Championships were in abundance at Aquinas Institute this fall. In addition to sectional and state titles won in boys’ and girls’ soccer, the Little Irish football team claimed the Section 5 Class A crown.
Aquinas came into the playoffs as the No. 4 seed, but rolled 35-7 over No. 5 Eastridge and 21-0 over top-seeded Victor to earn a title-game appearance. The Little Irish then scored a 21-16 win over No. 3 Wilson Magnet in the final on Nov. 3, shooting out to a 14-0 first-half lead and holding on from there.
AQ went on to score a 7-0 victory over previously unbeaten Iroquois of Section 6 in the state quarterfinals on Nov. 11, as Anthony Fitts’ 55-yard touchdown run in the third quarter made the difference. The bubble finally burst when AQ lost 23-0 to eventual state champion Corning East of Section 4 on Nov. 17. Aquinas’ final record was 9-3.
Other football teams turned in fine seasons as well: Bishop Kearney (8-1) had an 8-0 regular-season record and earned the No. 1 seed in Section 5 Class C before being upset, 36-18, by No. 4 Letchworth in a semifinal game Oct. 29; McQuaid Jesuit posted a final record of 6-3 and reached the Section 5 Class A semifinals; and Elmira Notre Dame also finished at 6-3 while making the Section 4 Class B semifinals.
Several more teams and individuals from Catholic high schools in the diocese went deep into the 2006 post-season. They include:
* McQuaid boys’ soccer (17-2-1), which reached the Section 5 Class AA final as the No. 2 seed, thanks to a 2-1 semifinal win over No. 3 Brighton on Oct. 30. Stephen Baker and Conor O’Leary were the Knights’ goal-scorers. McQuaid was stopped in the title game by top-seeded Webster Thomas, 6-2, on Nov. 3.
* Nazareth Academy girls’ soccer (14-6-1), which advanced to the Section 5 Class B final with a 2-0 win over top-seeded Byron-Bergen on Oct. 31. Evelyn Santiago scored both goals, and goaltender Amanda Taylor notched the shutout. The fifth-seeded Lasers were halted by third-seeded Le Roy, 1-0, in the title game on Nov. 3.
* Elmira Notre Dame boys’ soccer (12-5-1), seeded second in Section 4 Class C, which reached the championship game with a 3-2 win over No. 6 Southern Cayuga on Oct. 31. Tom Castle led the way by scoring the tying goal late in regulation as well as the winner in overtime. The Crusaders then lost 4-1 to top-seeded Marathon in the final played Nov. 4.
* Notre Dame girls’ soccer (16-6), which also made the Section 4 final. Margie McKinery’s scored the deciding goal as the eighth-seeded Crusaders won 2-1 over No. 5 Oneonta in a Class B semifinal on Nov. 1. ND was stopped in the title game by sixth-seeded Lansing, 5-0, on Nov. 4.
* Nazareth girls’ volleyball (12-7), which advanced to the Section 5 Class CC championship round. The fourth-seeded Lasers won 25-15, 25-7, 25-12 over top-seeded Monroe in semifinal play on Nov. 2 before falling 25-12, 25-18, 25-19 to No. 2 Byron-Bergen in the title match on Nov. 4.
* McQuaid Jesuit boys’ volleyball (22-1), which had a perfect 19-0 regular-season record to earn the No. 1 seed in the Section 5 Class A playoffs. The two-time defending champion Knights then won three sectional rounds before losing 25-23, 25-12, 25-23 to No. 3 Penfield in the final on Nov. 8.
* Bishop Kearney’s Jenelle Mitchell, who earned her third consecutive Section 5 Class C girls’ tennis singles championship. She defeated Jen Wlodarczyk of Avoca, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, in the title match held Oct. 21.
* Elmira Notre Dame’s Taryn Lindquist and Andrea Remec, who won the Section 4 Class B doubles crown on Oct. 14. They posted a 7-6, 6-3 win over Meagan Shager and Becah Wiggins of Susquehanna Valley in the final.