Aquinas Institute vs. McQuaid Jesuit. Whatever the sport, this rivalry alone makes every contest interesting. Throw a Section 5 title into the mix, and the intensity simply doesn’t get any higher.
The Catholic high school archrivals battled for the Section 5 Class A hockey championship on Feb. 18. Top-seeded AQ walked away with the trophy after knocking off the third-seeded Knights, 5-2, at ESL Sports Centre in Rochester.
Aquinas earned its second straight sectional crown. John Mousso and Sean Carter scored twice each, and Billy Lemen had the other Aquinas goal. McQuaid’s only goals came from Joel Goodsell, who scored twice in less than two minutes in the second period after Aquinas got the game’s first three goals. The Little Irish prevailed despite being outshot 24-19 by the Knights, who finished their 2006-07 season with a 16-6-1 record.
AQ had reached the sectional title game with a 5-3 semifinal win over Irondequoit on Feb. 15 behind four goals from Lemen. McQuaid had qualified for the final with a 4-0 win over Webster Thomas, also on Feb. 15, as Nick BonDurant made 19 saves for the shutout, and Wes Rene, Goodsell, Matt Metzler and Nick Caton each had a goal.
Following their sectional win over McQuaid, the Little Irish whipped Fairport 5-1 in a state-qualifier meeting on Feb. 21 as Carter and Mousso got two goals each and Terry Shafer picked up the win in the nets.
The Little Irish saw their season end in the state Division I quarterfinals with a 3-2 loss to Ithaca on March 3. Phil Martello and Matt McGuire each scored as the Little Irish ended up with a 20-3-2 record.
Other winter sports highlights were produced by the following teams and individuals from Catholic high schools in the diocese:
* Our Lady of Mercy indoor track earned the Section 5 Class B girls’ title. Jamiee McCleary won the 55-meter dash, 55 hurdles and long jump; Emily Pryslak won the 300 and 600; and Kendra Zaffuto took the 1,000 and 1,500. The Monarchs’ 1,600-meter relay also was victorious. Zaffuto (in the 1,000 meters) and the 1,600 relay went on to each place eighth at the state championships.
* Aquinas’ Caitlyn Brennan won the high jump in the sectional Class C girls’ championship meet.
* The McQuaid 1,600 relay (Class B) and Aquinas 800 relay (Class C) each placed first in their respective sectional boys’ finals.
* Nazareth Academy’s bowling team won the Section 5 Class C championship. The Lasers’ Courtney Shannon totaled 1,117 pins for six games, netting the high series for all of Class C. Shannon gained a spot on the Section 5 girls’ All-Star team, which went on to capture the state title.
* McQuaid’s Maxwell Norris placed eighth in diving in the state boys’ swimming championships after finishing third in the Section 5 Class B meet.
* McQuaid wrestler Francis Pettinaro reached the finals of the 275-pound weight class at the Section 5 Class A meet.
* Elmira Notre Dame hockey won the Twin Tiers High School Hockey League title.
* McQuaid’s Chris Burgart and Kurt Voss placed third and fifth, respectively, in the giant slalom at the state boys’ skiing championships. Burgart also took first in the slalom at the Section 5 meet.