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High School Extra: Top seeded Niagara Wheatfield boys soccer wins in shootout

McKinley came close to upsetting No. 1 seed Niagara Wheatfield in the Section VI Class A-1 boys soccer playoffs Wednesday in Sanborn before losing a 1-1 game on penalty kicks. Josh Morelli, the sixth Falcons shooter, scored the deciding shootout goal then made the save on McKinley’s sixth kicker to preserve the victory.

The Macks took the lead in the 15th minute on an own-goal. In the 64th minute Jake Vallas tied it for the Falcons off a cross from Ralph Wence.

Morelli had 12 saves, counting the shootout, for Niagara Wheatfield (14-1-1). McKinley, seeded ninth in the playoffs, finished 7-10-1.

Playing in a strong wind, Grand Island and Pioneer were scoreless until the 65th minute. Then the No. 4 Vikings scored three times in a 5-minute span to take control for a 3-0 victory in their Class A-2 quarterfinal. Sophomore Graer Howell scored the first two for GI. Sebastian Melendez had the other.

Also, in Class A-2, junior Bushiri Mbokani scored both goals for No. 3 Lafayette in a 2-0 triumph over Starpoint at Riverside Park.

Lafayette will next face No. 2 ranked Lew-Port, which routed Lake Shore, 12-0. Joey Zachary and Robert Woods scored three times each for the Lancers while Joe Beatty made four saves for his 10th shutout. Lew-Port had outscored its opponents, 71-4, in the last 13 games.

Senior forward Ethan Ruggerio scored his 23rd goal of the season assisted by junior Troy Jezioro in Williamsville East’s 1-0 triumph over Sweet Home in Class A-1.

“Senior defenders Cam Townsend, Jacob Skidmore, Ethan Beecher and junior Jon Fors were outstanding on our back defensive line,” East coach Tony Schiappa messaged.

Senior captain David LaMastra scored twice and had two assists as Williamsville North advanced to the Class AA semifinals with an 8-0 triumph over Jamestown. LaMastra had 14 goals and 12 assists for North this season. The Spartans will have a rematch with Lancaster at 5 p.m. next Monday at Sweet Home. They split their two ECIC I games in the regular season.
Senior midfield William Breski scored twice and sophomore defender Noah Boling had the other goal for No. 3 Lancaster in a 3-0 win over Frontier in their Class AA quarterfinal.

No. 4 Orchard Park also reached the AA semifinals with a 2-1 triumph over Lockport on first-half goals by Zach Poloncarz and Owen Hughes. The Quakers will face No. 1 seed Clarence at 8 p.m. next Monday at Sweet Home.

Tonawanda moves on
Tonawanda, Albion and Olean advanced to Friday’s quarterfinals in the Class B-1 sectional girls soccer tournament with first round victories. Emma Ljiljanich and Trinity Oliver scored in Tonawanda’s 2-0 win over visiting Dunkirk.

Takeaways help EA win
Chris Ortiz rushed for three touchdowns, including runs of 48 and 50 yards, and Phil Messina passed to Alex Ahlstrom for two in Dunkirk’s 36-26 win over Burgard in the Chuck Funke Memorial Classic.

East Aurora intercepted four passes and recovered a fumble in its 21-19 victory over Medina in their Federation Matchup game. T.J. Marsh had three of the picks for EA and he ran for 69 yards in 15 carries. Jonathan Staniszewski had the other interception in addition to his 12 tackles. Jared Montgomery had eight tackles and a fumble recovery for the winners.

One more for Nardin
Nardin (6-0) completed a fourth straight undefeated league season in Monsignor Martin Association girls cross country on Monday with victories over Sacred Heart and Gow at Como Lake Park.

Now, the Gators will go for a fourth straight win in the All-Catholic Meet on Nov. 3 at Knox Farm State Park.

Heidi Khuu, a sophomore from Hamburg, led the victory on Monday. Khuu is one of four Nardin runners ranked in the top 83 in the state among CHSAA, PSAL and AIS runners. Sophomore Mary Kate Hartigan is ranked 27th, Khuu 43rd, senior Clare Cryan 54th and senior Maggie Cryan 83rd.

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