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Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017: Mercy tennis star makes Section 5 history

   Leading off today: Our Lady of Mercy sophomore Julia Andreach became the first Section 5 girl to win a NYSPHSAA tennis championship, scoring a straight-sets victory in the final Monday at the Tri-City Fitness Club in Latham.

   Andreach defeated Hewlett freshman Rachel Arbitman, the top seed, 6-4, 6-2.

   Andreach lost a three-set match to Yorktown's Caitlyn Ferrante in the 2016 final. Andreach defeated Ferrante 6-0, 6-0 in the semifinals Sunday.

   "Being the first is really exciting," Andreach told the Democrat and Chronicle. "Last year I didn't know that, so I think knowing that (this year) and still going in and winning is so exciting."

   Laina Campos and Vanessa Ciano of Ursuline earned the doubled title with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Katerina Atallah and Maggie Bonomo of Fayetteville-Manlius in the final.

   Hot at the right time: Shenendehowa entered the Section 2 boys Class AA soccer tournament reeling a bit after concluding the regular season with 2-1 losses to Saratoga and Bethlehem (2-1) before closing out with a 5-0 win against Columbia.

   The Plainsmen pulled the pieces together in time for the postseason and beat Albany CBA 2-1 in Monday's final. Senior defender Ethan Behan scored his fourth goal of the season after a scramble in front of the CBA goal with 10:26 remaining.

   "After the Bethlehem game, the guys were down. We had a little bit of time before Columbia," goalkeeper Greg Monroe told The Times Union. "We did a lot of team-building. Everything we did, we did together."

   More boys soccer: Junior Jack Grooms scored both Westhill goals, including the game-winning 'golden goal' in the first overtime, to give the Warriors a 2-1 victory over Cazenovia and a second straight Section 3 Class B title.

   Grooms' winner came 4:33 into overtime during a scramble in front of the Cazenovia net.

   "I whiffed on the first one, and I got it back," he told "You've just always got to be ready and eventually one will come."

    • Sophomore Ben Hammond was credited with the goal during a frantic scramble following a corner kick that gave Fayetteville-Manlius a 2-1 win over Baldwinsville in OT in the Section 3 Class AA final.

   It's the first F-M boys soccer title since 2014 and the 24th overall in the program's history.

    • Lancaster St. Mary's took advantage of the elements with five first-half goals to defeat Cardinal O'Hara 6-1 for the Monsignor Martin Class B championship.

   "We had a 35 mile-an-hour wind with us in the first half and we scored two goals within the first five minutes and five by halftime," coach Al Franjoine told The Buffalo News. "They had only one shot in the first half. In the second half they were able to get 10 shots off but were able to only score once."

   Luke Szablewski and Liam Regan scored two goals each for the Lancers.


   State tourney opener: Emma Bough scored twice for Chenango Forks in a 5-1 win over Rhinebeck in the first round of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association girls Class B soccer tournament.

   Chenango Forks dominated possession from the outset. The Blue Devils broke through in the 11th minute on Bough's first goal, and she connected again with 22:36 left in the first half.

   The Blue Devils will face Section 1's Albertus Magnus in a quarterfinal Saturday.

   More girls soccer: Two days after winning the CHSAA Class AA Archdiocesan title, Notre Dame Academy beat


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  • Xaverian 3-1 to capture the city crown.

       Lily Lichardi, Julie Jastremski and Victoria Massullo scored a goal apiece to move the Gators into the state CHSAA tournament beginning Nov. 11.

       Potential milestone: Wheatland-Chili girls soccer coach Gary Ward, 73, goes for career win No. 500 on Tuesday. The Wildcats, the defending Class D state champions, play Arkport in the Section 5 state qualifier game. The winner moves on to the NYSPHSAA quarterfinals.

       Wheatland-Chili has shut out four of its last five opponents and 11 overall, compiling a 90-10 scoring margin this fall.

       "It's probably the best team I've ever had," Ward told the Democrat and Chronicle. "A handful of these girls have been with us four and five years."

       Ward's teams have won eight Section 5 and two state titles on the way to compiling a 499-166-62 record for him.

       Hoops great discloses abuse: WNBA player Breanna Stewart, a former star basketball player at Cicero-North Syracuse and UConn, revealed that she was molested by an older male as a pre-teen.

       Stewart wrote an essay describing what transpired over two years during sleep-overs at a relative's house starting when she was about 9 years old.

       "I'd hear his footsteps coming down the stairs.

       "He'd sit down next to me, pretending to watch TV. Sometimes, he never went upstairs to sleep and just waited on the couch.

       "I knew what was coming next.

       "I don't know how to say this part. I haven't told many people. I'm not the most vulnerable person -- I don't talk about my feelings much -- so this is uncomfortable.

       "I was molested for years.

       "The TV would flicker, and everything would be quiet. 'It's O.K.,' he'd say. He'd touch me and try to get me to touch him.

       "Sometimes I would try to pull my arm away, but I wasn't as strong. I was just a kid."

       Stewart said she knew what would happen when she went to the relative's house, but struggled to tell her parents what was happening. She eventually told her parents about the sexual abuse when she was 11.

       She wrote that she can't remember everything that happened afterward but that the man was arrested and her father "later told me that the guy had confessed everything to the police."

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