Newfane girls nip Albion for B-1 soccer title
Making a lone early goal hold up, defending champion No. 2 seed Newfane edged past No. 8 Albion 1-0 in an all Niagara-Orleans League Section VI Class B-1 girls soccer championship game this afternoon at Williamsville North.
Emily Foltz scored the game’s lone goal for the Lady Panthers just 8:48 into the first half on a direct kick.
Albion goalie Sydney Mulka kept it a tight 1-0 game by making a pair of big saves before the half was over. The first came at the 21 minute mark when she stopped a breakaway opportunity and the second at the 4 minute mark with a diving stop. She also made two more big stops in the second half to keep the Purple Eagles right in the game, the first on a leaping save early and then by stopping another breakaway with 14 minutes to go.
The Albion offense, which missed capitalizing on a pair of corner kick opportunities in the first half, put together a big surge of pressure late in the second half but couldn’t quite find the net.
The Purple Eagles first had a shot just miss an open net with 7 minutes remaining and then had a rebound shot again just sail wide of an open net with 4 minutes to go. On that key play the ball had come lose after Newfane goalie Madelyn Traverse dove to stop the initial shot.
“They just gave it everything they had,” said Albion Coach Maggie Orbaker whose Purple Eagles played without their season long leading scorer Brylie Hapeman (19 goals, 5 assists) who missed the game due to an ankle injury.
Albion, which was making its first ever appearance in the sectional finals, advanced by downing Alden 2-1 in the semifinals. The Purple Eagles finish the season at 11-7-2.
Newfane, which needed overtime to down Olean 4-2 in the semifinals, advances to the Section VI B state qualifier game for the second year in a row to face another N-O foe in Akron, which defeated Wilson 3-0 for the Class B-2 title.
During the N-O season Newfane and Albion played to a 6-6 overtime tie in the first meeting. The Lady Panthers won the rematch 4-0.