IN CONTROL — Freshman Drew Fiutko and Frontier advanced in the Class A playoffs, with a 9 – 0 win against Niagara Falls. Photo by Jeffrey Barnes.
Even through times of adjustment this fall for the Frontier boys soccer team, if there has been one constant, it is that Brandon Galanti has been the force leading the Falcons.
According to his teammates, the senior has made an emphatic return back to the team, after a one-year absence in which he played for an academy team during the fall. He put up 19 goals and 5 assists, heading into the postseason this week.
He can score, pass and control play, but he also helps his team win, and he said that is his first priority. He was responsible for an assist and the game-winning goal in a 2 – 1 win against rival Orchard Park, on Oct. 16, to finish a winning regular season for Frontier.
The Falcons finished play in the Erie County Interscholastic Conference Division I with a 6 – 6 mark in the league and a 9 – 6 record overall.
“[Galanti] is just a difference-maker,” said Jason Iwankow, who has moved up from the junior varsity to the varsity, taking over in the absence of Nick Christou. “He’s a player you love to have and he’s easy to coach. He makes a difference. He makes the plays and he just makes us better as a team.”
After beating his defender on the left side early in the first half against Orchard Park, the athlete made a centering pass to freshman Justin Weiskerger, who headed the ball into the net, for his third goal of the season.
Halfway through the second half, Galanti beat three Quaker defenders and finished with a goal that ultimately decided the game.
“It was a goal scorer’s goal right there,” said Iwankow referring to Galanti’s game-winner. “He beats three guys and just beats them to the ball and he knows how to finish. When you have a kid like that, it’s just special.”
During 15 games this season, Galanti has scored more than 1 goal eight different times, with his team’s record standing at 7 – 1 when he does so. He has two games this season with 3 goals, as his team won those two games by a combined score of 14 – 1.
“I’ve picked it up and have started scoring a lot more,” Galanti said. “It’s helping my team and we’re getting the wins.”
Galanti is now entertaining the prospect of playing college soccer. The forward said that he would like to stay local, with the University at Buffalo and Canisius College being his current options.
With nine seniors on the team, Galanti has stepped up in a leadership role and is helping to make his teammates better, according to Iwankow.
Also putting up numbers for Frontier are fellow seniors Nic Bossert, with 6 goals and three assists, and Nick Notto, who added 3 goals and two assists.
Iwankow said that it is always good to go into the playoffs, off of a win. He is continuing to preach the concept of team defense and said that the team’s is getting better each game.
Christou headed the Frontier varsity program for nearly a decade, but a few weeks back, he left due to personal reasons, according to Frontier athletic director Rich Gray. Gray did not comment any further, because this is a district personnel issue, but added that, as of now, Christou will not be returning back to the program.
He said that it has been a smooth transition to Iwankow, because of that individual’s familiarity with Frontier and its soccer program. “He’s been with the program for a long time and he knows the kids,” Gray added.(Michael Petro, sports editor, contributed to this report)