Performance isn’t always measured by wins and losses. Just look at James Schnepf, Schenectady High School’s newest All-American.
The goalkeeper faced a load of rubber behind a young cast and gave up some goals, but the volume of saves Schnepf made and his technique in doing so outweighed that in the eyes of the Section II coaches who gave nominations to US Lacrosse.
“He proved throughout the course of the year that he was the best goalie in the section,” Schenectady coach Matt Marotta said of the junior. “He took a lot of point-blank shots, and he made a lot of point-blank saves.”
Schnepf amassed 327 saves in a superb 17-game performance. The Patriots won six of those games.
“He carried the team all season. We relied on him to be a phenomenal goalie, and he was a phenomenal goalie,” said Marotta.
“Without him, we win two games.”
Schnepf is the first Schenectady junior to gain All-America status from the sport’s governing body, and the program’s first defensive player. Schenectady midfielders Pat Meade (2002), Aaron Lupo (2008) and Tim Cox (2011) were among Section II’s past All-Americans.
“I can’t express how happy I am, especially as a junior. It’s awesome,” said Schnepf. “It proves to me that hard work pays off. And it’s going to make me work a lot harder. I’d like to get it again next year, and be a college All-American.”
Schnepf’s high school resumé includes a pair of Big 10 first-team selections after a second-team nod his freshman season. He’s made 891 saves in all, and has a career 66 percent save ratio.
“Hard work, being ready for it, wanting to be better than last year,” Schnepf said of his path to All-America recognition. “You always want to keep progressing. If you aren’t, someone else is.”
Schnepf was a more polished stopper this spring, and made 33 saves in games against Christian Brothers Academy and Albany Academy. In nine other games, he stopped at least 18 shots.
“Probably 40 percent were regular shots, and 60 percent were one-on-ones,” said Schnepf. “I’m more comfortable with the one-on-one shot now. I’m better at reading it and staying calm and collected instead of flopping around.”
Schnepf will do that now and then, though, using stick or body or both to deny an opponent’s drive.
“Use anything, as long as it doesn’t get through,” said Schnepf, who had a 68 percent save ratio this year; he allowed just over nine goals per outing. “That’s my philosophy.”
Schnepf was a bolder netminder this year, twice running the field and firing a shot in the Albany Academy game.
“He hit their goalie in the head and bounced one off the pipe,” said Marotta, who, as a high school player, was Schenectady’s starting goalie. “I’m OK with it, as long as he doesn’t turn the ball over.”
“I don’t know if I’ll try that again,” said Schnepf. “I would like to score, but it would depend on how the game is going.”
Schnepf’s primary role after a save is to spring the transition game with an outlet pass.
“This year he was a lot better,” Marotta said of Schnepf’s ability to clear the ball. “In the past, his first instinct was to run behind the cage. He’s so much better. This year, it was all up-tempo. He was hitting guys on the fly.”
“My clearing was better,” said the 17-year-old. “I think having people where they needed to be helped. The guys played a part. That made my job easier.”
Schnepf is a candidate for the Upstate New York team that will compete in the July Under Armour Underclassmen Games in Baltimore.
BOLAND HONORED AGAIN
Carly Boland of Section II basketball champion Shenendehowa has been named to the all-state Class AA second team.
Twelve area stars landed Class AA and Class A spots on the teams presented by the New York State Sportswriters and Coaches Organization for Girls Sports.
Boland had a huge sophomore season, averaging 19.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.1 steals and 4.1 assists. The six-foot forward nailed six threes and finished with 24 points when the Lady Plainsmen beat Albany for the Section II title.
Boland was previously named the Suburban Council’s top player and made the Daily Gazette All-Area first team.
The all-state Class A group includes first-team senior guard Kelly Donnelly of Averill Park and second-team senior guard Mary Pattison of Troy.
Other Class AA picks are Nicole Riddick of Colonie (fourth), Mylah Chandler of Albany (fifth), Jenna Giacone of Bethlehem (sixth), Gabby Giacone of Bethlehem (ninth), Jenny Barra of Shaker (11th) and Madison Purcell of Catholic Central (12th). Other Class A picks are Jill Davis of Queensbury (fourth), Kiana Patterson of Troy (seventh) and De’Janaire Deas of Holy Names (ninth).
WHAT THEY’RE DOING
Niskayuna’s Jack Reilly, a senior from Johns Hopkins, has been selected to the USILA All-America team as a second-team defenseman.
The Christian Brothers Academy graduate was a key figure in a Hopkins unit that held 11 of 16 opponents to nine goals or less. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound four-year letterwinner had 20 ground balls this season, caused six turnovers and scored a goal.
Hopkins (11-5) reached the NCAA quarterfinals before a loss to eventual champ Duke.
Reilly was an All-America selection by US Lacrosse and Under Armour as a senior at CBA, and four times earned all-Big 10 laurels. He played football and basketball at CBA, and was the starting center for the state-champion Brothers hoop team as a senior.
WEST GOLF TOURNEY
The second annual John West Memorial Golf Tournament will take place Saturday at Hales Mills Country Club.
West was a well-respected coach and administrator at Fonda-Fultonville, and proceeds from the event will benefit the West Memorial Scholarship Fund.
For more information on the four-person scramble and post-tournament festivities, contact Jason Walton at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (518) 848-6087).