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Lacrosse schools battle in annual Wounded Warrior Tournament

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Although the conditions felt more like football weather on Saturday, this didn’t damper the spirits of the Frontier League’s lacrosse teams competing in the Wounded Warrior Tournament.

It was mission accomplished for the Frontier League in the fourth annual event to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. The circuit represented itself well by winning four of the five games on the day at Watertown High School.

Defense was prevalent through much of the day as the five winning teams each held their opponents to single digits in goals, led by Carthage, which stymied Section 5’s Penn Yan, the second-ranked Class C team in the state, with a 6-4 triumph.

General Brown held off Immaculate Heart Central, 10-8, in the first game, and later Watertown defeated Central Square, 13-8.

After Corcoran outlasted South Jefferson, 4-2, Indian River bested Lowville, 8-5, to complete the slate of games.

“This is another great day,” said Carthage coach Kirk Ventiquattro, who previously called the Wounded Warrior event as “The Perfect Saturday.” “Last year we lost to that team, 9-1, and today we scored six goals. But today, we won this game defensively — and that’s the difference for us.”

With the region’s ties to Fort Drum, there are again several players from military families currently playing high school lacrosse, particularly at Carthage and Indian River.

“I like this event a lot,” said IHC junior defenseman Robert Blackstock of Watertown, whose father Robert is an Army flight surgeon and radiologist, who has deployed to Afghanistan twice and will serve in Kuwait this summer.

“This country has a lot of Wounded Warrior events, but kids don’t really go to them because they don’t usually revolve around what kids do,” Blackstock added. “But to be out there playing a sport that we love and for such an important cause, it really adds meaning to the games. It gives you inspiration.”

“It’s not constant because sometimes they move away,” Comets sophomore midfielder Josh Yelvington said of military family teammates. “But it brings us together and there is a bond between us.”

The local event, dating back to 2010 in which the tournament included three games and three local teams, moved to Watertown this year and has grown to seven games with 11 area teams having competed over the past two days.

“Coming from a military family, this is really important,” said Carthage sophomore midfielder Chris DeRonda, whose dad Chris is a retired Army pilot and whose mom also served in the Army. “The program and this day of lacrosse we play in support of the Wounded Warrior Project is big. I’ve met some of them and it’s important to help them.”

The inaugural local Wounded Warrior lacrosse event was the brainchild of Indian River athletic director Jay Brown, who had watched his son compete in a Wounded Warrior tournament several years ago.

“This is a really important cause,” said Carthage team captain and defender Taylor Morgan, whose father Mike is an active member of the military and who is battling cancer.

Girls lacrosse was again included in the event as two games were held Friday at General Brown High School. Immaculate Heart Central beat Indian River, 13-7, and Watertown outlasted General Brown, 12-10.

Proceeds from donations (in lieu of admission at the gate) as well as from T-shirt, 50-50 raffle and concession sales will all go to the Wounded Warrior Project cause. Last year, about $4,000 was raised from the local lacrosse tournament,

“It’s a great thing to do because this is a great cause,” said Watertown junior attackman Eric Soderquist, who totaled six points, including four goals. “This is a fun event and it gets bigger every year.”

GENERAL BROWN 10, IHC 8

Cole Johnson totaled seven points, including five goals, as the Lions held off the Cavaliers to post a crossover victory in the Frontier League.

Michael Roukous contributed two goals and an assist for General Brown (1-3, 1-1) in its first win of the season.

Ryan Lamon scored two goals for the Lions and Lee Bauter chipped in with two assists. Goalie Parker Smith finished with seven saves for General Brown.

Nick Koelmel tallied three goals and an assist for IHC (2-1, 2-1), Matt Moran finished with a goal and two assists and Pat Gefell had a goal and an assist.

CARTHAGE 6, PENN YAN 4

Yelvington scored two goals and assisted on another to help pace the Comets, the state’s 14th-ranked team in Class B, to a nonleague victory to remain unbeaten.

Bailey Wilkenson and Casey Boulio each scored twice for Carthage (5-0), which scored the first two goals of each half.

Seth Leonard registered a pair of assists for Carthage, which allowed only one goal in the first half.

Goalie Trevor Gibbons finished with 13 saves for the Comets, who allowed only four goals in three games this week, including a pair of shutouts.

WATERTOWN 13, CENTRAL SQUARE 8

Noah Taylor and Brad McKinney each contributed two goals and two assists as the host Cyclones cruised to victory in a nonleague game.

Soderquist scored four of his goals in the first quarter, as Watertown (2-2) raced out to a 6-0 lead.

Anthony Donato scored twice for the Cyclones, and Bailey Madden and Kendall Vecchio added a goal and an assist.

Goalie Austin Gibson finished with nine saves for Watertown.

CORCORAN 4, S. JEFFERSON 2

Mitchell Laffin tallied a goal and assisted on another as the Cougars outlasted the Spartans for a nonleague victory.

Noah Galvan had 11 saves for Corcoran (2-2), which held South Jefferson (4-1) scoreless in the pivotal fourth quarter.

Brett Maguire and Jacob Moulton each scored third-quarter goals for the Spartans.

Hunter Merrill finished with eight saves for South Jefferson.

INDIAN RIVER 8, LOWVILLE 5

Connor Brown scored three goals to spark the Warriors to a league crossover triumph over the Red Raiders.

Logan Prudhomme tallied two goals for Indian River (1-1). Kyle Barker and Devin Iams scored a goal each for the Warriors.

Goalie Kaleb Loar finished with two saves for Indian River, which outscored Lowville, 5-2, in the second half and held the Red Raiders scoreless in the fourth quarter.

Matt Bush scored three goals to pace Lowville (0-3). Tyler Birchenough made 12 saves for the Red Raiders.

GIRLS LACROSSE

GENERAL BROWN 21, MANLIUS-PEBBLE HILL 6

Sophomore attack Bryanna Fazio totaled career highs in points with 11 and in goals with seven, as the Lions cruised to a nonleague victory in Dexter.

Emily Amell had six goals for General Brown (2-2).

Hannah Pebbles chipped in with two goals and one assist for the Lions, and Cayla O’Connor and Mia Rowland each scored twice.

Jill Primicias and Taylor Rosette each added a goal and an assist for General Brown.

Goalie Maggie Ambrose finished with four saves for the Lions.

Scarlett Jaworski tallied five goals and an assist to lead Manlius-Pebble Hill (0-2).

INDIAN RIVER 18, OFA 3

Katie Brierton registered 10 points, including four goals, to help pace the Warriors to a nonleague triumph in Ogdensburg.

Paige Fayette contributed seven points, including four goals for Indian River (2-2).

Morgan Nabywaniec chipped in with three goals and two assists for the Warriors, and Kelsi Nabywaniec finished with three goals and one assist. Meghan Guler scored twice and Sarah Mattingly added a goal and an assist.

Goalie Payge Heingarten made six saves for Indian River.

Mackenzie Comeau tallied a goal and an assist to lead the Blue Devils, and goalie Erica Chase had with nine saves.

SOUTH JEFFERSON 17, OSWEGO 6

Morgan Alexander tied a personal best by scoring eight goals to help spark the Spartans to a nonleague triumph in Fulton.

Clarissa Perry contributed three goals and an assist for South Jefferson (3-1), which led 9-2 at halftime.

Quincey Zimmerman tallied two goals for the Spartans, and Stephanie Green chipped in with a goal and two assists.

Sidney Hall and Maddie Knapp each had a goal and an assist for South Jefferson.

Goalie Courtney Zeigler made six saves for the Spartans and Keagan Nowlin had one save.

Alexa Healy had three goals and an assist for the Buccaneers (0-4).







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