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College Athletics Report: Five St. Francis grads on road to Frozen Four

St. Francis High School graduate Anthony Day will try to help Yale advance when it travels to play the West Regional’s top seed in Minnesota in NCAA Hockey Tournament action on Friday. (Photo courtesy of

Five St. Francis High School alumni representing three different Division I college hockey teams will compete in the first round of the NCAA College Hockey championships on the Road to the Frozen Four on April 11 and 13 in Pittsburgh.

Chris Barrea, a 2007 graduate of St. Francis, and Patrick Sullivan (2008) of Derby skate for Atlantic Hockey League champion Canisius College, who will take on the East Regional’s top seed in Quinnipiac on Saturday, March 30 at 5:30 p.m.

Third-seeded Niagara University players Mike Benedict, a 2009 graduate of St. Francis and Kevin Ryan (2008), both of Eden, will face the second seed in the West Regional North Dakota on Friday, March 29 at 5:30 p.m.

Also, Anthony Day, a St. Francis 2009 graduate, will play for Yale University when it travels to play the West regional’s top seed in Minnesota on Friday, March 29 at 2 p.m.
ECC women’s bowling team members named to the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association Academic All-America team include, from left: Elizabeth Szpara, Sara Taulbee, Tallie Papke of Angola, Gabrielle Damin and Jennifer Greis.

Papke part of NCBCA all-academic team

Five Members of the Erie Community College women’s bowling team were recently named to the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association (NCBCA) Academic All-America team. Among them is freshman Tallie Papke of Angola, a Lake Shore High School graduate. Earlier this month, the Lady Kats won the NJCAA National Bowling Invitational Championship, the program’s 28th national title, at the Thruway Lanes in Cheektowaga. To be on the team, bowlers needed to have a 3.5-or-higher grade-point average.

Stringham, Wagner named Athletes of Week

Hilbert College’s Eliza Stringham of the softball team and William Wagner and Sean Purtill of men’s lacrosse were honored as the Athletes of the Week last week during their first full week of athletic competition in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Stringham was selected as the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Player of the Week after leading the Hawks with a .423 batting average down south. Despite a slow start in the opening games, the junior-college transfer exploded in the third game against Johnson State with three hits, including a double, two runs and a RBI. In her first week as a Hawk, the second baseman had 11 hits (two doubles) and six runs with six RBI. Hilbert (2-6) was slated to return to action March 23 at Wells College.

William Wagner and Sean Purtill were named the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Student-Athletes of the Week on March 25. Wagner was honored for the second week in a row as the Defensive Player, while Purtill shares the Offensive Player award for the first time this season.

Wagner becomes only the second student-athlete at Hilbert College to earn back-to-back Athlete of the Week selections. He carried the Hawks to a 2-0 week and finished with 20 saves. He stopped 17 hots against Thiel College March 20 and five more saves against Franciscan University March 24. Currently, Wagner is second in league rankings with 9.40 goals-against average, third in saves (65) and second in save percentage (59.1).

Purtill, a 2012 NEAC All-Conference player, scored seven goals and distributed six assists for the Hawks (3-2). In Hilbert’s 15-2 victory over Thiel, the attacker scored five times. He caused one turnover and added two ground balls and an assist. On March 24, he set up five of the Hawks’ 20 scores along with finding the back of the net twice himself. Purtill is ranked third in the league in goals (12), second in assists (11) and points (23) and fourth in shots (37).The Hawks open at home on March 30 when they host NEAC opponent Cobleskill at 2 p.m.

Mercyhurst’s Smith named Scholar of Distinction

Hamburg native Meghan Smith of the Mercyhurst field hockey team was named a 2012 Gladiator by SGI/NFHCA Division II Scholar of Distinction. Smith is one of 29 student-athletes to be on the list. The Scholars of Distinction is for student-athletes with a cumulative grade point average of 3.90 or higher in the first semester of the 2012-13 academic year. Smith has a GPA of 3.93 while majoring in biology. The junior is also one of the Lakers’ top players on the field, finishing second on the team with six goals and 14 points. The co-captain also made two defensive saves as she started all 18 contests in 2012.

Lakso hurls Kats to baseball victory

Freshman pitcher Blair Lakso of Hamburg, a Frontier High graduate, picked up the win, striking out nine in four-plus innings as the Erie Community College baseball split Saturday’s (March 23) doubleheader against CCBC Essex with a 7-3 victory in Game One and then a 9-8 loss in eight innings in the nightcap in Baltimore. In Game Two, the Kats scored four runs in the fifth inning to tie the game at six. Sophomore Brian Barry of Derby, a Lake Shore High graduate, homered. CCBC Essex used a single, a sacrifice and a double to plate the winning run in the extra inning. ECC, 7-8 overall, will play Anne Arundel CC in a noon doubleheader Sunday in Arnold, Md.

Larson picks up win for Fredonia baseball

Fredonia State split its SUNYAC opener with Plattsburgh on Friday (March 22), taking the first game, 5-3, and falling 3-0 in Game Two. Sean Larson of Angola, a Saint Francis graduate, earned the win in six-and-two-thirds innings on the mound. He gave up two runs, one earned, and recorded four strikeouts. Fredonia State is 1-1 in the SUNYAC and 2-2 overall.

Patrone leads ECC women’s lacrosse to win

The Erie Community College lacrosse team got a total of 11 goals from freshmen Amanda Patrone of Hamburg and Jackie Hill in picking up a 17-10 win over CCBC Catonsville on Saturday (March 23). Patrone recorded six goals and three assists and now has seven goals through two games. Also for ECC, sophomore Destiny Sampson, who played at Lake Shore High School, added five assists and a goal. The Kats, now 1-1, are scheduled to play Genesee CC in their home opener March 30 at 1 p.m. at Jim Ball Stadium.

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