Over the next several weeks, the Rochester Knighthawks will be front and center on the local high school lacrosse scene as part of a new weekly series that will feature the latest news and notes, scores and stats of select games around the Greater Rochester Area.
This week’s High School Game of the Week sees the 3-3 Penfield Patriots visit the 3-1 Spencerport Rangers in girl’s lacrosse action on Thursday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Penfield comes into the matchup on the heels of a convincing 13-1 win over the Gates-Chili Spartans on Tuesday. The win snapped a three-game skid for Penfield, which opened the 2021 season with back-to-back wins for the second straight year dating back to the 2019 campaign. Penfield also set season-highs for most goals in a game and fewest allowed, marking team’s best outing since defeating Brockport 18-1 in the penultimate matchup of the 2019 season.
Penfield’s well-balanced offense is fueled by junior midfielder Elisa Faklaris, who currently paces the Patriots with a team-high 12 goals, including three from beyond the 8-meter arc, and 14 points. She also leads the team with 10 draw controls. Faklaris, who’s averaging close to three goals per game and accounted for five of the team’s goals in a 9-8 win over Brighton, has been one of the team’s most dynamic point-getters since joining the varsity squad as an eighth grader.
As a freshman during the 2019 season, Faklaris averaged a goal-per-game with 18 goals, including a seven-game goal-scoring streak to open the season, to earn All-League Second Team honors. She was held scoreless just once all season and failed to score a goal only three times in 18 appearances.
Molly Joyce and Abby Giacoman have shared time in the crease for Penfield this season with the two goaltenders boasting a .667 and .400 save percentage, respectively.
The Patriots are led by 14-year head coach Wayne Smith, whose guided the team to four Class A titles since 2007, including three since 2012. The team’s most recent championship was in 2018 when the team went 16-6 during the regular season, highlighted by a season-long 10-game win streak from May 7 to June 8.
Notable Penfield girl’s lacrosse alumni include Chelsea Akins (Quinnipiac University) – Shannon Burdick (John Carroll) – Madigan Lublin (Rutgers University) – Megan Motkowski (Hofstra) – Sheila Nesselbush (Northwestern) – Tabby Truelson (Kings College).
The Rangers enter the contest having won three of their four games of the season with their only blemish of the year coming in a narrow 10-9 loss to Fairport back on May 6. Spencerport has one of the most lethal offenses among Section V this season, one that is currently averaging 13.25 goals-per game. The high-flying Rangers have reached the 10-goal mark in three occasions and have scored 16 goals or more to open the season.
Led by eighth-year head coach Patricia Condon, Spencerport returns three of its key offensive players this season in senior midfielders Lily DePalma and Hailey Rooney as well as junior attack Livia Fedele.
Rooney and DePalma make-up one of the most dynamic duos across Section V this season. Rooney is the team’s leading goal-scorer with 14, 10 of which came as part of back-to-back five-goal outings to open the season, while DePalma leads the Rangers in assists (14) and points (20).
A two-time Section V (Class B) All-Tournament Team selection and Monroe County All-League Second Team selection, DePalma is coming off an explosive 51-point campaign in 2019, including 31 goals with 12 assists in 10 games. She also scored eight goals from beyond the 8-meter arc.
Rooney and Fedele, both of whom are also All-League Second Team selections, each posted 10 points during the 2019 season.
The Rangers’ biggest loss offensively, however, came with the departure of former three-time team captain and 2018 team MVP Erin Coykendall, who led the team in all offensive categories during the 2019 season, including goals (48), assists (42), points (90), ground balls (55) and caused turnovers (58). She currently attends Northwestern University, where she recently led the Wildcats to the Big-10 Championship as a sophomore in 2021.
Ranked No. 22 by Inside Lacrosse, Coykendall was a four-time First-Team All-County selection in all four years at Spencerport and a three-time All-Greater Rochester honoree. Additionally, she was named a 2018 First Team All-State selection as well as a three-time Monroe County Divisional Player of the Year.
Notable Spencerport girl’s lacrosse alumni include Natalie Choate (UMASS Lowell), Emily Coykendall (Florida Southern University), Erin Coykendall (Northwestern), Kelly Mohan (Edinboro), Alexis Plouffe (Fredonia), Sara Roman (St. John Fisher), Camryn Sack (Duquesne), Olivia Schroeder (Niagara), Catherine Wall (Canisius) and Olivia Wall (Cornell University).