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Lady Raiders prep for N-O title defense

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 24 September 2020 at 9:05 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – All League honorees Madison Gancasz, left, and Lena Fazzolari, shown here in action during games last year, will help lead the Barker field hockey team into the defense of their Niagara-Orleans League title this season.

Looking to reload offensively after losing much of their scoring punch to graduation the Barker varsity field hockey team is getting ready to defend their Niagara-Orleans League title.

Senior midfielders Madison Gancasz, who earned first team N-O All-League honors last fall, and Lena Fazzolari, who was a second team honoree, lead Barker’s veteran contingent. Gancasz scored 5 goals and added 6 assists last year.

That veteran group also includes seniors Natalie Bruning (Midfield/Attack), Ella Gooding (Defense/Midfield) and Courtney Hillman (Goalie) along with junior Kaedynce Schumacher (Midfield) and sophomores Ashlin Cole (Defender), Aaliyah Wheat (Midfield/Defense) and Mia Herman. Bruning scored 5 goals and Gooding 4 last season.

The Lady Raiders are also looking to sophomores Alexis Weeks, Mackenzie Dodge, Lilly Monthony, Alexa Zglinicki and freshman Addison Szafranski.

Barker’s graduation losses included first team N-O honorees Katrina Clare (18 goals, 21 assists) and Ciara Gregoire (17 goals, 2 assists), second team honoree Rachel Hurtgam (12 goals, 7 assists) and Honorable Mention selection Serena Harris (4 goals, 9 assists) along with midfielder Emily Wagner (6 goals) and defenders Brianna Bachman and Ella Fox.

“It’s going to be interesting,” said Coach Jeff Costello. “The more preseason time we have this year is good as it will help us with our skill development and conditioning. The kids have to be positive and ready to work hard as we have to get up to speed quickly. The big thing though is that the kids are getting the opportunity to play the game they love.”

The Lady Raiders, which went 12-0 in league action last fall, are scheduled to begin their N-O title defense at home on October 6 against Medina.

Schedule:

October: 6 – Medina, 4:30 p.m.; 8 – Wilson, 4:30 p.m.; 13 – at Roy-Hart, 4:30 p.m.; 15 – Akron, 4:30 p.m.; 17 – at Kenmore, 10 a.m.; 20 – Newfane, 4:30 p.m.; 24 – at Medina, 10 a.m.; 27 – at Wilson, 4:30 p.m.; 29 – Roy-Hart, 4:30 p.m.; 31 – at Akron, 10 a.m.

November: 3 – Kenmore, 5 p.m.; 5 – at Newfane, 4:30 p.m.