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Girls Soccer ECIC II Preview

Hamburg Has Championship Aspirations

The Hamburg High School girls soccer team has made big strides in recent years and with a loaded group of talent returning, the Bulldogs are looking to take it to the top in 2018.

Hamburg returns nine of its 11 starters from a team that went 13-4-1 a year ago.

“We are excited to have a memorable season,” coach Tom Zugger said. “We are expecting to make a run for the ECIC II Top Seed in the playoffs with so many returning players, and 5 very strong players moving up from JV.”

Senior defender Nikki Villarini returns after taking first-team ECIC II and second-team All-WNY honors a year ago. Sophomore Eve Bierl led the team with 35 points last season.

Junior midfielder Laura Bogner wins every loose ball and is the team’s top playmaker. “She is a workhorse,” Zugger said.

Sophomore Abby Kane also returns after making second-team all-division as a freshman. Senior Julia Baldonado and sophomore Maddie Ingraham are also forces in the midfield for the Bulldogs.

Young Flames Remain A Power

As usual, the favorite in ECIC II is Williamsville East. The Flames have won four straight division championships and with some of the best young talent in Western New York, that streak could keep growing for a while.

East returns sophomore midfielder Bella Buscaglia, who scored 19 goals a season ago. Forward Emma Scalione scored seven goals and added five assists last season for the Flames as an eighth-grader. Senior Alessandra Cirulli and junior Gretchen Beyer scored four goals apiece last year.

Junior midfielder Madeline Olsen and defender Kristen Lee were also first-team All ECIC II last year for Williamsville East.

Best of the Rest

Amherst is another team to watch. Amherst is led by senior Quinn DeCicco, who scored 14 goals to lead the Tigers last year. Sophomore Emma Klein will lead the defense. The Tigers were in rebuilding mode last year after going 14-6 in 2016.

Williamsville South returns forward Kaitlin Gruber, who scored 13 goals last season en route to earning first-team all-division status. Sophomore forward Ashley Krzyznowski is another key returnee.

Starpoint returns three ECIC II all-stars from last year: senior Julia Mascaro (10 goals, 10 assists last year), sophomore Kristin Pickard (15 goals, six assists) and senior goalkeeper Elizabeth Bradley (.922 save percentage).

Junior Karlie Mann is back for West Seneca East after scoring a team-best 10 goals last season. She scored the overtime goal in the Trojans’ overtime win over West Seneca West in the sectional prequarterfinals.

Sweet Home won just one game last year but has some talent back. Freshman Megan Gerber and sophomore Yulisa Tosado-Munez were league all-stars a year ago.

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