Final week of regular season opens with intriguing tilts

Mario Cozzo (7) has three goals and three assists for Churchville-Chili this season. (Photo: Christopher Cecere)


The state of New York observes the second Monday of October as a holiday in remembrance of  Christopher Columbus and his discovery of America. Skeptics have argued that Columbus didn’t in fact land in America, and the holiday is somewhat misguided.

Whatever the case, school closings in honor of the day allow for staggered starting times and an opportunity for fans to catch a glimpse of sectional contenders as they start their final week of the regular season.


Brighton (12-1-0/8-1-0) at Fairport (9-3-1/6-2-1) 11 a.m.
Brunch in Fairport to start the day. The Barons, ranked No. 3 NYS Class A last week, bring an 11-game winning streak with them when they head to the home of the reigning Section V Class AA champion and NYSPHSAA finalist Red Raiders. Fairport fell to No. 10 NYS Class AA Hilton last time out. It’s hard to imagine a Gianni Bussani squad dropping two in a row, but that’s what is at stake. The Red Raiders will mostly likely fall out of the top 25 rankings which will be released later in the day. Difficult to understand when the lower-ranked team goes on the road, loses and falls in the poll. Especially Fairport which lost in double overtime on Saturday. Felipe Hanuch leads Brighton with 14 goals and seven assists. Gabriel Barraclough-Tan has nine goals and three assists. Matt Ochs is a name to remember. The crafty sophomore midfielder has a quick first step and he sees the field well. Faiport’s Bobby Guilfoil has five goals. Tanner Crisafulli adds five assists for the Red Raiders. Senior John Flannery has made 34 saves on the season and his  GAA of 0.528 ranks third among Section V keepers. Weather will play a factor.

Brighton will look to clinch their first Monroe County Division III title since 2013 when they face Pittsford-Mendon on Wednesday.

Felipe Haunch (right) leads Brighton with 14 goals this season.

Hilton (11-1-1) at Churchville-Chili (11-2-0/9-0-0)
A pair of divisional champs go head-to-head in what could be a sectional semi-final preview. Hilton, ranked No. 10 NYS Class AA, nailed down its first league crown since 2003 when the Cadets beat Fairport in the aforementioned double-overtime affair. Worth noting that Joey Gombatto stopped a penalty kick in overtime to give Hilton a chance to win that game.  The Saints beat Spencerport to secure the Monroe County Division II championship last Thursday. Both squads will be jockeying for sectional position. As of right now Hilton has the two-seed in Class AA. Churchville-Chili the three-seed. Hilton has won five straight and is undefeated in its last eight. C-C, ranked No. 21 NYS Class AA, has won four in a row. Parker Zah leads Churchville with five goals, but 13 different Saints have found the back of the net this year. Hilton’s Evan Pirnie has nine goals and eight assists. Take note of the name Justin Arilotta. Hilton’s junior attacker forces the issue up top for Mike Ellicott’s crew.

Evan Pirnie has nine goals and eight assists on the season for Hilton.

Webster Thomas (8-3-2/4-3-2) at McQuaid (14-0-0/6-0-0) 6:30 p.m. 
Thomas will be looking to prove itself against the state’s top-ranked team. The Titans fell to Greece Arcadia last time out and have not dropped two in a row this year. Thomas has been shut out on just two occasions this season. McQuaid has 11 clean sheets on the campaign. McQuaid’s Adriano Margiotta and Nick Pierleoni prowl the midfield for a squad which consistently dictates tempo and takes away their opponents’ offensive buildup. Dominic Duncan leads McQuaid with 16 goals. Justin LaFountain has 13 markers. Jesuit Knights goalkeeper Tommy Gallina leads Section V with a GAA of .101. Luke Piazza netted four goals in the Titans 4-1 win over crosstown rival Webster Schroeder and has nine tallies on the season. Danny Charleton adds five goals and two assists.

Alex Reale (8) anchors a McQuaid Jesuit backline which has posted 11 shutouts this season. (Photo: Christopher Cecere)



Williamson (12-1-0/10-1-0) at Aquinas (7-5-1) 7 p.m.
Williamson, which held the top spot in NYS Class C for three weeks, fell to Marion last time out for its first setback of the season. Junior goalkeeper Kyle Pero recently returned to the Aquinas lineup. The Li’l Irish were 1-2-1 with Pero on the sidelines. AQ has won two straight entering the contest. Williamson’s Justin Eaton is 10th in Section V with 19 goals, 11 assists and 49 points. Hunter Byron and Simon VanHoover have seven goals apiece for the Marauders. Josiah Fragnito paces AQ with 15 goals and five assists.

Josiah Fragnito (9) has 15 goals and five assists for Aquinas.
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