Photos and stories by CHRIS BROOKS, managing editor, wellsvillesports.com
WELLSVILLE — The Lady Sea Lions of Wellsville could not be stopped once again in the water Tuesday night. With a visit from Hornell in store, the defending three-peat Class C Champions took victories in each of the first eight matches to help set a powerful tone to remain undefeated on the season, swimming towards an 86-69 victory over the Lady Raiders.
Amongst the triumphant individual performances, Kennedy Ewing and Grace Kinnicutt both led the Lady Sea Lions (3-0) with a pair of victories each, with Ewing scoring winning times in the 200 freestyle and later on in the second half of the meet, in the 500 freestyle. Kinnicutt would follow behind with her victories coming in the 50 freestyle and in the 100 butterfly — the first event to open up the final half of action.
Kinnicutt would also race the first leg in the team’s winning 200 medley relay, alongside Allie Bidzerkowny, Hayden Waldon and Morgan Mattison.
Other Individual winners for Wellsville were Waldon in the 100 freestyle, Kaylee Oswald in the 200 individual medley and Ashley Oswald with a winning performance off the Diving board.
“Tonight was a solid win from the first race to the last. It’s early in the season and the team has 46 swims and dives by 11 girls that qualify for Sectionals,” Lady Sea Lions coach Steve Hand said. “Kennedy Ewing, Grace Kinnicutt, Hayden Waldon, they all looked strong tonight. Kaylee stepped up in the 200 IM, Ashley has the Diving record in her sights and she keeps getting better on the board every meet.”
Hornell gathered four wins in the back half of the meet, including a pair of relay finishes in the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle. Evelyn Striker and Gabriella Passero rounded off the wins with their winning times in the 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke, respectively.
Wellsville is now off for the next nine days, as they now begin preparations for next Thursday’s road meet in Dansville beginning at 5 p.m.
200 Medley – 1. Wellsville (Kinnicutt, Bidzerkowny, Waldon, Mattison) 2:09.72, 2. Wellsville, 3. Hornell.
200 Free – 1. Kennedy Ewing (WLSV) 2:22.98, 2. Megan VanEtten (WLSV), 3. Kaela Briggs (HHS).
200 IMR – 1. Kaylee Oswald (WLSV) 2:41.71, 2. Evelyn Striker (HHS), 3. Ella Green (WLSV).
50 Free – 1. Grace Kinnicutt (WLSV) 27.41, 2. Allie Bidzerkowny (WLSV), 3. Reegan Perkins (WLSV).
Diving – 1. Ashley Oswald (WLSV) 198.97.
100 Fly – 1. Grace Kinnicutt (WLSV) 1:07.48, 2. Morgan Mattison (WLSV).
100 Free – 1. Hayden Waldon (WLSV) 58.69, 2. Gabriella Passero (HHS), 3. Margaret Hall (HHS).
500 Free – 1. Kennedy Ewing (WLSV) 6:15.30, 2. Kaylee Oswald (WLSV), 3. Reegan Perkins (WLSV).
200 Relay – 1. Hornell (Hall, Striker, Passero, Briggs) 2:05.07, 2. Hornell.
100 Back – 1. Evelyn Striker (HHS) 1:13.96, 2. Margaret Hall (HHS), 3. Eliana Hopper (HHS).
100 Breaststroke – 1. Gabriella Passero (HHS) 1:31.51, 2. Hanee Allen (HHS).
400 Free – 1. Hornell (Briggs, Striker, Hall, Passero) 4:56.69, 2. Hornell.
Fillmore 3, Arkport/Canaseraga 2
FILLMORE — For the first time this year, the unbeaten Eagles of Fillmore found themselves behind the eight ball. And in a hurry, as visiting Arkport/Canaseraga came out swinging with the game’s icebreaker — the first score that the defending Class D State Champions would allow after five consecutive shutouts.
But the Eagles would not allow it to faze them however, as they came right back and delivered two big punches to claim a one-goal lead going into the break. With the upper hand, they would now control their own destiny going into the last 40 minute stage under the lights.
And with it, came a quick response like the Wolves provided out of the gate. Layton Sanasith was responsible for that.
Just over two minutes removed from the kick at center, the Fillmore senior made the most of the opportunity in a big way, providing a swift tally to give the Eagles a big lead extension against Arkport/Canaseraga, holding it intact despite some added pressure down the stretch from the Wolves, as they went on to survive a tough duel with a winning 3-2 edge on Tuesday.
Fillmore (6-0) fell behind right from the start to Arkport/Canaseraga, as the Wolves attacked with high intensity to throw them off-kilter, which would result in the game’s opening marker off the foot of Zach Smith for a 1-0 lead just 1:51 into the game. The lead would hold up near the midway mark when the Eagles managed to break through and tie the game with the first of two crucial Sardina tallies at the 16:29 mark.
Sardina would officially give the Eagles the 2-1 lead going into the break, as he connected with Nolan Krzeminski from the back on a lead pass on the break with eight minutes to go. With the momentum now in their favor, the chance to build even more onto their newly-laid foundation had arrived.
Just 2:22 removed in the second half, Layton Sanasith went on to do just that, as he leaped into the air to intercept a phenomenal cross sent along by Zach Sisson to bury home into the Arkport/Canaseraga net for a humongous 3-1 advantage.
But the Wolves would not go quietly though, as they turned up the heat on Fillmore coming down the stretch with the help of Aydan Button, as he found the back of the net to cut the deficit down to a goal just past the midway mark.
Despite the score, the Eagles defense was able to hold their ground from that point forward to secure what would be a sixth straight win to open up their State title defense through a tremendous battle.
“It was a great battle between us and Arkport/Canaseraga. We found ourselves trailing for the first time all season, and quickly. Credit to them though, they came out fast and they maintained that intensity all throughout the game. But I’m super proud of how we responded in the first half with Henry (Sardina) getting two goals before the end of the half.” said Eagles coach Jarrett Vosburg. “We were able to get up by two with Layton’s courageous header off a cross from Zach, and we were able to hold on from there. I’m very proud of all the boys for their response to adversity and for gritting out a gutsy win.”
20 combined shots were accumulated by both offenses, with Fillmore recording the narrow 12-8 advantage over Arkport/Canaseraga. In goal, Brayden Hennard made six stops to record the win, while Taylor Pragle made nine saves for the Wolves.
Up next is a quick turnaround for Fillmore this evening, as they now prepare for a 6 p.m. visit to Andover to face host Andover/Whitesville.
Fillmore 2, Genesee Valley/Belfast 0
BELFAST — Genesee Valley/Belfast gave everything the Lady Eagles of Fillmore could handle Tuesday night at the Rich Sullivan Complex. But like she has been since the start of the season, Hope Russell has been a force to be reckoned with.
Whenever the Lady Eagles need a spark to light their offensive fire, the senior has been there each time to provide a swift response. Although they had to battle it out with host Genesee Valley/Belfast for much of the first 40 minutes, the visitors in white and green were able to break through with the first of two goals from Russell to help claim a lead they would never relinquish, as they remained undefeated with their seventh straight win with a 2-0 road shutout.
Russell’s first score for the Lady Eagles (7-0) came with 6:46 left in the half, allowing them to springboard into the driver’s seat with the advantage going into the break. The midfield battle would settle in once more for the beginning stages of the second half leading up to what would be a massive score for Russell again.
At the 26:07 mark, the Lady Eagles senior made her way past the Genesee Valley/Belfast (6-2) defense after gathering a pass up the middle from Allie Mills, connecting with the back of the net with it to further cement the team’s advantage, ultimately for good. When it was all said and done, the Lady Eagles recorded a 12-6 outshooting of the hosts in black.
In goal, the win belonged to Preslee Miller, who made all five stops to record the shutout. On the other end, Kimme Ball and Danika Scott combined to make eight saves in goal for Genesee Valley/Belfast.
On Thursday, Fillmore will look to make it eight straight wins, as they head for Dunsmore-Latimer Field in Bolivar to take on the host Lady Wolverines of Bolivar-Richburg in a 5 p.m. contest, while Genesee Valley/Belfast hosts Cuba-Rushford in a 7 p.m. first kick at Judy Bliven Field in Belmont.
Friendship/Scio 6, Bolivar-Richburg 1
BOLIVAR — Ever since an 0-2 start to their season, Friendship/Scio has found their rhythm. On Tuesday, it would continue in their latest road trip to Bolivar-Richburg, using the first 40 minutes to their fullest of advantages to set the tone right away, as they rolled towards their fourth straight victory with a 6-1 decision over the Lady Wolverines.
The Friendship/Scio (4-2) offense was spearheaded by an incredible offensive performance from Morghyn Ross, who provided three of the team’s six goals to record the hat trick. Nevaeh Ross chipped in with two goals of her own, while Lexi Crossley had one to finish off the scoring. Altogether, the offense collected 12 shots on goal, outshooting Bolivar-Richburg a 12-6 total count.
In goal, Grace Drumm made five saves to record the win.
For the Lady Wolverines (3-4), Teegan Sibble netted the team’s lone goal with Emma Sisson garnering the assist. In net, Caitlyn Steiner made six saves.
Both teams are back at it Thursday night in a pair of 5 p.m. contests, as Friendship/Scio now looks to make it five in a row with a trip to Whitesville to take on Andover/Whitesville, while Bolivar-Richburg plays host to the Fillmore Lady Eagles.
Cuba-Rushford 7, Andover/Whitesville 0
CUBA — Since the beginning of the season, Lady Rebels head coach Aaron Wight stressed to his team about the importance of finishing the play. It’s an element of the game that can give an offense a big kick towards even bigger things.
Going up by a pair at the break over visiting Andover/Whitesville, who remained hot on their trail, something had to most certainly give.
For Cuba-Rushford, they used every bit of the last 40 minutes of play.
Paced by a pair of second half scores from the foot of Aubrey Williams, the Lady Rebels blazed a trail of glory to get back to .500 on the season, as they found the back of the Andover/Whitesville net five more times to further cushion their advantage, finishing the contest with a 7-0 home victory in hand.
“I’ve felt like a broken record every game talking about our finishing. It was nice to score like that today, and I really hope we can build on that going forward,” said Wight. “It was great to see a lot of different girls chipping in tonight. At halftime, we talked about how dangerous a two-goal lead is in soccer. The game was closer than the final score indicated, especially through the first half. I was really happy with how we didn’t let up at all coming out of the break.”
To set the stage for the Lady Rebels (3-3), Harlie Jones and Brynn Lavery scored off of two different assists handed out by Shae Maples, with the first coming from Jones just 36 seconds into the game to earn the 1-0 lead before Lavery’s score branched out the advantage to a pair near the midway mark.
In the second half, a much different story, as four more Lady Rebels all got involved to help cement the advantage even more, with Cloey Larabee kicking off the festivities with an unassisted score nearly a minute removed from the kick at center. Williams followed with back-to-back scores in 10 minutes, finishing off passes dished along by Larabee and Haydn Jones.
Jones would record her next assist off a corner kick in the direction of Karleigh Truax, who provided the finish at the 14:06 mark. To close out the scoring, Sydney Howard was the last Lady Rebel to find the back of the Andover/Whitesville (1-5) net with a score off a pass provided by Jenna Sutton.
In all, 24 shots were recorded on the attack by Cuba-Rushford, as they outshot Andover/Whitesville by a 24-9 count. In goal, Annaleece Melton and Lilly Johnson-Clark each made nine saves to record the shutout, while Olivia Waters made 17 saves for the visitors.
Both teams are back on the pitch Thursday night, as Cuba-Rushford hits the road for Judy Bliven Field in Belmont for a 7 p.m. contest against Genesee Valley/Belfast, while Andover/Whitesville heads back home to host red hot Friendship/Scio in a 5 p.m. battle in Whitesville.