Diocese of Rochester athletes enjoy state, sectional success - Catholic Courier

Diocese of Rochester athletes enjoy state, sectional success

This spring, sports history was made — repeatedly — by Catholic high schools in the Rochester Diocese.

The boys’ lacrosse team from McQuaid Jesuit won its first-ever Section 5 title and then marched all the way to a state championship as well. And at Bishop Kearney, girls’ flag football won Section 5 and state crowns in its very first year of competition.

Meanwhile, Our Lady of Mercy earned its first Section 5 girls’ lacrosse title in program history, and the Aquinas Institute boys captured their second lacrosse sectional, with both advancing to the state Final Four.

Overtime goal gives McQuaid state lacrosse title

The Knights gained the state Class A crown in a thriller, winning 8-7 in overtime over Farmingdale of Section 8. The game was played June 8 at Hofstra University in Long Island.

Dom Giangreco delivered the game-winning goal near the end of the first sudden-death overtime period, thwarting a Farmingdale rally that saw the Dalers score three straight fourth-quarter goals to erase a 7-4 deficit. The game had been tied 4-4 at halftime with the Knights’ AJ Quagrello and Vinny Giangreco each scoring a pair of first-half goals. Other scorers for McQuaid that day were Eoin Meyer, JP Gianforti and Will DiMarco as the Knights completed their perfect post-season with an overall record of 20-2.

Earlier in the state tournament, McQuaid scored a 13-6 quarterfinal victory over Orchard Park of Section 6 June 1, taking a 7-1 lead after one quarter. That was followed by a 10-5 semifinal win over Liverpool of Section 3 June 5 as John Harding had a hat trick and McQuaid scored the game’s first four goals.

Prior to winning the state title, McQuaid captured its first sectional crown with a 6-4 Class A win over second-seeded Penfield May 28. Top-seeded McQuaid netted the game’s final four goals, all in the second half, with goalie Will Gordon allowing no goals after halftime.

BK girls earn state flag football crown, perfection

Bishop Kearney captured the inaugural state Division II title with a 39-20 win over Sayville of Section 11 June 2 at Cortland High School.

In a battle of unbeatens, the Lady Kings emerged victorious by scoring the game’s final 13 points after the Golden Flashes had closed to within 26-20. Leading Kearney’s high-powered offense were quarterback Greta Brezenski, who threw for four touchdowns and ran for another; and Nela Lopusanova, who caught all four of the TD passes and added three interceptions on defense.

BK’s appearance was preceded by a stellar defensive performance one day earlier in a 13-2 semifinal win over Brewster of Section 1. Yet it was in the state quarterfinal May 25 — against Pioneer of Section 6 — that the season’s most memorable play occurred. Brezenski connected with Cady Kowalow on a long completion to tie the game as time expired, and BK made the deciding extra point in a 26-25 win that saw the Lady Kings erase a 19-0 deficit.

Earlier in the post-season, top-seeded BK won 20-13 over No. 2 Gananda in the Section 5 Class B2 final May 21, as Brezenski made TD throws to Allie Hall and Lopusanova and ran for the other score. The Lady Kings then rolled to a 31-0 win over Greece Athena in state-qualifier play May 23.

BK finishes its first season with a perfect 16-0 record while bringing home the first state flag-football trophy ever for this quickly growing girls’ sport.

Comeback fuels Our Lady of Mercy lacrosse championship

The Monarchs made a stirring second-half rally to earn their first Section 5 crown May 29, winning 10-9 in Class C over 11-time defending champ Honeoye Falls-Lima.

Top-seeded Mercy trailed 8-5 at halftime but outscored the second-seeded Cougars 5-1 in the second half. Mia Quagrello scored four goals, including the game-winner early in the fourth quarter to break a 9-9 tie. Sydney Cook and Krista Harnischfeger had two goals each, while Maeve Shanahan and Emma Kravetz each contributed a goal and goaltender Elinor Meyer allowed only one goal after halftime.

Mercy went on to best Lake Shore of Section 6 by a 17-8 count June 1 in state Class C quarterfinal action. Cook had four goals and four assists; Lydia Malvaso scored four goals as well; and Quagrello and Harnischfeger each had three goals.

The Monarchs’ season ended with a loss to undefeated and eventual champion Sayville of Section 11, 13-8, in the state Class C semifinal June 7. Mercy’s final record was 10-10.

Aquinas prevails in Class D lacrosse sectionals

No. 1 seed Aquinas defeated No. 2 Penn Yan, 14-11, in the Section 5 Class D final May 26 to gain the school’s second-ever sectional title.

Noah Olbrich finished with eight goals for the Little Irish, with Jake Guggino and Tano Auriuso adding two goals each. The Irish scored the game’s first four goals and pulled away after Penn Yan had closed to within 11-10. The Mustangs had won 24 of the previous 25 sectional championships, with its only blemish coming in 2010 — also at the hands of Aquinas.

AQ went on to a 13-10 win over Akron of Section 6 in state first-round play May 29 behind Auriuso’s six-goal outburst. The Irish then won 18-6 over Chenango Valley of Section 4 in quarterfinal action June 1 as Auriuso, Guggino and Carter Wegman scored five, four and three goals, respectively.

Aquinas met its match in the state semifinal June 5 against Marcellus of Section 3, losing 15-8. The Irish were unable to catch up after falling behind 4-1 after one quarter. Their final record was 16-6.

High-school baseball, golf, track athletes excel

  • Elmira Notre Dame baseball reached the Section 5 Class D final. The Crusaders, seeded No. 3, won 24-0 over No. 6 South Kortright/Andes in quarterfinal play May 20 and 7-2 in the semifinal round over No. 2 Afton May 22, rallying for six runs in the sixth and seventh innings. ND’s season ended with a 10-0 loss to top-seeded Deposit-Hancock in the title game May 24.
  • In boys’ golf, McQuaid teammates Danny Wehle and Richard Essen were co-medalists at the Section 5 Class AA individual tournament May 18 as well as at the state qualifier May 21, shooting scores of 69 at Ravenwood Golf Club and 72 at Irondequoit Country Club, respectively. At the state event, held June 2-3, Alex Hill was the top McQuaid finisher, tying for 14th place.Team-wise, McQuaid reached the Section 5 Class AA final with wins over No. 8 Spencerport May 20 and No. 5 Fairport May 23. The No. 1-seeded Knights were edged by No. 2 Victor in the final May 30.
  • Aquinas won the Section 5 Class B boys’ golf team title, scoring a 341-348 win over top-seeded Addison in the final May 28. Aquinas, the third seed, had reached the final with victories over No. 6 Attica May 22 and No. 2 Mynderse May 23.
  • In boys’ track, McQuaid’s A.J. Nesmith won the 400-meter hurdles and teammate Max Schnittman captured the 3,000 steeplechase at the Section 5 Class A1 meet May 25, helping the Knights finish second in team scoring. At the state qualifier June 1, the Knights’ Alex Morey placed first in Division I in the 800 run. In the state meet, held June 7-8, Morey led the Knights by finishing second overall in the 800, while teammate Rhoan Kaulder took third overall in the long jump.
  • In girls’ track, Aquinas’ Dallis Jones won 100 and 200 dashes at the Section 5 Class B1 meet May 24, helping the Little Irish place third in team scoring.
  • Elmira Notre Dame’s Makenna Keough won the girls’ long jump and triple jump at the Section 4 Class D girls’ meet May 22.
  • Aquinas boys’ track won the 400 relay at the Section 5 Class B1 meet May 24, and AQ’s Noah Collins-Howard placed first in the 100 dash at the Division II state qualifier June 1.
  • Bishop Kearney’s Hailee Garcia won the discus and teammate Ella Lester took the 400 at the Section 5 Class B2 girls’ track championships May 24. Garcia went on to place first in Division II in the discus at the state qualifier June 1.

Tags: Catholic Schools, Sports
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