NOT TO(K)NIGHT- RFA BLACK KNIGHTS FALL TO LIVERPOOL WARRIORS 11-8
#23 Dylan Sbarglia (assist), #9 Randy Linderman (he scored) celebrate the game’s first goal for RFA.
There are times in every teams season when you put a big circle around a game on the upcoming schedule.
That time came on Friday night at the stadium in Rome as the Liverpool Warriors rode east for a Central CNYCL National vs CNYCL American League High School Lacrosse showdown.
If you know anything about high school lacrosse, in Central New York, you know the power base is located to the west of us. You also know by now that teams here in the Mohawk Valley are catching up.
Teams like the Rome Free Academy Black Knights. Coach Guy Calandra has worked hard to build a program the school can be proud of. A program that can compete with the big boys!
That’s why this crossover affair meant so much to the home standing Black Knights and their loyal, vocal fans.
Liverpoool came to town with a perfect 9-0 mark and RFA entered the fray with a very impressive 7-1-1 ledger.
What unfolded on the carpet at the stadium in Rome just left the coach and Black Knights fans wanting more and also knowing that the gap that exists between east and west is getting smaller.
The proof was in the pudding, as they say, when the scoreboard read Liverpool 11 RFA 8.
Nick Bonanza and Dylan Sbarglia led the Black Knights, in scoring as Sbarglia ended up with four points and Bonanza five as the Romans kept the game close but couldn’t prevail against the undefeated Warriors at Tom Hoke Stadium.
Bonanza netted four goals, and senior, Dylan Sbarglia added three goals of his own along with two assists to pace the Black Knights (7-2-1).
Eight different Warriors scored goals as the visitors fought hard to stay perfect.
Logan Thomas netted 5 goals and had an assist, while Austin Hope added a goal and 3 assists to lead Liverpool.
The Warriors jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead as Thomas scored with 10:21 to go in the first quarter, Hope assisted on the play.
The Black Knights answered right back as Randy Linderman took a pass from Sbarglia and hit the back of the net to tie the score at 1-1, with 8:21 to go in the first.
The two teams traded goals once again as the early action was hot and heavy. It was a mad dash, for the cash, as both offenses came out on a mission.
Not to be outdone the speedy Bonanza streaked up the sideline and scored on a breakaway, for RFA, to make the score 2-2 with 4:20 to go in quarter number one.
Liverpool scored two more quick goals in the first, the first by Hope and the second by Jeff Conley.
These two goals were scored in a matter of just :23, lighting quick, seconds apart and with 3:29 to go in the first, the visiting team had a 4-2 lead and never looked back.
Another goal by Sbarglia three minutes into the second quarter pulled the home team within one. Sbarglia is having a fantastic season piling up 38 points, 27 goals and 11 assists.
The Warriors answered back, with 4:25 to go in the second quarter Thomas found the back of the net once again to make the score 5-3.
After a fast paced first quarter, the speed of the game began to slow down as darkness crept in, and the already cold weather got even colder.
RFA coach, Guy Calandra not liking they way things were going, as the half wound down,called a timeout to try to rally his team.
With a fireball (candy) in his mouth, he tried to light a fire in his team by telling them that ground balls win games and they were losing that battle 13-7.
Calandra also wasn’t happy with the Knights shot selection and told them they needed to run their set plays. He wanted them to stay calm, and told them they had plenty of time left to pull this one out.
The team listened and scored with 2:11 to go in the second as Bonanza took a pass from Brian Stapleton and ripped one past Liverpool goalie, Dominick Madonna, to make the score 5-4.
The visitors not happy with their one goal lead scored one more time before the half this time Nick Kline found the range.
Not to be outdone, Bonanza used his speed to get by the Warrior back line and put one in the net with :07 seconds to go in the half and make the score 6-5 Liverpool.
The Black Knights came out in the second half with something to prove, they wanted to show that they could hang with the undefeated Warriors.
The teams traded goals throughout the period, and at the end of three the game was still a close won with the visitors on top 9-8.
During the fourth quarter Liverpool slowed the game down to keep the ball away from the Romans, and their defense led by Dillon Springer, Jeff Conley, and goalie Madonna shut down the home team.
Liverpool outscored RFA 5-3 in the second half and 2-0 in the fourth quarter to frustrate the Knights.
The final score ended up 11-8 but moral victories are not what the Knights are looking for. Close won’t cut it for the Knights.
Both netminders were busy all night long. For Liverpool Dominick Madonna made 7 saves while allowing 8 goals and RFA’s RJ Ferrucci stopped 8 shots while allowing 11 goals.
Speaking of close RFA remains in third place behind two of the perennial powers we have been talking about, Fayetteville-Manlius and West Genesee.
RFA gets a chance to get back to the win column when they take on Corcoran on Tuesday night on the road.
Liverpool 11 Rome Free Academy 8
1 2 3 4 Total
Liverpool 4 2 3 2 11
RFA 2 3 3 0 8
MHTS Scoring Highlights:
Logan Thomas-5 goals and 1 assist
Austin Hope- 1 goal and 3 assists
Nick Bonanza-4 goals
Dylan Sbarglia- 3 goals and 2 assists