Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

High Schools

October 18, 2012

Blue Zone is N-O boys soccer Titletown

Panthers capture school's first ever N-O soccer title outright

NEWFANE — Newfane senior Ryan Doyle scored the game-winning goal with about two minutes left in regulation Thursday, sparking the Panthers past visiting Wilson, 3-2, claiming the host school’s first ever Niagara-Orleans League boys soccer championship outright.

With the win, veteran head coach Bob Roach’s Panthers finished their N-O campaign with a league-best 10-1-1 record. Runner-up Albion finished 9-2-1. Roach said Newfane shared the N-O title in 1999 with Starpoint — then a member of the N-O, now a member of the ECIC — but has never won the title outright until this season.
“I’m extremely proud,” said Roach, now in his sixth year coaching the Newfane varsity and seventh year coaching overall. “I think our boys have had to face adversity a few different times this year and they had their backs against the wall, but they refused to go down without a fight.”
Newfane junior midfielder Skyler Maurer scored two almost identical goals in the game’s first 20 minutes to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
Panthers eighth grader Brett Stern assisted on both, getting wide and driving the ball to the far post, where Maurer was waiting each time to knock it home.
“It was the best start we could have hoped for,” coach Roach said.
The Lakemen bounced back with a goal by Mike Thompson to cut the Panthers’ lead to 2-1 at halftime, then tied the contest with a goal with just three-and-a-half minutes left in the game.
Then came the game-winning goal moments later as Maurer sent a great 40-yard through pass to Doyle, who got to the ball before the Wilson keeper did and lobbed it over his head and into the net for his 12th goal of the season with just 1:50 left on the clock.
“We could have hung our heads when Wilson tied the game late, but it only took us a minute or two to bury one,” Roach said. “It really is a great day to be a Newfane Panther and a great day for our school, our players and their families.”

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