H.S. Boys Lacrosse: St. Francis runs away with wins in PA.; Hamburg hosting Michigan power April 28 to benefit Van Tine scholarships
Playing two games in less than 24 hours in Pennsylvania had no ill effects on St. Francis. The Red Raiders bounced back from a tough 11-10 Monsignor Martin loss to St. Joe’s by going on the road and beating Cathedral Prep and McDowell High Schools by a combined 35-7 margin over April 20 and 21.
In St. Francis’ 18-3 win over Cathedral Prep on Friday night, senior Cooper Stefaniak finished with a game-high six goals, while classmate Colin Krasowski added four assists and junior Dylan MacDonald, three goals and two assists. On Saturday afternoon in a 17-4 win, St. Francis was led by MacDonald’s four goals and three assists and two goals and four assists from Krasowski. Senior Brendan McCabe added one goal and four assists.
The Red Raiders improved to 5-2 overall and remain at 1-1 in league play with a game at Timon that was slated for April 24, pending weather.
In its first two games back from a 1-1 spring break trip to the Virginia area, Hamburg also won a pair of lopsided games, 20-1 over North Tonawanda on April 17 and 18-4 over Williamsville North two days later. The Bulldogs improved to 7-1 overall and 6-0 in Class B.
Hamburg’s top scorers in those wins were Max Maxwell with six goals and five assists; Austin Bishop (six goals and four assists); Mitchell Shafer (two goals and seven assists), Patrick Nowak (four goals and five assists); Ryan Jurek (four goals and two assists) and Lucas Shafer (four goals and one assist). Nick Benningfield won 10 of 14 face-offs against North Tonawanda and Mitch Sobilo won 15 of 18 draws over the two games.
Leading the Hamburg defense were goalie Thomas Lipomi, long poles Josh Babcock and Evan Kuss and middie Christian Hollfelder, while Connor Ryan and Jake Fiore were strong in the midfield.
Hamburg split a pair of challenging games during spring break. After losing to nationally-ranked Gonzaga 10-3 on April 12 in Washington D.C., the Bulldogs finished off the trip two days later with a 10-9 victory in overtime over past Virginia state champion Langley. Maxwell scored the game-winner.
After starting the season losing three games, Frontier is now on a three-game win streak. The Falcons returned from spring break to defeat Lockport 13-0 on April 18, before defeating Williamsville South 12-4 three days later and Lancaster 11-10 in overtime on April 23.
Frontier outscored Lancaster 4-2 in the fourth quarter to force the overtime and Greg Smolkovich scored his second of the game to win it, finishing in the crease off a pass from fellow senior middie Jimmy May. With just under two minutes left in the fourth quarter, Joe Schwartzott notched the game-tying with an assist going to junior Brendan Forant.
Junior attackman Alex Zwack led the Falcons balanced scoring with three goals and an assist, while Forant added two goals and four assists, May, two goals and two assists, and Schwartzott, two goals. Smolkovich notched a team-leading eight ground balls.
Also locally, Lake Shore has followed up last season’s program-best 8-7 mark in fine fashion. In winning four straight games, the Eagles have begun the season with a 6-1 mark. After edging Iroquois 11-10 on April 17, Lake Shore went on to beat West Seneca East 15-9 two days later and Gowanda 21-2 on April 20. The Eagles are also 3-1 in Class B.
The Hamburg High School boys varsity lacrosse team will host 13-time Michigan state champion Brother Rice on Saturday, April 28 at 7 p.m. on Howe Field in a Coaches vs. Cancer sponsored event which will also raise money to supplement newly-established scholarships in the name of the late Ed Van Tine, the former Bulldogs’ head coach.
The Ed Van Tine Lacrosse Foundation, named in honor of the man who helped begin lacrosse programs at Hamburg and St. Francis High Schools and Buffalo State and Canisius Colleges and was a mentor to many, was established to continue the growth of lacrosse. Wrist bands will be sold and other donation opportunities will be available all evening at the game.