Weekly Feature



2016-12-08 / Sports

OP/Frontier girls hockey adds Lake Shore; looks to compete for title

Sports Reporter
TAYLOR NIGRELLI


Orchard Park/Frontier forward Frangelica Bautz celebrates a goal in a semi-final round loss to Williamsville last season. The team added players from Lake Shore this season and appears to be one of the better teams in Western New York. 
Photo by Patrick McPartlandPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Orchard Park/Frontier forward Frangelica Bautz celebrates a goal in a semi-final round loss to Williamsville last season. The team added players from Lake Shore this season and appears to be one of the better teams in Western New York. Photo by Patrick McPartlandPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com It would be difficult to imagine a better start for the Orchard Park/Frontier/Lake Shore girls hockey team. The team won its first three games by a combined score of 17-1. That includes 7-0 and 5-1 wins over perennial powers Kenmore/ Grand Island and Monsignor Martin, respectively.

“There’s a good mix of new girls and veterans, so I think we’re going to have a strong team,” assistant coach Lucian Forcucci said.

The team brings back a good number of players from a solid 2015-16 season. Additionally, Lake Shore joined the fold in the off-season, adding sisters Emily and Mary Kromer to the squad. Those two, along with Riley Johnson, make up one of the top lines. The other is made up of Megan Roche, Jessica Peters and Frangelica Bautz.

“We have two lines up front that are very strong,” Forcucci said. “We can put up some goals. We beat Kenmore 7-0, and they’ve won the section the last five years. We won 5-0 in our second game. We beat Monsignor Martin 5-1. We’ve had some success up front.”

On the defensive side of things, the team has freshman Brooke Becker, eighth-grader Victoria Mariano, junior Gabby DeMeo and junior Sirena Fitzery leading the show.

“I think we have a real good group of veteran girls that have been with us for a while,” Forcucci said. “They have a good work ethic and know the type of hockey we want to play.”

Orchard Park/Frontier has generally been one of the more solid teams since girls hockey became a varsity sport seven years ago. But the squad has generally been overshadowed by Kenmore and Monsignor Martin, which have won the majority of the titles. Now, with star players all over the ice and an added boost from Lake Shore, it appears to be the right time for the team to break out and potentially have its best season to date.

“We’ve been good for a while and played with speed in our system. But we were missing the key player or two to compete with top teams,” Forcucci said. “With the additions we have this year and with the additions of girls from Lake Shore, I think we have those top players.”

Of course, Williamsville, Monsignor Martin and Kenmore appear to be as tough as always. The sledding won’t be easy, but it seems Orchard Park/Frontier/Lake Shore has the potential to win the league and potentially even compete for a state title.

“Early on, it seems like us, Monsignor Martin and Williamsville will put up numbers and have the wins,” Forcucci said. “Winning the section is the first goal. We want to get in the playoffs and go to states. If we accomplish that, we want to win states. The other goal is to compete for the league championship.”

email: tnigrelli@beenews.com

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