Kopek fuels RFA over Clinton in girls lax


Drew Kopek scored four times to help the Rome Free Academy girls lacrosse team to a 13-7 Tri-Valley League win at home over Clinton Thursday at RFA Stadium.

RFA jumped out to a 4-0 lead with just over eight minutes elapsed in the contest. “Our game plan was to come out hard,” with a lot of energy, said RFA first year head coach Kayla Smith after the win. “We always have a tough battle with Clinton so getting to put a few away early is good,” and puts pressure on the Clinton defense, she added.

Danielle D’Aiuto scored unassisted 1:16 into the game when she shoveled a ground ball past Clinton goalie Angelina Borowiec. Drew Kopek made it 2-0 on an assist from Shannen Calandra and then Calandra got a goal of her own on a feed from behind the goal by D’Aiuto. Alyssa Nardslico pushed the lead to four goals on an unassisted goal when she made a run from midfield.

Clinton’s Chelsea Lopata scored one of her two first half goals with just over 14 minutes left in the 25-minute first half. She scored again with 11:42 left, with a goal by D’Aiuto on an assist from Nardslico in between the Clinton goals.

RFA took a 5-2 lead in to the break.

The teams traded goals in the second half, with RFA slowly growing the lead. Kopek scored an unassisted goal 50 seconds in then Clinton’s Ava Alteri scored while the Warriors were a man up with 21:09 left in the game on an assist from Lopata. The two linked up again for an Alteri goal 20 seconds later while still a man up to cut the RFA lead to two.

Kopek and Alexandra Tapia then scored unassisted goals for RFA just under five minutes apart to put RFA up 8-4. It was the ninth goal of the season for both players.

Lopata scored unassisted with 13:15 left then Dakota Deveans made it 8-6 on an assist from Lopata with 11:03 remaining.

But RFA stretched the lead back to five with three goals while a man up just inside nine minutes left in the contest. Tapia scored, followed by Isabella Sanzone, both unassisted. D’Aiuto then scored again on an assist from Kopek with 8:20 left to make it 11-6. Sanzone scored from Tapia with 5:21 remaining, again a man up, and it was 12-6.

Claire Barone got Clinton’s final goal with 2:39 left but Kopek got the goal back by scoring with all zeros on the clock, an unassisted goal to give her four for the game. She and Tapia are now tied for the team lead in goals with 10.

Though Lopata had a hat trick and three assists, Smith said RFA was able to focus its game plan stopping her and Alteri, the Warriors’ two top scorers. “When we can just focus on them, our girls on defense know exactly what to do. On the flip side, we’re very hard to shut down” because the team has had scoring contributions from so many players.

“In the middle of the game we struggled to finish the game,” Smith said. “We left them in it longer than we should have. We let them in it.”

The win gets RFA to 2-2 on the season and was the Black Knights’ first TVL game. “These games are always competitive,” the RFA coach said. “Every TVL game.” Records and past history in matchups don’t matter in the league, she said.

“As long as we continue to sharpen our skills and push each other in practice we should be able to have a successful season.”

RFA goalie Alana Iacovissi made five saves in the win. Statistics for Borowiec were not available.

RFA travels to East Syracuse-Minoa for a noon start Saturday in non-league play.

Clinton, now 2-1 on the season after its first TVL game, hosts Indian River at 1 p.m. Saturday in non-league play.

New Hartford cruises to win

The New Hartford boys lacrosse jumped out to a big halftime lead en route to a 17-2 Tri-Valley League wins over visiting Holland Patent on Thursday.

New Hartford led 11-0 at halftime before going on to match its season-best for goals this season. 

Mateo Ripa led the way with five goals and three assists and Dan Friedel added three goals and four assists for the Spartans (3-2 overall). Sawyer Kramer had three goals and an assist and Jarrett Sherman added two goals.

Six others had a goal for the Spartans. The team is scheduled to play at 11 a.m. Saturday in a non-league game against visiting Carthage.

Nicholas Deforest and John Zylinsky each scored for Holland Patent (0-4).

The team was set to play Friday against Syracuse City at Corcoran High School.

Whitesboro tops VVS

Junior Jack Lafayette scored six times and added an assist and a total of nine players had at least a goal to help the Whitesboro boys lacrosse topple Vernon-Verona-Sherrill 18-5 in a non-league contest Thursday.

Freshman Connor Wiggins and senior Isaac Marrero each added three goals and an assist to help Whitesboro improve to 2-3 overall. Junior Brendan Chrysler a goal and two assists and senior Louie Zurek chipped in a a goal and assist.

Freshmen Sawyer Michel and Jax Hall, sophomore Tristan Matthews and junior Brodie Davis each scored a goal. Junior Dom Roach made two saves while freshman Anthony Badalato stopped one.

Whitesboro is next set to play at 5 p.m. Tuesday at New Hartford in a Tri-Valley League contest.

Mat Rossi had three goals and Carson Collins scored once for VVS (0-3). The team is next scheduled to play at 5 p.m. Monday at Chittenango in a non-league game.

Proctor tennis shuts out Camden

The Utica Proctor boys tennis team beat Camden 5-0 in a TVL match on the road Friday to open the season for both schools.

The Raiders' singles players to win their matches were Richard Nguyen, Mathew Marvel and Po Wah.

The Proctor first doubles pair of Andre Solete and Maksim Morgan also won and the team took a forfeit win in second doubles.

Proctor hosts RFA at 3:30 Monday in league play.

Camden will host Whitesboro in a TVL match at 3:30 p.m. Monday.


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