Peter Semprevivo transferred from Iona Prep to rival Fordham Prep after his freshman year and had to wait his turn to play his former teammates on the big stage. The senior was the Rams third-string goalie last season, won the job this year and showed he certainly deserved it in Fordham’s most important game to date.
Semprevivo made 12 saves, including two in the final 2:00 to help secure Fordham Prep’s 8-5 victory over the visiting Gaels in CHSAA boy’s lacrosse in front of an energetic crowd on April 14. It is Fordham’s first home victory since 2011 over Iona, which took all three meetings last year. Teammates and members of the school’s student body mobbed Semprevivo afterward.
“It’s the best win I’ve ever had in my life,” he said.
Fordham (6-0) grabbed a 6-3 lead on the second goal of the afternoon by Kevin Sohr with 9:57 to play in the game. The Rams then matched the Gaels score for score after that thanks to tallies by Eamon Coughlin and Andrew Abbattista, who added an assist.
“That really helps to cut down their momentum and bring it back in our favor,” Sohr said.
Iona (2-2) refused to go away, but Semprevivo stopped two shots in about 30 seconds of the game time to keep it from mounding a late comeback. He turned away Chris Kownacki (two goals, one assist) with 1:27 to play. It was similar to a stretch of multiple saves late in the second quarter that kept the score tied at 3-3 going to the break.
“I needed to make that saves for my team to win,” said Semprevivo of the fourth quarter stops. “Three goals with 2:00 left. That’s nothing.”
Goals were hard to come by for both teams in the middle quarters after Iona held a 3-2 lead after one frame. The Gaels went nearly 29 minutes without a score after that. The Rams tied things up at 3-3 when Abbattista found Sohr for a goal in transition just 30 seconds into the third quarter. The goal came right after a save by Semprevivo.
Attack Will Randell created the break Fordham needed to take control of the game. He checked the Iona goalie as he tried to clear the ball and jarred it loose. The Rams regained possession and Jack Casella ripped the shot into the back of the net from 12 yards out to give his team the lead for good at 4-3 at the 5:07 mark of the third quarter. Randell scored with 1:06 remaining in the frame to push it to 5-3.
“Will being a senior captain, he stepped up and grabbed that ball for us,” said first-year Fordham coach Chris Hemsley said.
The game is likely the first of three meetings between the rivals. Fordham, which fell in triple overtime in last year’s title game, was happy to get this campaign off to a positive start.
“It shows that our offense will definitely put goals on the scoreboard and our defense can stand behind us,” Sohr said.