Albion girls edge Alden in B-1 semifinals

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 24 October 2017 at 11:08 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Claire Squicciarini, who scored both goals, brings the ball up field during the Purple Eagles semifinal win over Alden this evening at Williamsville North.

Combining a fast start with a strong finish, No. 8 seed Albion nipped No. 5 Alden 2-1 in the semifinals of the Section VI Class B-1 girls soccer playoffs this evening at Williamsville North.

Albion got off to a lightning quick start as Claire Squicciarini scored on a breakaway just 15 seconds into the contest.

Albion goalie Sydney Mulka dives to make a save.

That lone tally stood up until only 8:22 remained in the second half when Alden finally scored on a goal by Shannon Wjypi on a rebound off a direct kick by Sara O’Connor.

However, Albion quickly answered that challenge as Squicciarini scored just 1:39 later at the 6:43 mark for what proved to be the game winner.

The Purple Eagles defense, which was anchored by goalie Sydney Mulka, who made several key saves  on the evening, did the rest blanking the Lady Bulldogs the over the final tense six minutes to preserve the victory advancing Albion to the finals for the first time.

“Our motto this season has been I’ve got your back. We had a lot of injuries in the first half and everyone just had each other’s back,” said Albion Coach Maggie Orbaker. “They really played for each other. It was a real team effort.”

Improving to 11-6-2, Albion now faces Niagara-Orleans League champion Newfane for the B-1 championship at 11 a.m. Saturday at Williamsvile North. No. 2 seed Newfane nipped No. 6 Olean 4-2 in double overtime in the other semifinal.

During the N-O season Albion tied Newfane 6-6 in overtime in the first meeting but the Lady Panthers blanked the Purple Eagles 4-0 in the rematch.

Albion’s Mariah Plain heads the ball as Sara O’Connor and Emma Martin for Alden and Abbie Pappalardo for the Purple Eagles surround the play.