Over the next several weeks, the Rochester Knighthawks will be front and center on the local high school lacrosse scene as part of a 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 a first-place showdown between the Pittsford Panthers (9-1) and the Victor Blue Devils (9-1) in boy’s lacrosse action on Tuesday.
The Panthers come into Tuesday’s matchup having won six consecutive games after suffering their only loss of the season back on April 6. Pittsford, who posted a 14-4 mark in 2022 and graduated five players with postseason accolades, is off to a strong start, showing a 9-1 overall record in 2023.
Pittsford is eyeing its first win against Victor since 2015 as they have gone 0-7 and been outscored 61-41 over the last seven meetings. The Panthers’ last victory versus the Blue Devils came back on May 7, 2015.
Senior Rex Kesselring paces the Pittsford offense with 27 goals, which includes three straight hat tricks. Dating back to last season when he was named to the All-League Honorable mention list, Kesselring has scored at least one goal in 13 of his last 14 contests and totaled 34 points (30+4) over that span.
Sophomore Brady Goetz tops all Panthers in assists (21) while freshman Avery Valenti (21), senior Ben Steingass (17), and juniors Ian Erskine and Luke Fliss (16) all have recorded double figures in points this season.
Steingass, Fliss, Valenti along with seniors Anthony DeMeo, Caleb Lewis, and Noah Hezel all were the recipient of postseason laurels in 2022.
Lewis has committed to Bucknell University while DeMeo and Hezel will take their talents to Le Moyne and Lafayette Colleges, respectively.
Senior goaltender Nolan Deehan enters the matchup showing a 9-1 record while making 75 saves. In 38 career games, Deehan has a combined 25-14 record, which includes a 20-2 mark over his last 22 appearances. In 1,304 minutes over the past two seasons, Deehan, who was named to the Section V All-Tournament Team and All-League Honorable Mention team in 2022, has made 192 saves.
Junior netminder Liam Brett has appeared in three games this season, making four saves in 28 minutes.
Pittsford is entering the matchup strong offensively having outscored the opponents nearly two-to-one in each of the first three quarters this season. The team scored 96 goals overall this season while allowing only 62.
Head coach Andrew Whipple shows a 220-102 record since taking over the program in 2005. Whipple, who played high school lacrosse at Irondequoit before attending Maryland, is joined by assistant Matt Gold. Whipple has helped the Panthers claim three of the school’s five Section V Championships while also having nine players be named US Lacrosse All Americans and four to All-Academics Teams.
Other notable Pittsford boy’s alumni that a currently playing in college include; John Avery (Utica) – Matt Bender (OCC) – Gavin Catalano (St Johns) – Thomas Cincebox (Nazareth) – Jacob Claus (Hartwick) – Jared Conners (Virginia) – James Cook (Tampa) – Harrison Cross (Williams) – Charlie DeBiase (UMass Lowell) – Ben DiGiovanni (Dartmouth) – Nick Dominic (SUNY Cobleskill) – Ryan Dumont (Oswego) – Jake Erskine (Canton) – Connor Fitzgerald (Tampa) – Andrew Forte (GCC) – John Galbraith (Colgate) – Michael Gigantelli (St Lawrence) – Bernie Haims (Oswego) – Connor Haims (Le Moyne) – Trevar Hall (Tufts) – Frank Imburgia (Hobart) – Sonny Imburgia (Binghamton) – Jeremy Jacob (Nazareth) – Jack Kaufman (Union) – Will Martins (Vassar) – Michael Mascitti (Geneseo) – Chase Morley (Adelphi) – John Mozrall (RIT) – Sean Regan (St Michaels) – Jake Robinson (Buffalo) – Matthew Rodenhouse (Baldwin Wallace) – Patrick Sanna (Clarkson) – Nathan Strauf (Ohio Northern) – Patrick Sullivan (Lenoir-Rhyne) – Dylan Sulzbach (Penn State) – Jordan Testa (Brockport) – Sammy Thomolaris (Seton Hill) – Connor Thornton (Rollins).
The Blue Devils come into Tuesday’s contest riding an eight-game win streak after suffering their only loss of the season back on April 4 against Calvert Hall (MD). Victor showed a 17-1 mark in 2022 and a 13-2 record in 2021. The school has claimed the New York State Championship four times since 2015 while capturing the section championship eight times since 2002.
The program, which allowed only an average of five goals per game in 2022, graduated top defensemen Louie Germain and Aiden Wheeler, both of whom earned postseason accolades. Germain, who’s currently attending Bucknell University, was named to the US Lacrosse All-Academic team while Wheeler is in his freshman year at St. John Fisher University.
Senior Thomas Gravino paces the Victor offense with 35 goals, which includes seven consecutive hat tricks. Dating back to last season when he was named to the US Lacrosse All-American and First-Team All-State, Gravino has scored at least one goal in 19 of his last 20 contests while totaling 160 points (113+47) in 33 career games.
Junior Jack Herendeen (36) tops all Blue Devils with 20 assists while also joining seniors Sam Gotham (31), Pax Marshall (28), junior Aiden Clinkscales (18) and sophomore Kyle Saeger (16) with double figures in points.
Gotham, Marshall, Herendeen and Saeger along with seniors Ryan Dodge, Dom Pezzimenti, and Sam Ricci all were the recipients of postseason laurels in 2022. Junior Cam Ryan also earned a spot on the All-League Second Team.
Senior goaltender Brady Robinson enters the matchup boasting a 7-1 record while making 48 saves in 350 minutes. In 34 career games, Robinson shows a 32-2 mark, which includes an 8-0 mark as a sophomore. In 1,230 minutes over the past three seasons, Robinson, who was named to the All-League Honorable Mention team in 2022, has made 179 saves.
Junior Parker Edwin (3+0) and senior Ryan Seager (3+1) and have appeared in three and four games this season, respectively.
Head coach Dan Stone shows a 39-4 record since taking over the program in 2021. Stone is joined by assistants Mark Foeder, Tony Pezziment and Jamie Trimboli, who was named to the US Lacrosse All-American Team in 2016.
Other notable Victor boy’s alumni that a currently playing in college include; Patrick Barrow (Albany) – Sutton Boland (Penn State) – Mitchell Cain (Loyola) – Logan Callahan (Johns Hopkins) – Patrick Carrozzi (Mercyhurst) – Regan Endres (Albany) – Zach Estabrooks (Seton Hill) – Cameron Germain (St Bonaventure) – Louie Germain (Bucknell) – Camden Hay (Albany) – Tanner Hay (Albany) – Tucker Hill (MCC) – Chayse Ierlan (Cornell) – T.D. Ierlan (Denver) – Austin Jobson (St John Fisher) – Connor Keenan (Fairfield) – Cal Lambert (USMA) – Sam Lambert (Le Moyne) – Alexander Mabbett (Johns Hopkins) – Nick Montemorano (RIT) – Shea Newell (Mercyhurst) – Anthony Pezzimenti (Canisius) – Joey Pezzimenti (Le Moyne) – Richie Pierpont (Clarkson) – Joey Pogoda (Temple) – Griffin Randall (Nazareth) – Charlie Robbins (NJIT) – Ethan Roberts (Seton Hill) – Alec Russell (Le Moyne) – Jaden Tantillo (St John Fisher) – Jamie Trimboli (Syracuse) – Aiden Wheeler (St John Fisher) – Cam Yost (Oswego).