Albion booters have veteran laden squad

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 1 September 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo By Mike Wertman – EAGLE VETERANS: Leading Albion’s quest for top Niagara-Orleans League soccer honors this season is this large group of returnees. In front are Kendall Piccirilli, Abby Squicciarini, Mariah Elsenheimer and Monica Benjovsky. In back are Kayla Doyle, Kali Benjovsky, Kelsey Schmitt, Arianna Smith, Mandi Covis and Kellie O’Hearn.

After coming up short in tight three and four-way title races the last four years, the Albion Purple Eagles return a veteran laden squad with which to challenge for top Niagara-Orleans League girls soccer honors this fall.

No less than 11 regulars return from last year’s 8-5-1 N-O (9-7-2 overall) squad.

That large contingent includes senior forwards Abby Squicciarini and Kali Benjovsky, sophomore forwards Mariah Elsenheimer and Ally Page, senior midfielders Kayla Doyle and Kendall Piccirilli, junior defender Monica Benjovsky, senior defenders Kelsey Schmitt and Arianna Smith and junior defenders Mandi Covis and Kellie O’Hearn.

Squicciarini, who had 14 goals and 10 assists, earned first team N-O All-League honors as did Elsenheimer who had 19 goals and 5 assists.

“We return a lot of experience. We’ve got depth at every position,” Coach Bruce Blanchard said. “This is my most athletic and deepest team. We’ve got a lot of speed up top and we should be strong defensively.”

The only position without a returnee is in goal where juniors Justice Nauden and Jayne Bannister are vying for playing time.

The Purple Eagles roster also includes sophomore forward Mikayla Yaskulski, junior midfielders Madison Coville and Jessica Raglan, freshman midfielder Emily Blanchard, junior defender Ashley Hapeman and sophomore defenders Jacia Shick and Ellen Narburgh.

“It’s been a while since we won the league and we have big expectations this year,” Blanchard said. “It’s going to be a fun year. With our depth, experience and athleticism. I’m looking forward to it.”

The Purple Eagles open the N-O season at home on Sept. 3 against CSAT.

Albion’s schedule is as follows:
Sept. 3 – CSAT, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 6 – at Wilson, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 10 – at Medina, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 13 – at Roy-Hart, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 16 – at Newfane, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 19 – Barker, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 21 – York, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 25 – Akron, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 28 – at CSAT, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 1 – Wilson, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 5 – Medina, 7 p.m.
Oct. 8 – Roy-Hart, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 10 – Newfane, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 12 – at Kendall, 11 a.m.
Oct. 15 – at Barker, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 18 – at Akron, 4:30 p.m.