N-O teams have a banner fall season

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 5 November 2017 at 8:31 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – In one of several recent big post season match ups between Niagara-Orleans League teams, Newfane nipped Albion for the Class B-1 girls soccer title. Action here from that title contest at Williamsville North has Albion’s Lexi Wolck and Newfane’s Kayleigh Daniels racing for the ball.

A strong run in postseason competition capped off a banner fall season for Niagara-Orleans schools led by Newfane which swept to league boys and girls championships in both soccer and cross-country.

The N-O titles were the third straight for both the Panthers boys soccer and girls cross-country teams and the second in a row for the girls soccer squad.

Keeping the momentum from 12-0 N-O campaigns, the Panthers cross-county teams both went on to claim Section VI Class C titles to advance to next weekend’s state championships.

The Lady Panthers soccer team also went on to claim a Section VI Class B title by downing a pair of N-O foes. Newfane first nipped Albion 1-0 for the B-1 title and then edged Akron 2-1 for the overall B crown and a berth in the state playoffs. The Lady Panthers were downed by Aquinas 2-0 in the Far West Regionals.

In fact, the Section VI Class B-1, B-2 girls soccer doubleheader was an historic one for the N-O League which had all four teams in the competition as Akron downed Wilson 3-0 for the B-2 crown.

The Newfane football squad also enjoyed its best season in over 20 years going 6-1 during the regular season to earn its first sectional berth since 1993. The Panthers dropped a narrow 18-15 decision to Maryvale in the quarterfinals.

Akron’s girls teams had a big fall season overall also capturing both the N-O volleyball and field hockey championships. The title was the third in a row for the Lady Tigers field hockey team, which shared the crown with rival Barker, and the second in a row for the volleyball team.

The Lady Tigers field hockey team went on to first win the Section VI Class C title for the second time in three years with a 2-1 win over Barker and then to claim the Far West Regional title by blitzing East Rochester 7-0 to earn a spot in text weekend’s state semifinals for the first time since 1995.

The Albion girls soccer team also enjoyed a history making season by reaching the sectional finals for the first time in the program’s history.  The Purple Eagles scored consecutive sectional wins over rival Medina/Lyndonville (1-0 in overtime), top seeded City Honors (3-1) and then Alden (2-1) in the semifinals before being nipped by N-O foe Newfane 1-0 in the B-1 championship game.

The Albion football squad also had a big season claiming a share of the Class B-2 Division title with Dunkirk at 4-1 to earn a spot in the sectional playoffs for the first time since 2011. The division title was also the first for Albion since 2006. However, the Purple Eagles were bested by Dunkirk for the second time in three weeks 25-7 in the sectional quarterfinals.

The Medina golf team compiled a perfect 12-0 record to claim its first N-O title since 2007.

The Mustangs volleyball team also came up big in the postseason advancing to the sectional finals for the first time since 1995. Medina bested N-O fie Newfane in the semifinals before bowing to Alden in the B-2 finals, both four set matches.