Athletes take home medals from Empire Games

With F-M's Matt Esposito present, Central won the scholastic men's gold medal, going 5-0 at Broome County Community College. By Saturday night, Central had clinched the title with four straight wins, but it still beat Western 3-2 with a last-second goal on Sunday to complete its unbeaten run.


F-M teammates Matt Taylor and Mike Poppleton, along with CBA's Casey Lasda, were leading scorers for the Central scholastic men's team that earned a silver medal at SUNY-Binghamton.

Central went 3-2 in round-robin play, dropping one-goal decisions to Western (6-5) and Long Island (7-6), but still beating Western and Hudson Valley in a three-way tie-breaker to reach Sunday's final. There, Long Island took out Central 14-3, meaning a second-place finish.

With Morgan Axenfeld, Meg Helmer (both from F-M) and Katie Webster (CBA) on the field, Central's scholastic women took the bronze medal. Just like their male counterparts, Central lost by a single goal to Western and Long Island, yet ended up in the third-place game, where it scored the last six goals to rally past Hudson Valley 9-6 and get the bronze.


Both of Central's scholastic teams won silver medals with a heavy local push.

On the men's side, F-M's Brian Zapisek had big performances early in the tournament, scoring 20 points against Hudson Valley and 17 points against Adirondack. He cooled off later (eight points against New York City, nine in the 88-65 finals loss to Western), but Zapisek still had a strong showing.

So did F-M's Torie Lee and CBA's Leanne Ockenden on the scholastic side. Lee never had less than 13 points in any of her four games, peaking with 20 against Western and putting up 17 in Sunday's 69-62 overtime loss to Hudson Valley in the finals. Ockenden hit double digits three times (including 10 points in the final), while another F-M star, Emily Trapani, scored in all four games, too.

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