Next Up - The NYS Semi Final Preview


NYSPHSAA After a clean sweep in Buffalo, all three Section Five teams will move on to the semifinal round to be held at Cicero-North Syracuse High School on Wednesday. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association sets the order of the games and they rotate the starting times for each of the classes each year. This year the order is C, A, B. The Class C game, featuring Penn Yan vs Homer will start at 3:30. The Class A game between Fairport and Ithaca has a planned start at 5:30 and the Class B game featuring Irondequoit and Jamesville-DeWitt is planned to start at 8:00 PM. Time Warner TV will be broadcasting the games.

Class A


Ithaca's "Little Red" (Section IV) had no trouble in their quarter final game against Liverpool (Section III). They scored ten goals in the first half on their way to an 18-8 win. It was a bit of change for Ithaca who had defeated West Genesee for the last three years in a row to advance to the semi finals, but the Wildcats lost to Liverpool in overtime in the Section III Class A Championships.

Fairport and Ithaca played during the regular season, on April 14. The Red Raiders won that game 12-7 at Fairport, where there was some controversy over the many penalties that were assessed Ithaca. FairportThat Fairport game was the only loss for the Little Red this year (17-1). There is no question that Ithaca is looking forward to the rematch.

Senior midfielder Paolo Ciferri scored three goals in the Liverpool win. Ithaca Head Coach Frank Welch thinks he is one of the best players in Ithaca's history. "He sees the field really well," Welch told the Syracuse Post-Standard. Ciferri (3g-1a) is off to Syracuse University next fall. Fellow senior Adam Fiore (1g-2a) along with juniors Doug Biondi (4g-2a) and Emile Sasson-Lawless (3g-2a) had big performances in the Liverpool game. Max Yavitt, the Little Red goalie, and senior defenseman Winston Wenham anchor the defense for Ithaca.

Fairport enters the game as the only undefeated team (20-0) in Class A. Garden City (20-0), a Class B team, is the only other undefeated team in the State. The Red Raiders are deep with eleven players in double figures this season. Senior goalie Blaze Riorden and senior midfielder Derek DeJoe were recently selected as USLacrosse All-Americans. Riorden had a stellar day in the nets for Fairport last Saturday, where he recorded ten saves in an unusual shutout against Orchard Park. He had a 71% save average for the season while the Fairport defense allowed only four goals per game on average. Syracuse bound DeJoe scored 2g-1a in the OP game, taking his total for the season to 29g-16a. Senior Pat VanBortle leads the offensive list for the Red Raiders with 56g-18a. Senior middie Brian Martin leads the team in assists with 26g-27a and senior attackman Kyle Sterzin is a force with 23g-20a.

The semi final game will be exciting. Both teams are capable and motivated. Fairport's depth and defense is strong, but Ithaca's offense is a force. If both teams play at their highest level, the game will go to Fairport. If one team "wants it more", that team will advance.

Class B


Updated The last semi final game to be played on Wednesday is the Class B game between Irondequoit (18-2) and Jamesville-DeWitt (16-3). J-D (Section III) had a repeat game with Vestal (Section IV), but unlike last year's 16-4 win, this year the game required a comeback in the fourth quarter in order for the Rams to win 11-8 last Saturday.

J-D Junior goalie, Joe Sharpiro, made a number of big saves in the last quarter to hold the Golden Bears scoreless until less than a minute remaining in the game. Meanwhile, the Red Ram offense, was spearheaded by Harvard bound senior Deke Burns (5g) and junior Jordan Evans (3g-3a). J-D had a 6-5 lead at halftime, but Vestal quickly tied the game in the third quarter. After that, however, the Irondequoitnext five goals were by the Red Rams, with either Burns and/or Evans involved in each one.

The three losses by J-D were against some of the most talented teams in the State. In early April they lost 10-17 to Section II Champions Niskayuna. A week later they lost to Massachusetts powerhouse Duxbury (8-10). Their only other loss was to Fairport (10-11).

Irondequoit had a similar story in Buffalo last weekend when they beat the Bulldogs 10-8. Hamburg took early control of the Class B quarter final game, leading 3-1 after the first quarter and 4-1 at the half. The Eagles, however, took over in the second half. At the top of the last quarter Irondequoit took a two goal lead on goals by Jake Schmidt (3g-1a) and Nick Doktor (3g-3a). In a surprising move, Head Coach Jerry Severino pulled his goalie for a ten man ride and Irondequoit scored an easy goal at 2:23. They pulled the goalie again at 0:54, doubling Gunnar Miller (2g-1a), who broke through and scored on an empty net, giving the Eagles a 10-7 lead. Hamburg scored with 0:02 left in the game. Senior goalie Eric Fischer had a great day and recorded 11s/8ga for Irondequoit.

Irondequoit boasts three All-Americans in the class of 2012. Joining Doktor, a two-time AA, are senior midfielder Gunnar Miller and senior goalie Eric Fischer who was named an Academic All-American. Six Irondequoit players signed National Letters of Intent this fall. Joining Doktor (Penn), Fischer (Binghamton) and Miller (West Point) were Andrew Cordes (Towson), Connor Enright (Mercyhurst) and Garrett Warren (VMI). They have been playing together for ten years.

Irondequoit has great depth and an excellent goalie in Fischer. Their offense can score from many directions. If the Rams can control Doktor, which is no easy task, there are others who have demonstrated that they can step up.

This will be the third year in a row that the teams have met in the semifinals and for the last two years, the Rams have advanced. J-D is anxious to get to the Championship and have an opportunity to win the Class B Championship for the third year in a row. Although that is great motivation for the Rams, Irondequoit is anxious to make up for their two previous losses to J-D and this year have the guns and the defense to do it.

Class C

Penn Yan-HomerPenn Yan played an exciting but physical game when they defeated Silver Creek 14-13 last Saturday. Amazing goalie play by sophomore tender, Brandon Maciejewski and excellent defensive play by James Burdette and Mike Thiesmeyer kept the high scoring Black Knight offense at bay. On the offensive end of the field sophomore attackman Bradley Voigt led the Mustangs with 5g-1a.

Homer (Section III) defeated Salmon River (Section X) last weekend 12-8. The Trojans are currently 18-3 with two of the losses to Cazenovia (6-14 and 9-11). Their other loss was an 8-9 defeat to Lafayette. This will be the first trip for the Trojans to the final four.

Junior attackman Beau Riley scored 6g-3a against Salmon River, but it was the defensive half of the field that took the spotlight in the quarter final game. Senior defenseman Anthony Contento was set Penn Yanup to control high scoring Dalton Day who entered the game with 59g-32a. In the second half he switched to Seth Oaks. With 12 saves from junior goalie Kobi Johnson, Homer kept Salmon River far from their average 18 goals per game. Also key to the win was the performance from face off specialist Connor Johnson who won 15 of 22 draws for the Trojans.

The Mustangs are 19-2 this year, having played an independent schedule. Their losses were to Baldwinsville (8-9) and Fairport (2-5), but their wins include teams like Lakeland/Panas, Penfield and Canandaigua. They have scored 254 goals this year (12 average/game) while allowing 91 (4.3/game). Sophomore goalie Brandon Maciejewski has recorded 198 saves (69%). The Mustang defense is strong with Burdette, Kevin Kerrick and Thiesmeyer all playing strong one-on-one games.

Penn Yan moves the ball around in offense and has lots of players who can score. Sophomore attackman Bradley Voigt leads the team in goals and assists with 60g-43a. Sophomore attackman Rion Davison has 39g-27a, junior attackman Ryan Maciejewski has 34g-36a and senior All-American midfielder Dylan Yonts has 43g-29a.

Penn Yan has been to this game many times and will have confidence at both ends of the field. While Homer has some excellent athletes, the Mustang's strong schedule has prepared them for the end of the season. Their offense can come from many directions and there is no doubt that "Mace" has some more big-time saves left. If Penn Yan keeps their focus, they will be headed to Middletown for the finals.