AHS boys lacrosse drop close game to Utica Proctor

A resilient Rams team battled back from a three goal deficit in the second half of Saturday’s game at Lynch Literacy Academy against the Utica Proctor Raiders, only to come up short in the end. In one of the closest lacrosse games of the season so far, Utica Proctor’s Noah Lamie scored with just under seven minutes to play and it turned out to be the deciding factor as the Utica Proctor Raiders defeated the Amsterdam High School boys varsity lacrosse team 9-8.

“They competed the whole game,” Amsterdam head coach Paul Furman said of his team. “They never quit.”

Amsterdam took the lead at the 8:31 mark of the third period on Camilo Medina’s second goal of the game, but it would be the last lead for the Rams as Utica Proctor found the back of the net four times in a span of less than two minutes.

Utica Proctor’s Logan Wilcox forced the fifth tie in the contest between the Rams and Raiders by getting one past AHS goalkeeper Jesse Kellogg. Only fifteen seconds later, Rick Ferriaola put the Raiders up by one with his team high third goal of the game on a bouncer at close range. Raiders’ Ed White made it a two goal lead with a wrap around shot at the 6:52 mark giving Utica Proctor three goals in only a minute span. Andrew Melendez made in four straight for the Raiders at the 6:03 mark in the third period boosting the lead to 8-5 at the halfway mark of the period. A handful of 30 second and one minute penalties proved to be the Rams undoing in the quarter.

“We have to clean up the penalties and stay out of the box,” Coach Furman said. “They (Utica Proctor) did most of their damage when we were a man down. If we eliminate the penalties this game would have been different.”

Down by three goals, Amsterdam called a time out to get organized. A quick four goal spurt like what the Raiders put up could have demoralized any team, but not these Rams. Amsterdam goalkeeper Jess Kellogg approached the huddle and said to his team, “ If they can score in bunches we can too.”

The Rams took that to heart and showed the determination to get back in the game.

Kellogg was phenomenal in goal particularly in the later half. The junior Rams net-minder used his stick, legs, arms, hands, and feet to block anything the Raiders sent his way giving the Rams a chance to respond with a string of goals of their own.

“Jesse (Kellogg) was on fire,” Coach Furman said. “He made ten saves at point blank range. Jesse was the backbone of the defense and he kept us in the game.”

Kellogg faced 29 Utica Proctor shots and turned away 20 of them. Meanwhile, the Rams offense took advantage of their goalkeeper’s stellar play with a run of their own. AHS senior Tim Steele charged down the middle of the field and fired one past Raiders goalkeeper Harry Sykes cutting the Utica Proctor lead to 8-6 at the 5:42 mark in the third period. The Rams continued to work the ball around in the Raiders zone in the closing minutes of the period and it paid off when Camilo Medina found the back of the net with 54.5 seconds left putting the Rams within one of tying the game once again. Utica Proctor led 8-7 after three quarters but momentum seemed to favor the Rams.

Amsterdam kept up the pressure in the Utica Proctor end of the field and got the equalizer at the 10:04 mark of the fourth period when Camilo Medina broke through a crowd of defenders and fired a close range shot past Sykes producing the sixth tie of the game. But, just when it appeared that the home team had gained enough momentum to put them over the top, it suddenly swung the other way.

The Raiders could also demonstrate accurate passing and displayed that throughout much of the final twelve minute period where they dominated possession of the ball. Lamie took a pass from Ed White to the left of Kellogg and put the game winner in the net with 6:55 to play. Amsterdam’s defense struggled to get the ball away from the Raiders and into the hands of the AHS attackmen, who had their best chance with three minutes left to play but could not get a shot on goal. Kellogg made an incredible stop of a point blank range by White with under two minutes to play as the Rams hustled to give their offense another chance to tie the game. Amsterdam had an opportunity with a man up in the final minute, and had a last chance to score getting the ball back with six seconds left, but Medina’s final shot went wide of the net as time expired.

“They (Utica Proctor) held the ball too much,” Coach Furman said. “When we are in a defense designed to create pressure, then we have to cause turnovers.”

The first half ended with a tie at 4-4. Tim Steele opened the scoring for the Rams with his first goal at the 6:20 mark of the first period. White tied things up with his first for the Raiders with 1:34 left in the first. Luigi Iorio gave AHS a 2-1 lead with a goal just over a minute into the second quarter. Ferriaola followed Iorio’s goal with a pair of his own in a two minute span giving the Raiders a 3-2 lead. Camilo Medina’s first goal knotted things up at the 4:18 mark in the second period, but White gave the Raiders the lead once again at 4-3 on a shot with three minutes left in the half. Amsterdam’s Anthony Barone Lopez kept his focus on the Raiders goal and the game clock, and broke though a crowd of Raiders defenders and blasted one past Sykes for the game tying shot with 23.9 seconds left in the half. Camilo Medina finished with a game high four goals for the Rams.

Amsterdam (4-3 overall, 1-2 Foothills Council) returns to action on Tuesday when they host Foothills Council rival Scotia- Glenville on the turf field at Lynch Literacy Academy. Start time is scheduled for 5:00pm. The varsity Rams will also host Glens Falls next week on Thursday at Lynch, at 5pm.

The Amsterdam Youth Lacrosse Program will be hosting a spaghetti dinner on Friday, April 29th at Goodfella’s Pizzeria in Amsterdam from 6- 8pm. Cost for the dinner is $10 per person. A 50/50 raffle will also be held. Proceeds will go to benefit the Amsterdam Youth Lacrosse Program.

Scott Mulford

Scott Mulford has been covering local sports for over 20 years. He previously wrote for the Amsterdam Star and The Free Press of the Mohawk Valley.