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updated: 9/4/2014 10:20 PM

Batavia duo sinks Larkin

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  • Larkin's Juan Reyes turns as he battles for the ball with Batavia's Daniel Zagoren Thursday in Batavia.

       Larkin's Juan Reyes turns as he battles for the ball with Batavia's Daniel Zagoren Thursday in Batavia.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Batavia's Larkin goalkeeper Leo Perez makes a save on a corner kick Thursday in Batavia.

       Batavia's Larkin goalkeeper Leo Perez makes a save on a corner kick Thursday in Batavia.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Batavia's Luke Laurich jumps to take a header in front of Larkin's Sammy Rodriguez Thursday in Batavia.

       Batavia's Luke Laurich jumps to take a header in front of Larkin's Sammy Rodriguez Thursday in Batavia.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Batavia's Daniel Zagoren and Larkin's Juan Reyes compete Thursday in Batavia.

       Batavia's Daniel Zagoren and Larkin's Juan Reyes compete Thursday in Batavia.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Batavia's Nick Konopacki is surrounded by teammates after his first half goal against Larkin Thursday in Batavia.

       Batavia's Nick Konopacki is surrounded by teammates after his first half goal against Larkin Thursday in Batavia.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Larkin's Moises Raya and teammate Bryan Dominguez, left, battle for a corner kick in front of the net with Batavia's Nick Konopacki Thursday in Batavia.

       Larkin's Moises Raya and teammate Bryan Dominguez, left, battle for a corner kick in front of the net with Batavia's Nick Konopacki Thursday in Batavia.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
By Chris Walker
Daily Herald Correspondent

Ian Larson and Nick Konopacki became teammates just a season ago.

Now, they're looking like they've played together for years.

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During Thursday's Upstate Eight River conference match at Batavia, the duo connected twice to lead the Bulldogs to a 4-0 victory over Larkin.

"We haven't played a whole lot together other than last year, but this year we've really grown with good teamwork," Konopacki said. "He's a great offensive threat."

Batavia (2-0-0, 1-0-0) worked straight into a fairly strong wind in the first half, but was able to take a 1-0 lead with 11:18 remaining before intermission when Larson found Konopacki. The senior pounced on Larson's feed and sent it just into the right corner of the net.

"He's our best player on set pieces, whether in the air or not, and always in the right spot," Larson said. "During training I worked on finding him whenever I could. We had a lot of time to scrimmage in the preseason so whenever there was a free kick I knew he'd be there to finish it."

Larkin (1-2-1, 0-1-0) didn't produce much offense throughout the first half. Hector Mendoza had a nice shot on goal with a little less than eight minutes left, but Batavia goalie Kevin Fiddelke was able to punch it away.

Fiddelke manned goal in the first half while John Faraone completed the shutout with clean work over the final 40 minutes.

The Royals had a few chances to draw even in the second half, but couldn't finish those opportunities. Junior Alex Cruz snuck past a defender and went one-on-one with Faraone, but the senior goalkeeper made the save. Diego Ramirez tried to curl in a corner kick and then two minutes later had a bit of an opening but fired too high.

"We're extremely young with four sophomores and six freshmen on the squad," Royals coach Ken Hall said. "Really at the end there it was men against boys because they have a lot of seniors and upperclassmen. It's growing pains and we're just looking for improvement throughout the season."

Larson connected with Konopacki a second time with 11:08 left in the final half to give the Bulldogs some breathing room.

"We were lined up on the end line and I just had to get out and get open," Konopacki said. "He had a great ball in and I was able to get on it."

Larson extended the lead with a goal with 6:19 left. Brandon Yunker accounted for the assist.

Then, with just 5 seconds left, Davis DiBiase assisted Matt Allen to conclude the scoring.

"For not playing in 9 days, I thought they came out pretty well," Bulldogs coach Mark Gianfrancesco said. "For it being our second game, we've got stuff to work on, but I was pleased, obviously, with what I saw."

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