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March 27, 2008

 

Pasquerella returns to guide Homer girls

Lacrosse

Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Kaylee Benz (12), looking to score against Fulton last spring, is among the returning standouts for a Homer Central team that opens the lacrosse season on Monday.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

There is a familiar face returning to coach Homer Central girls for their season opening lacrosse contest.
Doug Pasquerella coached the Trojans for four seasons from 1999-2002 and posted a record of 42-30-1 before heading to SUNY New Paltz. Now back in Homer, Passquerella will find nine returning players for a Trojan team that went 3-9 in OHSL action and 5-13 overall one year ago.
The roster has increased this season from 15 to 20 varsity players.
“I am every excited to be back,” said Pasquerella. “I missed the game and I missed coaching the girls.
“There is great energy at practice,” Pasquerella continued. “I feeel good about this group. I am looking for the girls to give 100 percent every game and I am looking to have our team keep improving every game. We have one goal and that is to return to sectionals.”
Homer graduated two of its top three scorers, but the leading scorer is back. Trojan senior Lindsay Wilson scored 52 goals and added 13 assists for 65 points in 2007 and she will return as a co-captain in 2008 along with classmate Kaylee Benz (26 goals-3 assists-29 points). Wilson and Benz will both be midfielders this season. Wilson has 90 career points (68g-22a) and stands 12th on the all-time scoring list. She could easily finish in the top three with a solid season.
Other returning players include junior midfielder Morgan Osborne (16g-3a), junior attack Martha Riley (7g-1a), junior defender Heidi Van Valkenburg, senior attack Brittney Proffitt, senior midfielder Kacie Harder, senior defender Jisun Ryu and senior goalkeeper Krista Guy. Guy was in goal for 15 of the 18 Trojan games in 2007.
Moving up from the JV ranks are junior attack Angela Contento, junior attack Kimmy Carboine, sophomore midfielder Abbey Phelps, junior defender Kate Van Valkenburg, junior midfielder Danielle Hulslander, sophomore midfielder Victoria Lewis, junior attack Colleen Leary and junior goalkeeper Lexi Johnston, who did play three varsity games in goal during the 2007 season. Johnston will challenge Guy for starting time in the cage this season.
Rounding out the Homer roster are three new senior-class faces to lacrosse. Kristen Lyon will fill an attack position while Danielle Compagni and Jessica Brown will line-up on defense. Lyon has some prior lacrosse experience while Compagni is a standout ice hockey player. Brown excelled on the volleyball court.
Homer will compete in the tough OHSL Division with Cortland, Chittenango, East Syracuse-Minoa, Fulton, Jamesville-DeWitt, Mexico and New Hartford.
“It is an extremely competitive league, but I am unfamiliar with it because of being away,” said Pasquerella. “That is really a good thing because we won’t be focusing on the individual teams so much this year. I want us to focus on improving our own team and our program. That is the primary focus this season.
“We will learn some of the other teams’ tendencies when we scout them or play them,” Pasquerella added. “The main focus though will be improving on our team this season. We have improved our numbers at the varsity level and the numbers are good at the JV and modified level as well.”
While Pasquerella is coaching the varsity team, Sallie Gilliland returns as JV coach with Holly Fitzgerald helping out. Gilliland has 20 players on her JV squad this season. Allison Houseman is the head coach for the modified team and she has 33 players on her roster.
Homer opens the season Monday hosting Jamesville-DeWitt at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Trojans travel to Chittenango for a 5 p.m. contest before heading to the Central Square Tournament April 4 and 5. Homer is the defending champion and will play South Jefferson in the first round on April 4 at 5:30 p.m. The Trojans will meet either Central Square or Johnson City on April 5 with the time to be determined after the first-round results.