East Aurora makes statement
In boys soccer, East Aurora took a significant step forward in ECIC III play as the Blue Devils knocked off Starpoint, 2-1 in overtime. It was a battle of two powers in the league, and East Aurora ended an 0-3-1 run against the Spartans in recent matchups.
“This was a game that wouldn’t make us or break us, but as a young team it will shape what happens to us for the rest of the season,” coach Kevin Beale said. “We talked about that 0-3-1 before the game, and even in the first half.”
Pat Philips had two goals for the Blue Devils. He scored the game-winner in OT when he took a pass, made a couple of dribbles, and ripped a shot into the net. But his penalty kick impressed Beale too.
“We have a couple of other kids who often take PKs,” the coach said. “I don’t mind who wants to step up and take it. The other two kids allowed him to take it, and he hit it solid.”
Sam Franz was a standout on defense for East Aurora, who has to do it all over again on Tuesday on Starpoint’s field.
“We had moved some games around, but it turned out to be a neat little home-and-home series,” Beale said.
Bulldogs earn a tie
Hamburg fought back from a 2-0 deficit in the first 20 minutes to earn a 2-2 with Sweet Home in a game between the top two boys soccer teams in ECIC II. Gabe Mastrangelo and Justin Weiskerger scored for the Bulldogs. Hamburg earned the tiebreaker if the teams finish deadlocked in the standings.
“We control our own destiny heading into October; that’s all we hoped for,” coach Tony Schiappa of the Bulldogs said.
Elsewhere, Canisius looked good in a 5-1 win over Henninger of Section III in the Finger Lakes Tournament at Skaneateles. JP Boback had three goals and an assist, and John Uba finished with two assists. The Crusaders advanced to Saturday’s final.
Burish nets game-winner
Grace Burish scored the game’s lone goal as Mount St. Mary edged City Honors, 1-0. Jill Fittrey did the rest, recording the shutout as MSM improved to 7-3-1 on the season.
Elsewhere, Williamsville East had its hands full with a pesky Iroquois squad, but came away with a 1-0 victory. Ishaan Kashyap had the lone goal of the game for the Flames.
A couple of ranked teams played a non-league matchup. Niagara-Wheatfield, the No. 6 team in Tuesday’s coaches poll, knocked off No. 7 Williamsville South, 3-1.
Will South wins close one
Williamsville South and Iroquois have been the class of ECIC II in field hockey this season, and both of them stayed on course on Friday. The Billies, who are ranked second in the WNY Coaches Poll, beat Sweet Home, 2-1, in a nonleague game.
Meanwhile, Iroquois overwhelmed Sweet Home, 6-0. Olivia D’Amato and Sam Gaglioi had two goals each, while Abby Grier picked up the shutout.
Flames keep winning
In girls volleyball, Williamsville East and Sweet Home came into Friday’s match ranked in the last WNY Coaches Poll. The Flames showed why they were No. 2, knocking off ninth-ranked Sweet Home in three sets. Alexis Novak had 22 kills and 12 digs for Williamsville East.
Lockport took a hard-fought victory over Niagara-Wheatfield, the No. 5 large school, in five sets. Kathryn Krchniak had 18 kills and 10 digs while Kourtney Krchniak added 13 kills and three aces for the Lions, who tightened up the Niagara Frontier League standings in the process.
Julia Kurowski had 16 kills as No. 3 large school Lancaster swept Jamestown.
Cross country powers to meet
Many area cross country teams have had Saturday circled on their calendars. It’s the day for the McQuaid Inivitational, which traditionally is the biggest meet of the season before the postseason begins. Coaches believe it represents a good chance to see how they match up with other squads from around upstate New York. The meet is at Genesee Valley Park in the Rochester area.
East Aurora comes into the race with the top-ranked teams in both boys and girls large schools, according to the coaches’ voting. Maple Grove, which sits on top of the boys and girls rankings for small schools, also will make the trip. The Orchard Park boys and Nardin girls, ranked No. 2, will be there. So will Barker (No. 2 boys small schools) and Newfane (No. 2 girls small schools).