For the second straight year, the Rochester Knighthawks will be front and center on the local high school lacrosse scene over the next several weeks as part of a weekly series featuring the latest news and notes, scores and stats of select games around the Greater Rochester Area.
This week’s matchup pits the Victor Blue Devils visiting the Brighton Bruins tonight in the season-opener between the two teams in boy’s lacrosse action at Brighton High School.2022 SECTION V STANDINGS
Victor, which is coming off a 13-2 finish in 2021, returns two of its top three point-getters from the previous season in junior midfielder Thomas Gravino and senior attackman Sam Gotham, who recorded combined for 51 goals and 76 points last season. Gravino ranked second among all Blue Devils players with 30 goals, scoring at least one in 14 of 15 games last season. He recorded 12 multi-goal outings, including four hat tricks, and posted three four-point efforts during the season which saw Victor open the campaign with 10 straight wins.
More impressively, the Blue Devils have won 19 of their last 21 games dating back to the 2019 season.
Victor’s biggest loss, however, came with the departure of leading point-getter Cal Lambert, who last season led the team with 40 goals and 57 points while appearing in all 15 games. Lambert, who’s now in his freshman season at West Point, averaged close to three goals-per-game after opening the 2021 season with a career-best nine-goal effort in the 13-8 win over Hilton.
He anchored a Blue Devils offense that outscored its opposition 190-83 over the course of the season, including 115-44 in the first half.
Goatender Zach Pavia returns for his senior season after leading all Section V netminders with a .544 save percentage and 13 wins.
Led by second-year head coach Dan Stone, the Blue Devils have dominated the local lacrosse scene in recent years, winning an unprecedented six straight Section V titles between 2014 and 2019, in addition to four New York State championships over a six-year span during the team’s rise to prominence.
Since the 2015 season, Victor’s lacrosse program has gone on to produce eight US Lacrosse All-Americans, including three that earned the distinction in back-to-back years. Among them include brothers Chayse (2017-2018) and T.D. Ierlan (2015-2016) and Jamie Trimboli (2015-2016). The trio remain the only three players in program history to earn All-American honors in consecutive years. Lambert and Logan Callahan were among those honored in 2021.
Chayse, who also backstopped the Victor hockey team to a state championship in 2018, is a three-time First Team All-Greater Rochester selection and was named the 2018 All-Greater Rochester Male Athlete of the Year. Chayse set the school career records in wins (50), lowest goals-against average (1.70), and highest save percentage (.953) on his way to leading the Blue Devils to five Section V championships and three state titles. As a senior, he was named the New York State Player of the Year, the All-Greater Rochester Player of the Year, and the Monroe County Player of the Year, becoming the first and only Section V lacrosse player to win all three honors in the same season.
Chayse currently attends Cornell University while his brother, TD, is currently in his first season with the Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League. TD will be in town this weekend when the Knighthawks host the Rock on Saturday at Segar & Sciortino Field at The Blue Cross Arena.
TD, who went to the Rock 20th overall in the 2020 NLL Entry Draft, was one of the nation’s top face-off specialists in the history of NCAA Division I lacrosse between five years at the University of Denver, Yale and the University of Albany.
TD, who was also selected by the Redwoods in the 2021 Premier Lacrosse League Collegiate Draft, is a three-time All-American, a two-time First-Team All-American and was a Tewaaraton Award finalist.
Former Victor team captain Nick Montemorano recently helped the R.I.T. Tigers win their first NCAA Division III National Championship on May 30.
Other notable Victor boy’s lacrosse alumni 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) – Matt Gardner (Boston U) – Cameron Germain (St Bonaventure) – 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 (Albany) – Richie Pierpont (Clarkson) – Joey Pogoda (Temple) – Griffin Randall (Nazareth) – Ethan Roberts (Seton Hill) – Alec Russell (Le Moyne) – Jamie Trimboli (Syracuse) – Cam Yost (Oswego).
Brighton comes into the matchup after coming up short in a 7-5 season-opening loss to Hamburg on Saturday. Senior Liam McGuire and sophomore Aksel Stanat each scored twice while senior Cal Oberst rounded out the scoring with his first goal of the season behind an eight-save performance from sophomore goaltender Thomas D’Angelo.
McGuire headlines only a small list of returnees for Brighton, which, like Victor, enters the season after seeing the departure of its leading scorer from the 2021 campaign in Olin Stanat, the older brother of Aksel. Olin, who’s since moved onto Le Moyne College, led the Bruins with 31 goals and 50 points last season.
Other notable returnees include senior defenseman Ben Vitale and goaltender D’Angelo, both of whom were named an All-League Honorable Mentions for their respective positions.
The Bruins experienced the biggest turnover, however, with the loss of four key players, including All-Greater Rochester selection Sam Tourangeau and Olin Stanat, who was a Second Team All-League selection in 2021. Midfielder Peter Barraclaugh-Tan and defenseman James Baiocchi were also All-League Honorable Mention selections.
The Bruins are 19-15 in the past two seasons under third-year head coach D.T. Benedict and are coming off a 5-10 finish in 2021. The team is in pursuit of its first Section V championship since 2004.
The program has produced two US Lacrosse All-Americans in the past five years, most notably Brady McDermott in 2018 and Brett Randall in 2017.
Other notable Brighton boy’s lacrosse alumni include Najeeb Awad (Buffalo) – Ben Cutter (Buffalo) – Vaughn Fetkenhour (St Lawrence) – Caleb Green (Bowdoin) – Brady McDermott (Yale) – Casey McDermott (Johns Hopkins) – Brett Randall (Richmond) – Lukas Stanat (Princeton) – Olin Stanat (Le Moyne) – Sam Tourangeau (Ithaca) – Abdul Yoruk (MCC).