By Benjamin Joe
Despite being from a smaller league, the Niagara-Wheatfield Falcons gave as good as they got when they played their first game of the season against the Orchard Park Quakers.
For the first 40 minutes the Falcons defended their side of the field and came into Quaker territory in equal amount to OP’s own drives. Both schools had been subject to a daily, weeklong practice log as tryouts for the varsity level teams were a week late.
“Enough of them play soccer that they’re familiar with the game,” Coach Pete Cerny said of his team’s own experience with the upheaval in the league. “We’re still working on the chemistry but all the other teams are working on that, too.”
While chemistry might still be a problem, Bri Zayatz and Erin Wear proved that teamwork was definitely not.
In the 58 minute of the game, Wear propelled the ball forward, saw Zayatz in front of the net and delivered a perfect assist for Zayatz to score.
“Erin set me up perfectly with the ball,” Zayatz said. “I just feel I work perfectly with her and she knows exactly how to play the ball. So, all credits to Erin on that one.”
“I had the ball and I saw Bri making the run and my first instinct was to give her the ball,” Wear said. “She was in a better position than I was, she was in a scoring position. I gave her the ball and it all worked out.”
Hannah Wilson, a senior at Niagara-Wheatfield, has been playing varsity soccer for her entire high school career as well as eighth grade and was on goal during Tuesday’s game where she blocked each attempt by the Quakers to tie the game up.
“She joined us in eight grade for some of the games,” Cerny said. “And was then full varsity as of ninth grade.”
Another standout player was Marisa Zarcone who was involved in several plays throughout the game as a starter.
“She holds the middle of the field so nicely,” Cerny said. “So, I think of her and Bri Zayatz, the two of them work really nicely, but the first game of the year, I think they all do a lot of work.”
The next contest for the Falcons will be on their home field at Niagara-Wheatfield High School facing off with the Niagara Falls Wolverines.