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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Collins, Quakers Take Down Chiefs

No matter how good a team might be there’s always a lack of timidness in the first game of the season.

Even the defending Section VI Class A boys lacrosse sectional finalist Orchard Park Quakers spent a few minutes feeling things out Friday as they gave up the game’s first goal to the visiting Iroquois Chiefs.

Luckily, the Quakers had Cayden Collins – who happens to be very comfortable with a lacrosse stick – on their side.

Collins scored the first goal of the Quaker’s 2019 campaign and netted six more en route to a 17-4 win over the Chiefs at OP Stadium Friday night.

“As Cayden goes, we go,” Orchard Park coach Larry Catalano said. “Our offense runs through him. He has great field vision. He knows when to shoot and move the ball. He’s the man we’re looking for to lead us on the offensive side.”

Collins has been around lacrosse all his life, first picking up a stick at the age of three before playing the sport organized when he was five years old.

The senior is the team’s offensive captain, but he can play anywhere on the field.

“I love playing attack,” said Collins, who also finished with a pair of assists. “I also like running through the mid-box and getting a shorty on me here and there. I really try to convince Coach (Catalano) to give me a long pole but he doesn’t like me to do that very often. I’ll do anything that’s asked of me.”

After Collins’ first goal, the traditional WNY powerhouse found its groove with three more goals before ending the opening quarter with a 4-2 lead.

Collins’ third goal, which came just fourteen seconds into the second quarter, sparked a four-goal run that helped Orchard Park to a 9-3 lead at the half.

The Quakers poured it on in the third quarter. OP scored six-straight goals after Max Streety, who ended with two goals and an assist, hit the back of the net to start the half. Quinn O’Brien led the stretch with three goals.

Chiefs’ senior Lucas Achman scored his third goal of the game with 15.6 seconds left in the third to cut the deficit to 15-4 going into the final stanza.

Paul Fitzgerald had the other Iroquois goal and assisted on another, teammate Andrew Boll also had an assist.

OP’s Jake Shul had two goals and as many assists and teammate Carter Korzenski netted three goals. Bryson Miller, Tom Callaghan, Garrett Harp, and Archie Bartolotti each had an assist for the Quakers.

Orchard Park is coming off a 2018 season in which they fell to rival Lancaster in the sectional final, a place they’ve reached nearly every year for the past two decades.

In his final season as a Quaker, Collins hopes to take them beyond WNY.

“I want to set the bar further than then the sectional championship this year,” Collins said. “I expect us to get there and win that and move further down the road than that.”

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