Weekly Feature



2018-10-10 / Sports

Tonawanda boys soccer secures program’s first ECIC IV title

Warriors blank Lackawanna, Holland
by PATRICK J. NAGY Reporter

Tonawanda’s boys soccer team made its case as one of the top Class B teams in the area after blanking previously unbeaten league foe Lackawanna, 1-0, on the road Oct. 2.

Lackawanna came in the game as the top-ranked Class B team in the state.

It was Tonawanda’s first win over Lackawanna in eight years.

The victory, along with a 1-0 road win over Holland Saturday, secured the Warriors their first ECIC Division IV title in school history.

“It’s special to be a part of,” Tonawanda coach JJ Gabor said. “It’s a goal we set at the beginning of the year.”

Alex Taylor scored the game-winning goal against Lackawanna from Hayden Lilly off a corner three minutes into the second half.

“We fed off that momentum and used it to carry us through,” Gabor said.

Tonawanda goalie Devon Carey made 11 saves.

“Any time we can get can teams to shoot from distance, we have 100 percent confidence that Devon is going to make those saves every time,” Gabor said. “Devon told the guys all week to give me one goal and I can take care of the rest.”

Gabor also said the defense, led by Jake Eiss, used its speed to keep Lackawanna’s players in front of his team and limit quality scoring chances.

Tonawanda finished 9-1 in ECIC IV and 13-3 overall with the win over Holland.

“I told them to play with everything that we got,” Gabor said. “We knew what we were playing for.”

Taylor scored the game-winning goal on a throw-in seven minutes into the second half.

Carey recorded three saves for his 10th shutout. The single-season school record is 11.

The Warriors also downed Newcomer at Lafayette, 2-1, in a non-league home game Friday.

Taylor scored both of Tonawanda’s goals, scoring in the third minute from Ahmed Jahal and from Skylar Randall in the 55th minute. Carey made 25 saves, but all of their shots came from outside of 20 yards, Gabor said.

North Tonawanda

The Lumberjacks avenged a 5-0 road loss to Niagara Falls Sept. 22 with a 4-2 home win over the Wolverines Friday.

“It was good to see us do what we should have done the first time we played them,” NT coach Rob Brocklehurst said.

Colin Archibald, who leads NT with 11 goals, tallied a hat trick, scoring in the seventh, 61st and 66th minutes.

“The best player needs to be on the field for 80 minutes,” Brocklehurst said. “When Colin is playing his best soccer, he is the best player on the field and makes those around him better, too.”

Vincent Chiodo increased NT’s lead to 2-0 nine minutes into the second half.

Casey Rogers, Tyler MacNeil and Casey Trombley all recorded assists.

NT was coming off a 1-0 non-league road win over Starpoint Oct. 3.

Zach Yim, who had been out since breaking his foot in the opening five minutes of NT’s first game of the season, returned to the lineup and played 20 minutes. Yim drew a penalty shot that Chiodo scored with what turned out to be the game-winning goal with 15 minutes left in the second half.

Goalie Carson Essenburg made four saves for the shutout.

NT opened the week with a 2-0 road loss at Niagara Wheatfield Oct. 2.

The Lumberjacks also dropped a 6-3 home loss to Lockport Monday after leading 3-0 in the opening 25 minutes.

MacNeil tallied a goal that was assisted by Archibald, and also assisted on goals to Yim and Archibald.

NT (7-7-1, 4-7-1) hosts Charter School of Applied Technologies in a crossover game at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“Everybody has to be better, and it starts at practice,” Brocklehurst said. “I hope our best soccer lies ahead.”

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