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 features the first-place Fairport Raiders (4-0) hosting the 5-1 Canandaigua Academy Braves in boy’s lacrosse action on Wednesday.
The Braves of Canandaigua come into Wednesday’s matchup having won five of their first six games of the season. Sitting at 5-1 overall and 2-0 in section play to start this season, Canandaigua is currently tied atop the Monroe County-2 with Victor and are one of just five programs to remain unbeaten in conference play in all the Rochester area.
The Braves, who are eyeing their first Section V championship (Class B) since 2013, are led by senior midfielder Elliott Morgan, who has a team high 13 goals and 16 points in six games. Elliot was named All-Greater Rochester (Honorable Mention-MC), All-League First Team SSDM (MC-d2) last spring after posting 13 goals and 19 points in 10 games while helping the team to a perfect 10-0 record.
Senior Jaxon Grant, who has scored at least one goal in 19 of his last 20 games dating back to last year, and freshman Drew Williamee both enter with double digits in points with 15 and 16, respectively.
Canandaigua is entering today’s matchup strong defensively, limiting its opposition to just seven first-half goals this season and have outscored the opponents 24-7 in the first half of games this season. The Braves have used three goaltenders with junior Jack Faiola, a Hobart College commit, carrying much of the workload in net for the second straight season. Faiola has allowed only 22 goals-against through 279 minutes played, good for a 63.9 save percentage. He’s also made 39 of the team’s 41 saves among the trio of netminders.
Notable Canandaigua Academy boy’s lacrosse alumni include Devin Andrews (Le Moyne) – Jared Bardeen (Roberts Wesleyan) – Mark Belles (St Bonaventure) – Sam Bennett (RIT) – Alex Burley (Potsdam) – Michael Cichetti (St John Fisher) – Joe Disalvo (SUNY Cobleskill) – Tyler Goode (GCC) – Aiden Kenyon (Oswego) – Teddy Lenz (St Michaels) – Brandon Moore (St John Fisher) – Chase Morgan (Gettysburg) – Jackson Nieman (Stevens) – Roger Panara (St John Fisher) – Mitch Pfeiffer (Richmond) – Joe Post (St John Fisher) – Henry Reber (Potsdam) – PJ Rheude (Clarkson) – Mitchell Schaefer (Penn State) – Joey Urlacher (St John Fisher) – Will York (Keuka).
Fairport, meanwhile, comes into the matchup having won eight straight dating back to the 2021 campaign and the first four games of this season, which includes a 10-7 win most recently over Hilton last Thursday.
Arguably one of the top teams in Section V in recent years, Fairport has claimed the Class A crown five times since 2010 with its most recent title coming last year when the Raiders went 10-5. Fairport is led by head coach Mike Torrelli, who shows a 234-88 mark since taking over the reins in 2004.
The Raiders have been paced to a perfect 4-0 record this season by senior midfielders Jake Koonmen and Kyle Gould as they have 12 (9+3) and 10 (7+3) points, respectively. Koonmen has already equaled his career-best nine goals this season as he has added at least one goal in each of the first four games while Gould has registered a personal-best seven goals this year. Gould nearly single-handedly outscored Rush-Henrietta as he scored four of the team’s 16 goals in a 16-5 victory back on April 12.
Similar to Canandaigua, the Raiders have dominated the opposition in the first half this season, outscoring their opponents 38-13 through the opening half and 54-23 overall on the season.
Fairport has produced some of the area’s top lacrosse talent over the past several decades, ranging from Tim Soudan in 1986 to Blaze Riorden in 2012, and most recently, Reese Burek in 2018. Soudan has been synonymous with the local lacrosse scene and his contributions to the game are considered by many to be immeasurable.
After leaving Fairport as a US Lacrosse All-American, Soudan went on to the University of Massachusetts, where he would set the program record for goals by a midfielder with 84, earning All-American honors yet again. UMass was 41-14 over his four years with the program and advanced to the NCAA tournament each year.
That paved away for his entry into the National Lacrosse League, first with the New England Blazers in 1991 before an 11-year stay with the previous Rochester Knighthawks franchise beginning in 1995. Soudan, who was the first-ever Rochester native to play for the team, helped the Knighthawks to the 1997 MILL Championship and was a key component in the team’s string of 11 consecutive playoff appearances.
He also played three seasons in Major League Lacrosse with the former Rochester Rattlers, joining the team for the league’s inaugural season in 2001. He totaled 44 points (35+9) in 32 games before returning in June of 2011 to serve as head coach. Soudan would be named the MLL’s Coach of the Year in 2014.
Soudan is also a three-time gold-medal winner on the international scene, twice winning the World Lacrosse Championship with the United States in 1994 and 1998 before helping the Americans defeat Team Canada in the 2002 Heritage Cup.
He currently serves as the head coach of the Chrome Lacrosse Club of the Premier Lacrosse League.
Riorden, like Soudan, has made a name for himself in both field and box lacrosse. Considered one of the top goaltenders in the PLL, Riorden led Chaos to a PLL championship in 2021 a year after an appearance in the Championship Series in 2020 when he posted a league-high 119 saves on his way to earning the Oren Lyons Goalie of the Tournament Award. During the regular season, he led all netminders with a .558 save percentage and 153 saves to, earning him Goalie of the Year honors.
He’s also a member of the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League, where he plays as a forward.
Prior to turning pro, Riorden played his college lacrosse at the University of Albany, where he was named an All-American and was the America East Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. He graduated as the program’s Division I all-time leader in saves with 849 and was later drafted 51st overall by the former Rochester Rattlers in the Major League Lacrosse Entry Draft.
Burek, a 2018 US Lacrosse All-American selection, scored 21 goals and ranked third among all Fairport scorers with 34 points as a senior. Burek, who also played hockey at Fairport, is currently a junior at Army West Point and is a member of the Black Knights lacrosse program. He has produced 14 goals, 14 assists for 33 points in 12 games so far this season while helping the club to a 10-2 record.
Other notable Fairport boy’s alumni include John Bartolotto (Baldwin Wallace) – Spencer Bell (RIT) – Reese Burek (USMA) – Noah Cakir (MCC) – Ryan Derion (Potsdam) – Connor Fundis (Albany) – Josh Gangarossa (MCC) – Mason Gasbarre (St John Fisher) – Cameron Gebhardt (RIT) – Kody Gould (Wittenberg) – TJ Hendricks (Ohio State) – Kole Herren (RIT) – Gavin Ingalls (Mercyhurst) – Michael Kozar (Albany) – Nick Krug (Delaware) – Jacob Mueller (MCC) – Dylan Orcutt (Buffalo) – Colin Peers (Cortland) – Jahadi Prior (Brockport) – Brendan Saylor (Hobart) – Tanner Soudan (UMass Lowell).