Niskayuna contained boys’ lacrosse heavyweight Jamesville-DeWitt Saturday without its most experienced defender in action.
The Silver Warriors prevailed on the Red Rams’ field, 17-10, and in the process ended a 46-game winning streak by the two-time defending state Class B champions.
“On Friday, our best close defender went down in practice. He’s a three-year starter. He’s our best guy,” Niskayuna coach Mike Vorgang said of junior Nate Martin. “I was super concerned about defending them, and even more after that happened. They can score, and they push the ball.”
Jamesville-DeWitt had opened its season with Section III wins over Fulton, 21-4, and Chittenango, 17-8. The Red Rams scored 10 first-quarter goals against Fulton, and put up eight goals in the opening frame against Chittenango.
“To hold one of the best teams in the country to 10 goals, that’s doing something,” said Vorgang. “I thought our kids and our defensive coach, Chris DeLano, did great job.”
Jamesville-DeWitt managed two goals in each of the first two quarters, and three goals in each of the next two frames, in its first loss since bowing to Canandaigua, 12-6, in the 2009 state Class B semifinals.
Evan Quinn made 13 saves behind a Niskayuna defense that included emergency starter Jake Miller, Martin’s backup. Miller worked in Niskayuna’s close defense with first-year starters Fabian Brunner and Dom Martinelli, who played offensive midfield last year.
Niskayuna’s defensive cast also includes longstick midfielder Brandon Melius and shortstick middies Tyler Pantalone, Blake Pfohl, Justin Picardi and Tanner MacIvor.
“It was a game of runs, but they didn’t put together that big one,” said Vorgang, whose team never trailed after scoring the game’ first two goals. “Evan made some great saves in goal, and the guys around him stepped up.”
Lots of goals
Shenendehowa sophomore Kyle Marr tied a school single-game lacrosse record with eight goals in Thursday’s 16-13 Suburban Council win over Saratoga Springs at Steuerwald Stadium.
Dan McAuliffe pumped in eight goals for the Plainsmen during the 2004 season, in a 15-4 win against Guilderland.
Luke Goldstock notched eight goals for Niskayuna in Thursday’s 15-6 win over Ballston Spa, two shy of the Silver Warriors’ one-game record. Goldstock fired in five more goals when Niskayuna knocked off nationally ranked Jamesville-DeWitt Saturday, 17-10.
Thomas Hemmerling (Cambridge), Carl Sopczyk (Glens Falls), Kim Carr (Colonie), Ally Liptak (Schuylerville), Lydia Knapp (Glens Falls) and Ritchie Assini (Niskayuna) have had seven-goal games this spring.
What they’re doing
Former Albany High School baseball coach Joey DiPiazza has returned to dugout duties as the lead man at Hudson Valley Community College.
DiPiazza most recently served as a player scout for the Atlanta Braves organization, a position he took on after leading Albany for four seasons, ending in 2009. In his final season there, the Falcons shared the Big 10 title with Christian Brothers Academy, marking their first league crown in 20 years.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here. I’m very thankful for the chance to do this,” said the Shaker and SUNY-Oneonta graduate. “Hudson Valley is a great academic institution, and the facilities are unbelievable. Joe Bruno Stadium is a baseball heaven.”
DiPiazza took over for head coach David Hennessey five games into HVCC’s season.
“From what I understand, it was a personal matter. I didn’t look into it,” said DiPiazza. “I was presented with an opportunity, and now I’m trying to make the best of it. I am here for the kids. I want to help them become better baseball players and better people.”
DiPiazza inherited a team with only two returning players from 2011 in Schalmont graduate Joe Amorosi and Guilderland grad Sean Geisel. His team is made up mostly of Section II talent, including John Craig (Shenendehowa), Mike Brienza (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake), Nick Viola (Niskayuna), Dalton Wheeler (Ballston Spa), Alex Lushkevich (Saratoga Springs), Matt Leonardo (Colonie) and Dennis Buckley (CBA).
DiPiazza brought with him assistant coaches Craig DeCrosta (Shenendehowa, Charleston Southern) and his brother, Brian (Shaker, Schenectady County Community College).
“Those guys helped me early in my run at Albany,” said DiPiazza. “They’re excellent teachers of the game.”
Albany took a major leap forward under DiPiazza, winning three Big 10 games in 2006 and six in 2007 before putting together records of 13-3 and 12-4. Albany placed second in the Big 10 in 2008, made its first back-to-back playoff appearances in 2008 and 2009, and in 2009 won the first sectional game in program history, against Guilderland.
Massa tourney set
Shenendehowa will be joined by teams from Columbia, Kingston and Newburgh Free Academy Saturday at its 10th annual Christina Massa Memorial Softball Tournament at Clifton Common.
All proceeds from the fundraising event sponsored by the Shenendehowa Softball Booster Club will benefit the Christy Fund. The fund was established in honor of Christy Massa, a softball player and academic standout who died in an auto accident just weeks before her graduation from Shenendehowa in 2002.
An opening ceremony at noon will be followed by two rounds of games.
Hoops stay in Glens Falls
The Glens Falls Civic Center will continue as the home of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s boys’ basketball semifinals and title games through 2016.
The contract to host the games in 2014, 2015 and 2016 will not be formally awarded until August, but tournament officials have said Glens Falls was the only city to submit a bid before the deadline. The current contract runs through 2013.
The NYSPHSAA event has been held in Glens Falls since 1981.
There was speculation that a group from Syracuse would make a bid for the event to be held at the Carrier Dome.