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College Power 10: Canisius women's lacrosse takes act to world stage

There is no rest for the juggernaut Canisius College women’s lacrosse team. The Golden Griffins, who made their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in seven years in May, have a big summer ahead.

Coach Scott Teeter and star Erica Evans will represent Canada in both the Women’s Lacrosse World Cup in England July 12-22 and in the World Games in Poland July 27-30.

Evans, who finished second in the nation in goals per game, will return for her senior year next season.

“We’re excited,” said Teeter. “We only lost two starters and three girls off our roster. We have an incoming class of nine right now that we feel good about. And we had a lot of players who got valuable minutes who are ready to take bigger roles.”

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Canisius finishes the spring season atop the College Power 10 and stands a good chance to be in the same position again next year.

1. Canisius women’s lacrosse. The Griffs (15-5) have won 31 of their last 32 games in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Evans made second-team All-America with 76 goals in 20 games. The season ended with a 21-9 loss to Boston College in the NCAAs. But that defeat looked a tad better after Boston College blew out No. 7 Syracuse two days later and then lost in the title game to Maryland.

“It was sort of good to see,” Teeter said.

The World Cup happens once every four years. Canada’s women placed second last time. Teeter and Evans helped Canada to the World Under-19 title in 2015. The World Games, held every four years, is an event for sports vying for admission to the Olympic Games.

2. Niagara CCC baseball. The Thunderwolves reached the title game of the Division III National Junior College Athletic Association World Series before losing to Tyler, Texas. Niagara CCC (47-10) posted a school record for wins (47-10) and claimed the Region III title for the fifth time in nine years. Star pitcher Christian Young (Frontier), a 94 mph fireballer, was drafted in the 21st round by the Cincinnati Reds. He struck out 106 over 57.1 innings. Outfielder Zarley Cina hit .385 with 54 RBIs in 56 games. Pitcher David Lyskawa (Williasmville North) went 12-4 with a 1.80 ERA. Coach Matt Clingersmith was named Region III coach of the year for the sixth time in his 11 seasons.

3. UB men’s tennis. The Bulls went to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years thanks to a dramatic comeback win over Western Michigan in the Mid-American Conference title match. UB was down, 3-1, but rallied for comeback wins in each of the final three matches to prevail, 4-3. Coach Lee Nickell’s team included six newcomers and just two returnees. He was named Northeast Region coach of the year for the first time and top MAC coach for the third time. Freshman Hao Sheng Koay of Malaysia was named first-team all-MAC, and sophomore Ethan Nittolo of Long Island was MAC tournament MVP.

4. UB women’s tennis. UB was the preseason favorite to win the MAC. After losing the first three conference matches, the Bulls won eight straight, ending with a 4-2 decision over Miami Ohio for the title. Head coach Kristen Maines had a baby girl in mid-January and was on maternity leave for part of the season. Fifth-year aide Smaranda Stan filled in and was named Northeast Region assistant coach of the year. Tanja Stojanovska, a junior from Macedonia, made first-team All-MAC. Chantal Martinez Blanco, a sophomore from Puerto Rico, was named second-team. The first doubles team of Stojanovska and Margarita Kotok ranked ninth in the Northeast Region. They were 16-4.

5. Fredonia State’s Greg Prechtl. He announced his retirement, closing a 44-year career as a coach and administrator, virtually all at Fredonia. Prechtl coached the Blue Devils basketball team for 21 years and directed it to the state university championship in 1993. He has served as athletic director since 1998. He will continue to oversee the Blue Devil Booster Club.

6. Canisius athletics. The Golden Griffins won their head-to-head, all-sports competition with Niagara for an eighth straight year by a record margin of 30-8. It’s called the Battle of the Bridge, and the Canal Cup trophy gets to stay at the Koessler Athletic Center another year. The competition began in 2006-07.

Canal Cup: Canisius lords over Niagara for 8th year in a row

7. St. Bona baseball. The Bonnies saw two players taken in the major league draft. Junior Aaron Phillips (Cleveland Hill) was taken by San Francisco in the ninth round, and junior Cole Peterson was taken in the 13th round by Detroit. Phillips was the Atlantic 10 pitcher of the year after going 9-2 with a 3.04 ERA. Peterson has started 144 straight games at shortstop, has a .966 career fielding average and batted .335. Coach Larry Sudbrook, in his 32nd year, was named A-10 coach of the year for a third time. His squad was 26-22 and went 15-8 in conference, its best finish since 2008.

8. Baseball draft picks. UB junior pitcher Logan Harasta was drafted in the seventh round by San Francisco. Niagara senior pitcher Daniel Procopio was drafted in the 10th round by the Los Angeles Angels. Niagara junior outfielder Tanner Kirwer was picked in the 20th round by Toronto. Canisius senior infielder Jake Lumley was picked in the 33rd round by Oakland. Meanwhile, UB's Vinny Mallaro finished his career as the school's all-time RBI king (147) after hitting .285 with eight HRs and 51 RBIs as a senior.

9. Division I and II track and field athletes. Daemen senior Mackenzie Donahue (East Aurora) earned second-team All-America for finishing ninth in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA D-II championships. UB senior Ryan Billian ranked 47th in Division I in the 110 hurdles (13.96). Senior Joshua Gali was 47th in the 400 meters (46.33). Tyler Scheving was 56th in the 800 meters (1:48.70). The UB men’s 4x400 relay team was 43rd (3:08.5).

10. Division III track and field athletes. Fredonia State junior Brittany Feldman (Southwestern) made All-America for finishing seventh in the 400 meters at the NCAA Division III championships. Buffalo State senior triple jumper Benjamin Ezike made second-team All-America with an 11th-place finish at the DIII meet. Buffalo State also had top-16 finishes in the men’s 4x400 relay and the women’s 4x100 relay.

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