Spartans beat No. 17 ranked team in OT

SPARTA. Boys lacrosse team defeats Scotch Plains-Fanwood, 11-10, in its fourth win in a row.

Sparta /
| 17 Apr 2024 | 01:19

Marco Aquino scored his third goal of the day with 18 seconds remaining in the third overtime to lift the Sparta High School boys lacrosse team to a thrilling 11-10 victory over No. 17 ranked Scotch Plains-Fanwood on Saturday afternoon, April 13.

The win at Kean University in Union was the fourth straight for Sparta, which improved to 4-1 this spring. Scotch Plains fell to 2-3 with the loss.

Sparta trailed, 8-5, at the half before outscoring Scotch Plains, 5-2, after the break.

Aquino, a sophomore, finished with three goals as did teammate Hunter Takacs. Luke Spelman (one goal, four assists), Michael Pandiscia (two goals), Eddie Brown (one goal), Matt Ciarelli (one goal), Greg Peters (eight ground balls, eight face-offs won) and Parker Hein (13 saves) also aided the decision.

The game was part of Kean’s “Connor’s Game.” which benefits the Deron School, a special-needs school with facilities in Union and Montclair.

“It was a great game and for a great cause,” said third-year Sparta coach Sean Peterson. “We had a rough opener against Ramapo (11-0 on April 2) but since then we’ve had some good results, including against a good Moorestown team (5-4 win on April 3).

“It’s still early but we’re starting to gel and play together.”

In that win over Moorestown, Sparta trailed, 4-2, before scoring three times in the fourth period. Hunter Chlodnicki, Brown, Christian Hantson and Peters all registered goals.

Sparta is scheduled to play at Haddonfield at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 20.

Here’s how other Sparta teams fared last week:


Braden Schappert was 4-for-4 with three RBI and a run; Evan Breitfeller was 1-for-3 with three RBI, two runs and two walks; and John Langeraap was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs to fuel a 12-9 victory at Parsippany Hills on April 13 in Parsippany.

Sparta (4-1) will play host to Morristown at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 18 before playing at Wallkill Valley at 11 a.m. April 20.


Alexis Arpino went 2-for-3 with a triple, two RBI and a run; Gabrielle Heim was 2-for-2 with an RBI; Kathryn Sutton went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run; and Maya Laliker tripled in a run and scored to pace Sparta to a 7-0 victory over Morristown-Beard on April 9 in Morristown.

Heim also pitched a four-hitter with 10 strikeouts and no walks to secure the win.

Sparta, which fell at Morris Knolls, 4-1, on April 13, is slated to play at Pope John at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 18.

Girls lacrosse

Uma Kowalski collected six goals, five draw controls, four forced turnovers and two ground balls and Moira Sweeney totaled five goals, five ground balls and two forced turnovers to lift Sparta to a 13-11 victory over Columbia on April 13 at Underhill Field in Maplewood.

Catherine Siipola added a goal, an assist, six ground balls and eight draw controls and Jordyn Kelly had a goal, an assist and three ground balls for the Spartans, who also received seven saves from Sama Elhamouly.

Sparta (4-1) will play at Voorhees at noon April 20.

Boys volleyball

Led by George Tsamadias (15 assists, 12 service points, eight aces, two kills), Joshua Tolentino (11 kills, three digs, three service points), Seth Gary (three kills, five service points) and Roberto Vasquez (eight service points), Sparta earned a 25-22, 25-15 victory over Pope John on the road April 9.

The Spartans then lost to Jefferson, 25-18, 25-19, at home Thursday, April 11.

Sparta (2-2) is scheduled to play host to Vernon at 4 p.m. April 18.

Boys tennis

Sparta (1-1) won for the first time when it blanked Wallkill Valley, 5-0, at home April 10.

Ian Yip (first singles), Graham Mahoney (second singles), Andrew Young (third singles), Charles Canzoniero and Adam Stefancik (first doubles), and Dev Ranipa and Het Raniipa (second doubles) all won in straight sets.