March 28, 2009


CHS has rematch for tourney crown

Staff Writer

DRYDEN — New location, strangely similar result.
For the second year in a row Friday night, the Cortland High boys’ lacrosse team was forced to play from behind against Lowville before ultimately winning handily in the first round of its own Dave Guido Invitational. The Purple Tigers gave up the game’s first two goals before scoring the next eight this year and ultimately won 9-4 at Tompkins Cortland Community College, where the tournament was moved after having been played at SUNY Cortland since its inception in 2004.
Cortland fell behind 5-1 last season before beating the Red Raiders 17-8, then lost the championship game to Chenango Forks 12-7 the next day. There was to be a rematch for the title at 3 p.m. today, as Chenango Forks dominated Immaculate Heart Central from Watertown 14-6 in Friday night’s first game.
Lowville and IHC were to meet in the consolation game at 1 p.m. today.
“We were more effective offensively today and able to produce,” said CHS coach John Spallone, whose team evened its record at 1-1 after losing to Johnson City 8-7 in overtime Wednesday night at TC3. “We did a better job of capitalizing on our opportunities, and I was very happy with the way we bounced back. We did that on Wednesday, and it didn’t have a positive result.
“We were working hard and scored with two seconds left in the first quarter, then scored four goals in the second and took control of the game,” he added.
Sophomore attackman Phil Potter opened the Purple Tiger scoring with that late first-period tally and senior midfielder Will Fickenscher tied the game 3:01 into the second before junior attackman Brandon Planck took over, scoring three straight goals in a span of 2:15 — the last with five seconds left until intermission — to give CHS a 5-2 lead, and control of the game.
“Brandon was our leading scorer returning and we told him that he had to be one of our scorers this season,” Spallone said, Planck with seven goals a year ago. “(Junior attack Dan) Miller and Fickenscher had two goals each and Potter three points with a goal and two assists, which is pretty good balance.”
“Coach told me I had to be a scorer this season,” said Planck, who had five of the Purple Tigers’ seven goals in the opener and also had an assist. “I’m off to a pretty good start. I had to kind of settle down. I was worked up early. We did the same thing against this team last season, and were able to come back then, too.”
“Offensively we’re young, and we’re trying to replace a couple of guys who were good at going to the goal,” said Lowville coach and former Syracuse standout Josh Coffman, whose team opened its season with the loss. “We’re pretty new on offense and need work, but defensively we only gave up nine goals, as opposed to 17 last year, and that’s with us playing soft toward the end. We played strong mentally and subbed well, got the right people in with good communication. We outplayed them for loose balls in the first quarter, then they won them in the second and third. Their goalie (junior Eric Burch) was solid. He did a good job of getting to our shots. We dominated in the third, and were still outscored 1-0 in that quarter.”
Burch was credited with 13 saves to seven for Lowville’s Shane Roberts, the winners with a 28-23 shot advantage. Of those 13 shots, at least half a dozen were of point-blank or difficult bounce shots.
Miller had the only third quarter goal, off an assist from Planck, just short of three minutes in.Fickenscher, Miller and Planck (the latter with 18 seconds left) tallied in the fourth for the winners. Sophomore attackman Mark Nortz had two goals for Lowville, with Brandon Marshall notching a goal and an assist and Kyle Bush scoring once.
It was a nice effort, and a nice win,” Spallone said. “The kids got a little confidence in what we’re hoping to do, which is important with a young group like this. Chenango Forks is pretty assertive. We’ll have our work cut out for us.”
Chenango Forks 14, Watertown IHC 6: The Blue Devils were in control all the way against IHC in the season-opener for both teams, roaring to an 8-0 half-time lead and never looking back. Senior midfielder Matt Pratt led the way with four goals and senior attackman Tyler Gill had three goals, senior midfielder John DeOrdio two goals and an assist and junior attackman Ian Rutkowski two goals. Junior attackman Rob Kunz scored twice for IHC.