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March 26, 2016

Homer downs Cortland in chilly season opener

Lax

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Homer’s Carolyne Yonta (11), left, challenges Cortland’s Logan Chase (3) in the first half of the Trojans’ 5-3 win Friday night.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

It was not a classic match-up between rivals Cortland High and Homer Central as the teams opened the girls’ lacrosse season with a non-league contest on a chilly George W. Butts Field Friday night.
A breeze and the chilly temperatures made for a sloppy game, but two goals by Olivia Porter helped the Trojans to a 5-3 victory.
“A win is always a good start, but that was a tough game,” Homer coach Ed Porter said. “It is tough to play that rivalry game as the first game. Give Cortland a lot of credit, they were tough in the midfield.
“We didn’t take care of the ball like I wanted us to,” he added. “Cortland is a blue collar, hard working team. They made us turn the ball over. It’s impressive to see what they did tonight with just 15 kids.”
Homer got on the board early when Carolyne Yonta found Mattie Riter open and the eighth-grader netted her first varsity goal with 22:38 left in the half. Yonta picked up two assists on the night in her return to action after missing most of the 2015 season with an injury.
“It felt good to come out strong against Cortland,” Yonta said. “Everyone gets a little jittery and excited with them and it being our first game. We just wanted to come out and win.
“It was tough sitting out last season,” she continued. “Olivia and Hannah (Casey) are strong players and they carried us through the beginning of the game. Everyone really worked hard and played together.”
Porter netted goals at the 16:46 and 5:12 marks of the first half as the Trojans took a 3-0 lead and rode that cushion the rest of the way. The senior picked up the first of her two yellow cards with 1:22 left in the first half and Cortland took advantage as Shea Swartwout found the cage with 1:09 to go in the half.
Ashley Lee collected the Trojans’ fourth goal with one second left in the half for a 4-1 lead.
Porter’s second yellow card came with 16:06 left in the match and Casey battled stomach problems during the second half so Coach Porter needed some of his youngsters to step up and they did.
“There’s no shot clock in girls’ lacrosse so we did have some younger players do what they needed to do,” Porter said. “We certainly took advantage to use the clock when we could.”
Homer only took one shot in the final 11 minutes and it happened to go in as Nina Armideo found the cage with an assist from Yonta for a 5-2 cushion with 3:47 to go. Armideo had one assist on the night as well.
Cortland got one last goal with 1:41 remaining when sophomore Skylar Smyth scored her first varsity goal. Logan Chase assisted on two of the three Purple Tiger goals.
“It was nice to see the entire group work from defense to attack,” Cortland coach Kindra Catalano said. “That is something we miss in practice. I’m happy with the outing and what we put together out here today. We still have some kinks to work out.
“We did move the ball well today,” she added. “We did get opportunities with three different people scoring. We know Shea and Logan can shoot the ball. Getting some of the younger players involved was good to see.”
Katie Lawrence did not see a lot of shots at the Homer goal, but she stopped most of the ones she did see. Cortland had just nine shots and Lawrence stopped six of them. Paige Potter made six saves for Cortland as the Trojans got 15 total shots.
Both teams won five draws and Cortland held a 24-22 edge in ground balls.
Cortland will return to action Tuesday at Central Square for a 6:30 p.m.start in its OHSL Freedom Division opener while Homer hits the road for its league debut at Chittenango Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Cortland JVs start at 5 p.m., Homer’s JVs begin at 5:30.
IN JV PLAY, Julia Gutierrez scored with 1:39 left in regulation time to lift Cortland to a 10-9 victory over Homer in the opening game of the night at Butts Field.
Homer took an early 5-2 lead before Cortland rallied for three more goals to knot the score at 5-5 at halftime. The two teams traded goals in the second half with the Purple Tigers prevailing.
Hannah Partigianoni scored three goals to lead Cortland. McKenna Morris and Grace Call netted two goals each while Sayphon Sitoulad (3 assists) and Abby Ricottilli (1 assists) each added one goal. Kelsey Gibbons recorded 14 saves in goal.
Allyson Natale paced Homer with four goals and one assist. Caraline Riley (1 assist) and Molly Burhans each scored twice for the Trojans. Catarina Kruman added one goal with Jaclyn DeLine and Wendi Contento dishing out one assist each. Samantha Button made eight saves in the Trojan goal.

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