As the 2018 soccer season kick offs the Grand Island Lady Vikings will be looking to maintain their place atop the Niagara Frontier League. While they have to be considered the favorites the league is far from short on contenders looking to take the league title.
The Vikings went 19-2 en route to capturing the league and Section VI Class A championships.
Grand Island’s season came to a close in the Far West Regionals where they fell to Section V Spencerport by a 1-0 final.
As the new season unfolds the Vikings will look to junior Abigail Blair (21 points) and Brooke Amato (28 points) to lead the way.
The Lady Falcons lost some big pieces from a team that went 14-3. Long time leaders Michelle Terbot and Samantha Maghrak were lost to graduation. Which means players like senior M/F Brianna Zayatz, who had 22 points last year, must step up into a bigger role.
The Falcons also have the plus of sophomore sensation Erin Weir who is coming off of a 48 point season. Hannah Wilson will shoulder the goal keeping duties.
The Lady Jacks have perhaps the most explosive 1-2 offensive punch in junior forward Bella Finley who had 37 points and junior midfield/forward Macey Gioeli who tallied 32 points.
The Lady Jacks roster was also bolstered by the return of Olivia Hooley who returns to NT varsity squad after playing academy last season. “I’m super excited to have her back,” said NT coach Hannah Crouch. Also back for NT will be senior Bridget Wilson who will be the cornerstone of the NT defense.
The Blue Devils feel that better team chemistry and a better work ethic will translate into more wins.
Returning leading scorer, senior Molly Tobin (28 points), is also a nice plus.
Forwards Vanessa Schmidt and Faye Panagopoulos also return.
The Lady Bulldogs have seen a changing of the guard as former Grand Island star Jamie Raepple takes over as head coach.
Raepple, who played DI for Niagara University, spent the past two seasons as the Ken-East JV coach.
She returns a core of seniors in goalie Lyndsay O’Brien, Bella Bona (C/M) and leading scorer Alexis Cummings (24 points) at center-back. Sophomore Lauren Reinhardt (22 points) also returns.
The Lady Lions return senior captain Alyssa Edbauer (D/M).
Ella Massano (10 points) will be a key part of a Lady Lancers squad looking to build on its 9-7 season.
The Wolverines return sophomore midfielder/forward Mia Augustino who was their leading scorer with 25 points.
The Eagles go into their third season in the NFL looking to fill the void after losing 11 seniors to graduation.
The NFL will once again be split into two divisions: Niagara will house Ken-West, North Tonawanda, Niagara-Wheatfield, Lockport and Niagara Falls. While the smaller schools: CSAT, Ken-East, Lew-Port and Grand Island will be in the Frontier Division.
The final regular season league game will pit the two division leaders against each other with the winner being crowned the overall league champion. The boys will follow the same format.
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