Albion booters to challenge top seed for Class B1 title
They have already eliminated the No. 2 seed and the No. 3 seed, now the Albion boys soccer team looks to keep their Cinderella postseason run going as the Purple Eagles take on top seeded East Aurora for the Section VI Class B1 championship at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hamburg.
“They are a traditional powerhouse and a very good, high scoring offensive team,” said Albion Coach Keith Akers whose Purple Eagles will be making their first ever appearance in the sectional finals. “We’ve been pretty solid defensively and we’re playing our best soccer of the year at the right time so I hope we can continue to do that.”
The Purple Eagles defense is anchored by freshman goalie Devin Gaylord along with defenders Nick Reed, Drake Arnold, Donato Rosario, Josh Metzler and Kevin Rosario. Gaylord made 16 saves in the Purple Eagles semifinal round double overtime win over Medina/Lyndonville in what was his first varsity start.
East Aurora, which is at 14-3-1, has outscored its opponents 60-11 on the season. The Blue Devils offense is led by junior Noah Thompson (15 goals, 9 assists) and freshman Bryce Schiltz (11 goals, 7 assists).
Albion’s balanced attack is led by seniors Marcos Sanchez (9 goals, 9 assists), Jacoby Miller (8 goals, 2 assists) and Cam Usselman (6 goals, 4 assists) along with junior Dylan Bader (4 goals, 1 assist) and freshman Connor McQuillan (4 goals, 1 assist).
East Aurora has advanced to the finals by romping past Maryvale 8-1 in the quarterfinals and blanking No. 4 Newfane 4-0 in the semifinals.
Albion, which opened the sectionals with a 7-0 win over No. 7 Burgard, then upended No. 2 Bennett 2-1 in overtime in the quarterfinals and No. 3 Medina/Lyndonville 1-0 in double overtime in the semis.
‘We’re resilient and we’re drawing some confidence from both of those overtime wins,” said Akers. “Everybody has really stepped up and now we need to have 80 solid minutes from everyone.”