Weekly Feature



2017-10-11 / Sports

Tonawanda boys soccer finishes regular season 10-5-1

NT posts wins
by PATRICK J. NAGY
Reporter

Tonawanda’s boys soccer team wrapped up its 2017 regular season by recording two of three ECIC Division IV victories, beating Depew, 2-1, at home Oct. 2 and blanking Holland, 2-0, on the road Thursday. The Warriors also fell to division champion Lackawanna, 2-0, on the road Oct. 4.

Tonawanda finished third in the division with a 6-4-1 record.

“The regular season was good,” Tonawanda coach J.J. Gabor said. “It would have been nice to get a split with Alden instead of dropping two to them, but overall, we did everything we could to put us in the best situation possible for sectionals.”

Aaron Holler scored both of Tonawanda’s goals against Depew, tallying in the 15th minute from a pass on the right side by center back Jake Pigott and in the 31st minute on a header from a free kick from Hayden Lilly. He finished the regular season with a team-high 16 goals and six assists.

Depew’s Matt Wilson broke the shutout at 59:07 on a half volley from Almonther Saleh.

The Holland game remained scoreless until Noah Gillis scored in the 52nd minute, assisted by Holler. Gillis added his second of the game on a penalty kick with a minute left.

“We had a lot of scoring opportunities in the first half,” Gabor said. “We hit a goal post. They also had an early chance when they hit a goal post as well. The game could have easily been 1-1.”

Tonawanda goalie Devon Carey recorded eight saves for the shutout.

The Lackawanna game was scoreless until the 55th minute when Amir Alhaddad scored from Jabreel Almontaser. Ali Alomari added an insurance goal for Lackawanna, assisted by Ilyas Galab, at 65:15.

“They do not give up a lot of goals, so we knew we had to play a mistake-free game and capitalize on our opportunities,” Gabor said. “We did a good job in the first half. Their first goal in the second half came on a miscommunication in our defense. I hope we can learn from a game like this with the postseason coming up.”

Tonawanda next returns to action the week of Oct. 16 in the Section VI Class B-1 Tournament.

North Tonawanda

After posting two ties in games the previous week, the Lumberjacks (10-1-3) got back on the winning track, winning home games over Starpoint, 2-1, in a non-league game Oct. 2 and Niagara Falls, 4-2, in a league game Oct. 3.

“It is really important to finish the season on a positive note,” North Tonawanda co-coach Rob Brocklehurst said. “Ties simply don’t advance you.”

The Lumberjacks trailed Starpoint, a top team in ECIC II, 1-0 only 12:35 into the first half on a goal by Max Balko, assisted by Kyle Harrington.

Jared Zadzilka scored the game-tying goal in the 62nd minute and the game-winning goal in the 67th minute. Both goals were assisted by Vincent Chiodo.

Brocklehurst said the game-winning goal was a great ball Chiodo placed into the box that Zadzilka moved past the Starpoint keeper.

“Vincent has been really owning the center midfield position,” Brocklehurst said. “He’s got the legs and the accuracy with the long ball. It’s nice to see him produce.”

Brocklehurst also noted the play of goalie Carson Essenburg and the defense of Casey Trombley, David Powell, Will Guagliardo and Colin Parlier.

Zadzilka and Tyler MacNeil each scored twice against Niagara Falls.

MacNeil opened the scoring from Chiodo 15 minutes into the first half. His second goal came on a shot from 30 yards away in the 55th minute from Mason Kelly.

“He’s been a talent up top,” Brocklehurst said. “He doesn’t always produce in the goal column, but it was nice to have him get a couple against Niagara Falls.”

Zadzilka added goals in the 29th minute from Chiodo and in the 46th minute from Michael Himes.

North Tonawanda’s final regular-season game was a road game at Kenmore West Tuesday, but information about the game was unavailable before The Bee went to press.

NT, champion of the Niagara Division, plays Frontier Division champion Grand Island for the crossover championship of the Niagara-Frontier League at 7 p.m. Thursday at Lewiston-Porter.

email: pnagy@beenews.com

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