suriani of West Seneca East, Timlin and Tokarczyk as repeat All-WNY picks. Six of the 14 players are juniors. Class C champion Amherst and Nichols have three picks each while Clarence, Lancaster and West Seneca East have two each.
Lancaster, Mount have six packs
Lancaster and Mount St. Mary added to their impressive string of titles. The Redskins won the Section VI Class A crown for the sixth year in a row. All-WNY pick Gabe Kotas and her sister, Maria, have signed with Canisius College.
Lancaster coach Julie Buccieri has won the sectional title in each of her six seasons.
"Winning the section was our No. 1 goal, but we had some big bumps in the road, things we didn't foresee," she said. "The girls on the team stepped up, learned from the lessons of others and really pulled it together. They realized they had the potential to go far even though we lost all those big guns from last year, it was still possible to go far and we were better for it."
Maria Kotas ended her four-year career as No. 2 all-time at Lancaster in scoring and No. 1 in ground balls and assists.
The Mount won the Monsignor Martin Association playoffs for the sixth year in a row. Two-time All-Catholic pick Taylor Gerst led the team in goals with 32, and Jenny Grimm was next with 29. Both players were junior captains as the Mount finished 9-3 overall.
Junior midfield Brianna Robbins of Nardin was named the Catholic league's Most Valuable
Player. Robbins netted 36 goals while leading the Gators to an undefeated (10-0) regular season. They lost in the finals of the playoffs to Mount St. Mary. "She's definitely the type of player who can control the tempo of a game," said fourth-year coach Kate Mayhook. "She plays defense, plays offense, is strong and fast, so she can get wherever she needs to be anywhere on the field. She's easy to coach, works hard."
Around the cages
Talk about a winner. Casey McGuire of Amherst won seven Section VI titles playing 10 varsity seasons in three different sports. Her basketball teams won three titles, soccer twice and lacrosse twice.
Juniors Allie Ahern of Williamsville North and Lauren Scanlan of Lake Shore shared the WNY lead for the most goals with 79.
Tim Myslinski, in his sixth year at Frontier, was named the Western New York Coach of the Year. The Falcons had the lowest goals against average in Section VI at 5.07. Its 13-5 overall record included wins over Lancaster and Rome Free Academy.
Nichols' Tokarczyk will have a stick in her hand next season, but it will be to play hockey for Hamilton College. She's a three-sport athlete who earned 12 varsity letters.
West Seneca East its first Section VI title, beating Lake Shore in Class B-2 final.
Amherst junior Sophie Niesciur put up some big numbers this year with 74 goals, to surpass 100 in her career, along with 74 assists and 63 ground balls.
Among the skills Joelle Hartke of Clarence has is the knack of being able to draw the ball straight up and win it herself.
>SECTION VI FINALS
CLASS A: Lancaster 11, Clarence 9
CLASS B: West Seneca East 13, Wmsv. North 9
CLASS C: Amherst 14, East Aurora 4
MMA: Mount St. Mary 15, Nardin 11
>FAR WEST REGIONALS:
CLASS A: V-Pittsford 16, Lancaster 6
CLASS B: V-Canandaiqua 23, West Seneca East 4
CLASS C: V-Honeoye Falls-Lima 18, Amherst 6