March 28, 2008


Third quarter key for Trojans


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Homer’s Bennett Quinlan, front,  heads for the goal with the ball as Westhill Tim Burgess trails behind Thursday in the first quarter of the Trojans’ 12-8 victory.

The Homer Central boys’ lacrosse team took a little time to get started, but a big five-goal third quarter gave the Trojans some breathing room Thursday night.
That scoring spurt took a 5-4 halftime Homer advantage and turned it into a season-opening 12-8 non-league lacrosse victory over visiting Westhill at George Butts Field.
“It was a good win,” said Homer head coach Tom Cottrell. “We were down 1-0, but that was the only time we trailed.
“A big turning point was Will Connery,” Cottrell continued. “He controlled the faceoff ‘x’ in the second half and that was huge.”
Neal Purcelli gave Westhill, now 0-2, a 1-0 lead 57 seconds into the game off a pass from Dan Eipp.
As the first-quarter clock moved inside seven minutes remaining, Carl Zimmerman began his big night with his first of three goals. The sophomore attackman’s first varsity goal came with 6:56 on the clock to even tings at 1-1. Zimmerman would have a six-point night as he dished out three assists.
The Trojans took the lead one minute later when Bennett Quinlan stole a clearing pass by the Warriors and fired a shot past Westhill goalkeeper Jimmy Hess (eight saves) for a 2-1 Homer lead.
Matt Kise pull Westhill even at 2-2 with 2:49 left in the quarter on his first of two Warrior goal, but Homer closed out the first quarter with a pair of goals for a 4-2 edge. Brett Capps (4 goals, 1 assist) scored off a Zimmerman assist with two minutes left in the quarter. Zimmerman found an open Luke Pedersen 39 seconds later for a 4-2 Trojan advantage after one quarter.
Kise and Willie Fischer netted man-up goals in the second quarter with Talon Sprouse notching his first goal of the season for Homer as the Trojans enjoyed a 5-4 halftime edge.
Connery took charge in the second half, winning 11-of-13 faceoffs and giving Homer important first-ball possessions.
Zimmerman netted an unassisted goal with 10:42 left in the third quarter and he scored again on a nice transition goal with Capps assisting. Homer led 7-4 with 8:51 left in the quarter.
After Westhill scored once, the Trojans put two more goals on the board.  Shawn Cleary scored an assisted goal and Capps finished off another transition run by converting a pass from Zimmerman.
Kyle Nicholas closed out the third quarter with a pair of goals that pulled the Warriors to within 10-7.
The Warriors trailed 10-8 after Purcelli scored his second goal of the game with 8:08 left in the match, but the Warriors got no closer.
Talon Sprouse scored an unassisted goal with 5:50 remaining and Capps concluded his big night with 3:26 to go with another unassisted Trojan tally.
“Our attack did a great job,” said Cottrell. “Brett and Carl accounted for seven goals and four assists. John Sciera was the third member of the strong unit. He did not score, but he did a grat job running the offense. John will get his goals this season.
“On defense, I thought Vic Marchetti had a strong game,” Cottrell continued. “Paul Zimmerman made his first varsity start in goal and played well, making eight saves.”
The Trojans led in shots (23-19), groundballs (20-15) and faceoff (19-of-24, all by Connery), but home team was 0-for-4 on the man-up. Westhill was 3-for-7 with the advantage.
Homer will continue its five-game home stand Saturday with a 1 p.m. non-league clash with Cazenovia.
HOMER JVS dropped their season-opener to visiting Westhill 9-3. The game was tied 2-2 at halftime, but the visitors took control in the second half.
“Our defense of Cody Sandy, Ryan Murray, Joe Marchetti and Ben McBride played really well keeping a good Westhill offense from getting many shots off,” said Homer coach Geoff Sorenson. “Our team definitely out hustled Westhill the entire game. We dominated in the time of possession. We just were not able to find the back of the goal.”
Zach Hatfield had one goal and one assist for Homer with Jayden Kiernan and Brett Stokoe each added one goal. Kiernan was also strong on faceoffs, winning five of six. Corey Gibbons and Kyle Davis each had one assist for the Trojans. Nick Larue made four saves in the cage for Homer.
The Homer JVs will return to action Tuesday, hosting Jamesville-DeWitt at 5 p.m.