Canisius, I-Prep draw
Canisius scheduled a tough opener to its soccer season, defending state Class D champion International Prep/Grover. Wes Rider scored on a penalty kick with 12 minutes left to give the Crusaders a 1-1 tie against their Buffalo Public School opponent, the first time the schools have met in soccer. Mugisho Bagalwa had given I-Prep the lead with 18 minutes to play, scoring with an assist from Pa Lu.
“It was a tough game against a talented, skilled opponent but it was a fun game,” said Chris Stuff, coach of the Crusaders, who were runners-up to St. Joe’s in the Monsignor Martin Association playoffs last season.
It was also the opener for the Presidents. Stuff and I-Prep coach Tony Alessi agreed there would be no overtime play to break the tie in the nonleague encounter.
Rider’s penalty kick came after an inadvertent hands call in the penalty area against an I-Prep player.
I-Prep goalkeeper Yasif Alhadeethi was credited with seven saves. Canisius keeper Charles Kolber had six stops.
I-Prep went 17-1-1 in winning its state title last year, defeating Mount Academy of Section XI, 3-2, in the championship game in Middletown.
“It’s hard to repeat but we have eight of 11 starters back from last season,” said I-Prep’s Alessi.
St. Joe’s wins in OT
While Canisius was winning its opener rival St. Joe’s was edging visiting Nichols, 3-2, on a goal by Dalton Matre in the second overtime. Andrew Napier assisted on the game winner for the Marauders.
Clarence wins in ECIC I
Clarence, a traditional ECIC I power, opened its season with a 2-0 victory over division rival Orchard Park. Kyle Cunningham made four saves to earn the shutout.
Parker Shetler had a six-point game (four goals, two assists) and Matt Rachiele had three goals and two assists for Lancaster in a 15-0 rout of visiting Jamestown in ECIC I.
Albion girls on a roll
Albion opened play in Niagara-Orleans League girls soccer with a 10-1 win over Barker. Mariah Elsenheimer and Emily Blanchard each scored four goals for the Purple Eagles.
Wilson also won its N-O opener, defeating Akron, 4-0, as Jen Darlak scored twice and Emily Kelly recorded the shutout.
Barker off and rolling
Barker looked like a field hockey power again in a 7-0 Niagara-Orleans field hockey victory over Kenmore, a team representing both Kenmore East and Kenmore West. Lydia Dewart and Emily Annable each scored twice for the Raiders while Caitlyn Mason had a goal and an assist and Courtney Bodine had the shutout.
Williamsville East and Williamsville South both opened with league wins in field hockey. The Flames got two goals from Sam Crane and two assists from Hayley Skidmore in a in a 4-1 win over Sweet Home while Abby Ferenczy had a goal and an assist in South’s 4-1 win over Starpoint.