PITTSFORD – The Far West Regionals featured some thunder, lightning, rain and sunshine.
Those words describe the weather and the lacrosse play at St. John Fisher College’s Growney Stadium.
Penn Yan brought the thunder, Orchard Park provided the sunny moments, and lightning forced Hamburg to play the waiting game before it got zapped by a superior foe.
What does all this mean?
The boys lacrosse season is over for Section VI’s champions as Rochester-area teams proved to be too strong to beat in the quarterfinal round of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Tournament.
OP (14-5) put up the most fight, but Pittsford’s transition game was the difference as the Panthers (19-1) earned a 16-12 win in the Class A regional. Kevin Goltz scored six goals to lead the Quakers, but Jonathan Perotto and Jack Kaufman combined for 10 goals as the Panthers ended Orchard Park’s 12-game winning streak. OP went from 2-4 to almost making the state final four for the first time since 2009.
“Great game,” Quakers coach Gene Tundo said. “I give our guys so much credit for the heart they showed, the perseverance. That’s a good lacrosse team and we battled them tough.”
In Class C, Penn Yan (16-5) handed Akron its only loss of the season, 20-8. In a game delayed for 30 minutes by thunder, the Mustangs were too disciplined, too skilled and steps ahead of a Tigers program making just its second regional appearance.
The Class B regional was delayed by more than 30 minutes due to lightning, but when it finally started Victor struck over and over again – scoring half of its eight first-quarter goals in the opening 4 minutes, 19 seconds during a 20-9 rout of Hamburg.
An estimated 2,000 attended the tripleheader. The winners are back at Growney on Wednesday for the state semifinals.
Orchard Park came close to earning a return trip here, but the Quakers committed too many turnovers that led to easy goals for the Panthers. Perotto scored six goals as Pittsford not only overcame OP but survived an injury to its top faceoff person. Just when it looked as if the Panthers were going to cruise to victory, OP made them work for it. Goltz played a big role in that. It’s not the first time he’s scored six goals in a game, according to Tundo. But it’s the first time Goltz, who hopes to walk-on at Hobart, has deposited that many goals against a team of Pittsford’s caliber. Goltz and Kevin McParlane (three) did their best to lead a Quakers rally, but Pittsford never lost its poise and willingly played to a 1-1 final quarter.
“They just never let up” on defense, Goltz said. “It was hard for us to catch up because we never played a full game today.”
Twice OP pulled close enough to tie only to see Pittsford stay just ahead. Daniel Kritkausky (two goals) scored to bring the Quakers within 6-5 with 8:48 left in the second quarter, but the Panthers scored five of the next six goals to take an 11-6 lead into halftime. The prettiest goal had to be Kaufman’s strike which made it 9-6, a fast break in which four players touched the ball with Matt Malone earning the assist on Kaufman’s slam-dunk tally.
Goltz’s fifth goal of the game pulled the Quakers within 13-11 with 2:51 left in the third quarter, but Perlotto, Jared Conners and Colby Barker scored to give the Panthers a cushion.
“They did a great job clearing the ball from their end and capitalizing on our end,” Tundo said.
Akron entered regionals averaging more than 24 goals a game, coming off a record 30-goal effort in the Section VI final.
Penn Yan wasn’t impressed. The Mustangs led by 4-1 after one, 13-5 at halftime and 18-5 after three. Penn Yan held the Tigers without a goal for an entire quarter. – part of a stretch in which Akron went scoreless for nearly 17 minutes.
Akron (19-1) learned despite the strides it has made this season, it still has a ways to go if it wants to get past powerful Penn Yan, a 20-time Section V champion that rolled to its fourth straight state final four. The Tigers did take solace in that they actually had possessions to work with Saturday, especially in the first quarter, unlike last year’s 19-4 loss to the Mustangs. Akron just failed to score.
Seniors Aynsley Loran-Pragle and Larson Sundown each scored twice to lead the Tigers. Austin Fingar led Penn Yan with seven goals, while Craig Gerhardt added five.
“We knew going in it was another level,” Tigers coach Bryan Bellis said. “We tried to step up our nonleague against Section VI but maybe we need to come out of our comfort zone and play more Section V teams in nonleague just to get used to the style of play.”
Victor (20-0), whose victory total includes a triumph over Class A champ Pittsford, led by 17-3 at halftime as the Blue Devils dominated faceoffs and pretty much did what it pleased in the first half. Most of the second half was on running time.
Jamie Trimboli had a hand in Victor’s first five goals, scoring twice. He finished with three goals as did Drew Collins. Andrew Rettig scored three times for Hamburg (13-6).
Bulldogs coach Jerry Severino said Victor is one of the best if not the best team he has seen.
“This is a team that could have just continued to score on us if they left their starters in … and they didn’t do that,” Severino said. “They were capable of doing anything they wanted to today.
“That’s the way it happens at the end of the year like this. You’re either going to be the window or the bug.”