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Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019: Orchard Park knocks off Clarence in Section 6 soccer

   Leading off today: Orchard Park played Clarence to a 3-3 tie through regulation and overtime, then defeated the three-time defending Section 6 Class AA champions in a penalty kick shootout Tuesday to advance to the title match.

   Clarence was No. 4 in the most recent New York State Sportswriters Association rankings and had won eight of the last 11 sectional championships.

   Aidan Foterevski, Jonathan Sokolowski and Daniel Mahany scored in regulation for Orchard Park. Mahany's score in the 15th minute of the second half tied the game at 3-3.

   A wild Nassau County game: Massapequa and Oceanside played a wild Section 8 girls Class AA-I soccer semifinal capped by an overtime goal.

   Second-seeded Massapequa surrendered all of its 4-1 lead to an Ashley Ladner hat trick over the final 21 minutes of regulation before the Chiefs' Sierra Brophy broke the tie with a goal with 6:51 to go in the first overtime.

   "It was a relief," Brophy said. "I didn't want to let everyone down, which is what I felt like coming off during regulation. But everyone inspired me to play harder."

   Ladner's flurry of goals came on a pair of free kicks in the 30-yard range followed by a penalty kick with 4:56 remaining in regulation.

   "I think at this young age it's shocking to their system to be up 4-1 with 20 minutes to go and then have three goals be scored against you on restarts and now all of a sudden you're tied 4-4," coach Bruce Stegner said. "It felt to them like they lost the game already, so I think it was incredibly tough for them and I'm proud of them."

   More girls soccer: Sarah Paige's hat trick raised her totals to 35 goals for the season and 175 for her career as Fort Ann defeated Whitehall 6-1 in the Section 2 Class D semifinals.

   Fort Ann, a 2018 state finalist, improved to 13-3-1.

   Disciplinary action: Moore Catholic varsity coach Nick Giannatasio and JV coach Cosmo Martelli have been suspended for the remainder of the season by the Catholic High School Football League for using ineligible players, The Advance reported.

   Moore Catholic was ranked 28th in the state last week in Class A.

   AD Kyle McAlarney referred to the infraction as a "roster discrepancy." The Advance reported that Moore used some athletes in both JV and varsity contests on the same weekend, which is a violation of CHSFL rules.

   Giannatasio, in his fifth season at the school, said the incident happened early in the season. "I'm the head of the football program so it falls on me," he said.


   Giannatasio said the school learned of the suspension on Friday and he sat out the Mavericks' regular-season finale. Assistant Jim Esposito has been appointed the interim head coach.

   Giannatasio resurrected Moore's football program in 2015 after a five-year hiatus. The Mavericks played as a JV team in 2015, then won the CHSFL's A championship in their return to the varsity in 2016.

   Ex-McQuaid standout dies: Dane Leclair, an All-Greater Rochester volleyball player in his last two seasons at McQuaid, died early Sunday in a fall in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he was a graduate assistant in the Division I school's program.

   Leclair, who helped McQuaid to a spot in the 2014 NYSPHSAA finals, graduated last spring from Loyola Chicago, where he also excelled in volleyball.

   Lincoln police said Leclair was fatally injured in an accidental fall from the fourth floor of a parking garage.

   "We are devastated to learn of the passing of Dane," Loyola AD Steve Watson said in a story posted to the school's website. "He was one of the most beloved student-athletes during his time on campus and had a personality that lit up a room." football site

   Following up: A team trip to an Oct. 13 NFL game in Cleveland is behind the firing of Terry Nowden and some other members of the Gates Chili boys basketball staff, former coach Terry Nowden said.

   Nowden said the trip was a "team bonding" event for the coaches and players. The school began its investigation after receiving reports that the adults on the trip consumed beer. Nowden said he and other adults had between one and two beers each.

   "It was just a relaxing enjoyment of watching a football game," said Nowden. "We didn't think anything was wrong with that."

   Nowden's brother Monte, fired as the school's basketball coach in 2012 after an inappropriate relationship with a student, was also on the trip. Terry Nowden said he was never told his brother couldn't go on the trip, which was not sponsored by the school but was approved by the school board.

   "Has a mistake been made? Yes," he said. "Is a termination the punishment you should get for it? Absolutely freaking not, and that's just my feeling. But I understand a mistake was made, and I must live with my mistake."

   More on Nowden: The Gates Chili situation, which has inspired an online petition in support of the dismissed coach, is likely to bring up comparisons to an episode a decade ago in nearby Greece.

   Dan Webb and one of his assistants resigned as coaches of the top-ranked boys ice hockey team at Greece Athena/Odyssey late in the 2008-09 regular season after it was determined alcohol was consumed by adults supervising the team during a trip out of town.

   The school board reversed itself shortly afterward following an outpouring of support within the community.

   Quite honestly, the bigger issue Nowden faced last week was the presence of his brother on the trip. Though not a school-sponsored trip, it involved teens who were there because of their status as Gates Chili students. As such, there's no way the district could overlook Monte Nowden being part of the travel party.

   Monte Nowden, a former football and basketball star, pleaded guilty in 2012 to one count of third-degree rape as part of a plea arrangement and was sentenced to 18 months in jail and 10 years of post-release supervision. He was accused of having sex with a female student younger than 17 inside a nearby movie theater and was arrested a second time on a charge of violating an order of protection preventing him from having any contact with the girl.

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