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 the first-place Spencerport Rangers (4-1) traveling to face off with the Fairport Raiders (4-2) in boy’s lacrosse action on Tuesday.
The Rangers come into Tuesday’s matchup having won four of their first five games of the season. Sitting at 4-2 overall and 2-0 in section play to start this season, Spencerport is currently atop the Monroe County-2 standings and is one of just nine programs to remain unbeaten in conference play in all the Rochester area.
Spencerport is eyeing its first win in school history against Fairport having gone 0-3 in the first three games in the head-to-head series. The Rangers have been outscored 33-9 in the last three contests between the two schools, which includes a 9-5 score last May.
Freshman Zach Tortora paces the Rangers offense as he has 14 goals, which includes back-to-back four-goal games, while sophomore Jayden Rodriguez tops the team in points (15) and assists (7). Both players have a multi-point effort in four of their first five games.
Junior goaltender Taylor Kaye enters the tilt showing a 4-1 record to go with one shutout. In 31 career games, Kaye has a combined 22-7 record and has allowed less than four goals 12 times. As a freshman, Kaye posted an 8-0 mark. Sophomore netminder Jamison Brown has appeared in three games, making two saves in 23 minutes.
Spencerport is entering the matchup strong defensively, limiting its opposition to just 14 first-half goals this season and have outscored the opponents 27-14 in the first half of games this season. The team also scored 27 goals in the second half, which includes 16 in the third quarter.
Head coach Bill Buttaro shows a 27-10 record since taking over the program in 2020. Buttaro, who played high school lacrosse at Irondequoit, is joined on the sidelines by assistants Justin Sale, Joe Gaug and 2013 US Lacrosse All-American Matt Kaser.
After suffering a 19-2 loss to Victor to begin the season, the Red Raiders have responded by winning four of their last four games, which included a three-game winning streak from April 4 to April 11. Fairport has outscored its opponents 41-33 since its season-opener.
Arguably one of the top teams in Section V in recent years, Fairport has claimed the Class A crown six times since 2010, including back-to-back section titles, and has won three of the last four. Fairport is led by head coach Mike Torrelli, who shows a 251-94 mark since taking over the reins in 2004. Torrelli, who played his high school lacrosse with Webster, has had 18 players be named US Lacrosse All Americans and nine All Academics.
Of the nine Red Raiders to have at least one point, sophomore Mitchell Monte leads the team in goals (10) while junior Sam Pucci is first in both assists (8) and points (16). Pucci has scored at least one goal and has recorded a multi-point effort in each of his first four games while Monte has one tally in all five games, which includes a season-high four against West Genesee.
Senior Bobby Cameron, who produced six goals and five assists in seven games last season, has nearly matched his point total this spring as he has registered 10 points (7+3) in five appearances.
Defensemen Matt Buttarazzi, who was named to the Section V All-Tournament Team in 2022, and Cole Villareale, who was honored with an All-League Honorarble Mention, are both back for the senior seasons with Fairport.
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 an appearance in the 2020 PLL Championship Series, posting 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 22 goals, 19 assists for 41 points in 11 games so far this season while helping the club to a 9-2 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) – Kyle Gould (Wittenberg) – TJ Hendricks (Ohio State) – Kole Herren (RIT) – Gavin Ingalls (Mercyhurst) – Josh Knapp (Delaware) – Michael Kozar (Albany) – Nick Krug (Delaware) – Billy Meagher (Nazareth) – Jacob Mueller (MCC) – Dylan Orcutt (Buffalo) – Colin Peers (Cortland) – Jahadi Prior (Brockport) – McLean Ralston (Nazareth) – Brendan Saylor (Hobart) – Tanner Soudan (UMass Lowell)