East Aurora coach Kevin Beale has been asked so many times about Bryce Schiltz that he’s running out of things to say.
That’s all right. Schiltz’s record-setting career with the Blue Devils basically speaks for itself.
The 5-foot-8 midfielder finished his four-year run on the varsity squad as the top goal scorer in program history with 73 goals. He became the first player from East Aurora to be awarded the Section VI Player of the Year and is the second to be named an All-American by the United Soccer Coaches organization.
“His love for this game, it’s all he’s done since he’s been a little kid,” Beale said. “He’s worked his whole life to make himself an attacker. He’s technically as solid as any player we’ve had. He has a great mind and keeps learning the game. Being named an All-American is just such an incredible honor. We are extremely proud. What else more can I say?”
How about three-time Section VI champion and 2015 NYSPHSAA runner-up?
The individual success of Schiltz, who’s headed to the University of Scranton in the fall, fellow first-team member Jack Bean and many others has led to an incredible run of dominance for the Blue Devils, winners of six sectional titles in the last seven years.
In 2017, East Aurora was one of three teams to make it undefeated through the regular season. A 20-1 record gives it the top winning percentage in Western New York.
A goal differential of plus-67 (75 goals for, eight against) is tied with Clarence for the best in Western New York. No team allowed fewer goals. Only McKinley (84) and Newfane (76) scored more.
Six of East Aurora’s eight goals against came in the final two games, a 4-3 overtime win over Grand Island in the Section VI Class A final and a 3-1 loss to Section V’s Pittsford Sutherland in the Far West Regionals.
“We wanted to make a statement,” said Beale, the 2017 Section VI Coach of the Year. “Last year we ran up against a really good I-Prep team who ended our streak of five sectional titles. We moved up to Class A this year and to win 20 straight against Section VI is quite an accomplishment.”
St. Joe’s defender Spencer Frome joins Schiltz as the only other repeat selection on the first team. The Marauders only gave up 12 goals in 21 games played this season, which ended with a 1-0 loss in the Catholic state semifinals to Chaminade. Frome has been accepted into Harvard.
Chris and Bobby O’Brien capped their Clarence careers by repeating as Section VI Class AA champs. Both were instrumental in shutting out opposing offenses in 12 of 20 games this season.
Recovering from a torn meniscus during the summer, Grand Island’s John Griffin returned about a third of the way through the season and was a big part of the Vikings’ 11-game winning streak that was ended by East Aurora in the Class A final. So was goalkeeper Steven Pufpaff, who had nine shutouts as a senior and is headed to Penn State Behrend next year.
Four-year Lackawanna starter Abdulhamid Albaneh scored 16 goals and moved up from All-WNY small school honors despite missing seven weeks of the season due to injury. In the Class B-1 championship against I-Prep/Grover, he subbed in only for a corner kick in the 69th minute and scored what proved to be the game-winning goal.
I-Prep’s Abdullahi Hussein took the reigns from former sidekick and All-American Pa Lu. He either scored or assisted on 70 percent of the team’s goals in leading the Presidents to the B-1 final.
Allegany-Limestone’s Dylan Talbot scored two of his 24 goals in a 5-0 Section VI Class C championship win over Westfield/Brocton.
Trevor Moreland finished with 77 goals and 84 assists in his five-year varsity career with Newfane.
Three-year Starpoint starter Maxwell Balko had the most goals and was second in assists on his team while playing a defensive midfielder role.
McKinley’s Zakaria Shaibi moved up from All-WNY large schools. Williamsville North’s Justin Bonetto moved up from All-ECIC I honors.
Alexander Fusani scored both goals for No. 7 Kenmore West in its Class A-1 quarterfinal upset of second-seeded Williamsville East.
After there were two juniors on last year’s first team, Williamsville East’s Trey Buscaglia is the only non-senior in 2017. His sister, Bella, is the youngest player on the All-Western New York girls soccer first team as a freshman.