Sophomore striker Grace Kulniszewski picked up where she left off in her impressive freshman season, scoring twice for Iroquois in a 2-0 girls soccer victory over Kenmore West Monday in Elma.
Although it was a nonleague season opener, it was a significant game in that it marked the scholastic head coaching debuts on each side. Rich Violanti of the Chiefs got his first varsity win. He took over for Ric Weber who retired from coaching. Ken Belote was the disappointed coach on the other side. Belote, who has extensive experience as a travel team coach replaced Clarence Boatman as the Blue Devils' leader.
"Big shoes to fill. I'm well aware of that," said Violanti, who is a global history teacher. "Ric Weber and Andy Jacobs were a fixture hear for 25 years or so."
Junior Ali Bakowski made seven saves for the shutout.
"She made a some tough saves when it was a 0-0 game in the first half," Violanti said.
Kulniszewski, who scored 15 goals and had eight assists as a freshman, got her first goal of the game in the 55th minute. The second came about 10 minutes later on an identical-looking play -- a through ball from midfielder Aussie Mariacher. Once the Chiefs had the lead veteran sweeper Anna Pitz led the effort that protected it.
"We had a lot of rotations, a lot of replacements but as the sweeper she did a job of moving the girls on the field."
Iroquois gets right down to ECIC III league play right away, facing rival East Aurora at home on Wednesday.
"They will be tough. They alway are," Violanti said. of the EA Blue Devils.
Van Sice leads North to opening victory
Lianna Van Sice scored twice as Williamsville North opened its girls soccer season with a 6-0 triumph at West Seneca West.
Van Sice had 10 goals and 24 points for the Spartans last season when they went 13-4-1 with three of the losses to sectional Class AA champion Clarence.
Medina ends Wilson golf streak at 40 matches
Led by Ian Wagner's 37, Medina ended Wilson's 40-match win streak in Niagara Orleans League boys golf play, 228-260, on Monday at Willowbrook Golf Club. Wilson is three-time defending league champion.
Nate Fox of the losing Lakemen matched Wagner's 37 to share medalist honors. Wagner was a member of the Section VI All-Start team that competed in the state championships last June at Cornell University.