Weekly Feature



2018-09-13 / Sports

Shutouts highlight EA girls soccer’s 5-0 start

by JASON NADOLINSKI
Reporter


Cheektowaga goalie Emily Krause boxes out East Aurora’s Katriana Kivari as Kivari attempts to put a rebound in the Lady Warriors’ net during the Lady Blue Devils’ 11-0 victory on Sept. 6. Kivari finished the game with four goals and three assists. Photo by Jake French Cheektowaga goalie Emily Krause boxes out East Aurora’s Katriana Kivari as Kivari attempts to put a rebound in the Lady Warriors’ net during the Lady Blue Devils’ 11-0 victory on Sept. 6. Kivari finished the game with four goals and three assists. Photo by Jake French First-year head coach Craig Polston was on the money when he predicted defense would be a key component to the East Aurora girls soccer team’s success this season, at least if the Lady Blue Devils’ efforts in their first five games are any indication.

And while there have also been some impressive offensive showings during that stretch, the fact that the team didn’t yield a single tally can’t possibly be overlooked.

“It’s certainly great that we didn’t allow a goal in our first five games,” Polston said. “I can’t say that I expected us to have five clean sheets to open the season. We’ve just been fortunate that the girls who we were looking to do well for us have gotten off to a fast start on both sides of the ball. And, with the team still coming together, I can honestly say I’m still not sure just how strong we are yet as a group.”

East Aurora’s hot start to the season began on Aug. 29 with a 6-0 weather-shortened triumph over Lake Shore. Both Katherine Jancevski and Ellie George scored twice in the first half, with Katie Kivari actually picking up the squad’s first goal of the year seven minutes into the contest off a pass from Jancevski. Beth Schiltz, Fiona Kavcic, Morgan Mann and Lucy Creighton all had first-half assists as well.

Jancevski completed her hat trick with the game’s final goal, off a pass from Isabel Deoca, just four minutes into the second half.

Goalie Gretchen Stoll had an easy time securing the shutout in net for the Lady Blue Devils, as she didn’t face a single shot.

Depew/Cleveland Hill gave the Lady Blue Devils a stronger test two days later, but they responded to that challenge by way of a 3-0 decision. Jancevski scored the only goal East Aurora would need 22 minutes into the first half off a pass from Schiltz. Kivari chipped in with an insurance goal five minutes into the second half, off a pass from George, and then assisted on Schiltz’s tally 15 minutes later to close out the offensive efforts on the day.

Cameron Dills recorded the complete-game shutout between the pipes this time around, making two saves to get the victory.

Stoll was back in net for East Aurora for Sept. 4’s toughest challenge to date, a scoreless tie with non-league foe Orchard Park. Stoll turned aside all seven shots that she faced, while her counterpart needed to only make three saves to keep the Lady Blue Devils off the scoreboard in what Polston called “a physical game against a tough team.”

East Aurora was able to regain some confidence at the offensive end of the field Thursday against Cheektowaga, as the Lady Blue Devils exploded for nine first-half goals in cruising to an 11-0 victory over the Lady Warriors. Kivari finished the contest with four goals and three assists, while Schiltz added two goals. Jancevski chipped in with a goal and two assists, while Deoca, Kate Rachwal and Sarah Stanz rounded out the scoring with one goal each.

Mann, Ella Rabey and Julia Patterson (2) each assisted on East Aurora goals as well, while Dills posted the shutout in net after facing a grand total of zero shots.

East Aurora saved the best for last, however, shutting out Pioneer on Friday, 5-0, to earn a rare victory over the Lady Panthers. Jancevski recorded her second hat trick of the season to spark the offense, while Kivari chipped in with a goal and three assists. Rachwal rounded out the scoring, while Schiltz and Kiera Kavcic each recorded an assist.

“We just played a really solid game against Pioneer,” Polston said. “It felt good to beat those guys for the first time in a few years, especially since they beat us in the sectional finals last fall. Katie Kivari is certainly playing at a really high level for us so far. We’ve got her locked down on the outside wing and she’s really comfortable out there; she’s fast with a good shot, and that makes her really hard to cover. I think she’s going to get a lot of attention from other teams as the season progresses.”

East Aurora (5-0 overall) returned to action Monday against Lancaster, but information about that contest was not available at press time. The Lady Blue Devils close out their week Saturday by traveling to Maryvale.

“For one thing, we’ve got to stay healthy, as injuries got us toward the end of last year,” Polston said. “We’ve got to play team defense, too. We’ve got good speed in the right places, but it’s not like we can just take away one good player with one good defender. It’s a total team effort, not just our defensive backs who are winning the ball and playing it forward. We’ve got to go out there believing we can win every game so long as we score a goal or two. That lets us play without a lot of pressure on us. We’re not making a lot of mistakes out there, and the ones we are, teams aren’t taking advantage of.”

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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