AHS boys lacrosse win first round sectional game

The Amsterdam High School boys varsity lacrosse team snapped a five game losing streak Thursday night by racking up goals in every period on their way to a 16-5 win over Averill Park at the Lynch Literacy Academy field.

“It’s a step in the right direction for this program,” Amsterdam coach Paul Furman said. “This is definitely something we needed and something we can build on.”

Only three weeks ago the Amsterdam Rams varsity lacrosse team had a 7-4 record and were looking to continue that momentum with a winning record headed into the Section 2 Class B sectionals, but a string of five straight losses put them down as an eighth seed and having to play the newest varsity program in Section 2, the Averill Park Warriors in the first round. Amsterdam wasted no time taking a 4-1 lead after one period with goals by seniors Tim Steele, Luigi Iorio, and Matt Fedullo, who scored twice early in the game.

The senior members of the Rams squad kept the momentum in the home team’s favor with Iorio scoring another pair of goals, and Fedullo and John Labahn adding a goal each. The Warriors got goals from Nick Gelder and Liam Gelder during the first half, but Amsterdam held an 8-3 lead at the break with the Rams seniors definitely on their game.

“When they’re on, they’re on,” Coach Furman said of the AHS senior class players. “When they play well then they are one of the most dangerous groups in Class B”.

Amsterdam put the game away with six goals in the third period. Fedullo scored his fourth goal at the 9:25 mark in the third, and less than three minutes later, Labahn followed with his second goal of the contest. AHS senior Camilo Medina took a pass from Fedullo and fired one past Averill Park goal keeper Jake Franchi for an 11-3 AHS advantage.

“It was a big game for the seniors,” Medina said. “We knew we had to win to keep our season going.”

Iorio added his fifth and sixth goals of the game, the last one coming with only one minute left in the third frame putting the Rams up by 10. Amsterdam never took its foot off the accelerator, and less than ten second after Iorio found the back of the net, Labahn charged down the middle of the field and launched a rocket past Franchi for a 14-3 lead. The AHS seniors had done their job, and Furman put some of the younger members of the squad in to show what they could do.

“When you’re an established program you want to get the game to the point where you are scoring with the junior varsity players,” Coach Furman said. “The seniors put this team on their backs and now we’re moving on to play Albany Academy.”

After shutting out the Warriors in the third period, Amsterdam got contributions from its younger players. Mark Hughes and Adam Noce scored on assists by Medina and Elijah Newborn to put the final touches on the win. Liam Gender and Hunter Kortz scored for Averill Park rounding out the scoring Amsterdam goal keeper Jesse Kellogg made four saves. Matt Johnson came on to play in goal for the fourth period and made one save. The Rams took 39 shots as a team. Averill Park’s Franchi made 15 saves. The win for AHS couldn’t have come at a better time.

“We came to practice and knew what we had to do,” said Medina. “We had to come out big and we won big. It puts us in a good spot. It let’s people know where we are.”

The win gives Amsterdam momentum into their next game against the top seed in Class B, Albany Academy, a team that ended Amsterdam’s season in sectionals a year ago. The two teams face off again on Saturday afternoon at Albany Academy. Start time is scheduled for 12 noon.

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.