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Shae O'Rourke of St. Mary's, Sarah Woods of Lew-Port named state girls soccer players of year

Shae O'Rourke of St. Mary's, Sarah Woods of Lew-Port named state girls soccer players of year

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Stars of the region’s two girls soccer teams to reach state championship games capped their seasons with state player of the year honors from the New York State Sportswriters and Coaches Organization for Girls Sports.

Shae O’Rourke from St. Mary’s of Lancaster repeated as the Class C Player of the Year and made the first team for the fourth consecutive year, and Lewiston-Porter’s Sarah Woods was named the Class B Player of the Year.

O’Rourke, who was recognized as the state girls soccer player of the year regardless of class last year by USA Today and Gatorade, finished her high school career with a school-record 136 goals and compiled 322 points with her 43 assists.

The South Carolina signee missed eight games of her senior season because of injury but returned in time to help St. Mary’s win the Monsignor Martin A Division championship and reach the New York State Catholic High School Athletic Association finals. St. Mary’s lost to nationally ranked St. Anthony’s, 3-0.

Woods, who made the Class A second team last fall, was second in Section VI with 94 points as a senior on 32 goals and 30 assists and tied a school season record for points.

She finished her career with 204 points, second in school history, and scored the overtime winner that pushed the Lancers into the New York State Public High School Athletic Association final. Lew-Port lost to Bronxville, 2-0, in the championship game.

O’Rourke and Woods each was joined by a teammate on the first team in her respective classes.

Gabby Gambino, who missed last season with a knee injury, was named to the first team in Class C. Gambino, a Clemson signee, finished her career with 145 points (46 goals, 53 assists).

St. Mary’s placed a third player on the all-state teams in Class C as senior defender Charlie Pawli, an Albany signee, was named to the second team. 

Class C champion Freswburg had three all-state players led by junior forward Alexandra Hultberg on the second team, senior defender Tyra Clark on the fourth team and senior forward Reagan Chiteaster on the fifth team.

In Class B, Lew-Port junior Sophie Auer was named to the first team. Auer, the Niagara Frontier League Co-Player of the Year, was third in Section VI with 88 points.

Nichols sophomore Linda Ullmark made the first team for the second consecutive year. Teammate Mirann Gagioch, the Ohio State-bound defender, was named to the second team.

Roy-Hart senior forward Kara Choate was named to the fourth team and East Aurora’s Anna Bean, the Section VI scoring leader with 107 points, made the fifth team.

Also in Class B, Uma Bhattacharjee, a junior from City Honors, was named to the sixth team. It marks the first time a Buffalo Public Schools girls player has been named to the all-state teams, according to coach Jason Milne.

In Class AA, three Clarence players were honored as senior midfielder Abby Bishara was named to the second team, junior attack Kalie O’Brien to the third team and senior midfielder Payton Payne to the fifth time. Williamsville North senior defender Jada Ghee made the seventh team.

In Class A, the top WNY representative was Grand Island attack Avery Mondoux, who was selected to the second team. Williamsville East sophomore Gianna Tuzzolino made the fourth team with attack Kylie Miranto (North Tonawanda), midfielder Morgan Kulniszewski (Iroquois), defender Bella DeGlopper (Grand Island) making the sixth team.

In Class D, Ellicottville senior Mandy Hurlburt was named to the second team and teammate Brooke Butler, a junior midfielder, was named to the third team.

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