April 1, 2016

Trojans can’t play catch-up


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Homer’s Jerrad Reiner gets away from LaFayette’s Chad Warren in the first quarter Thursday at Butts Field.

Staff Writer

Homer Central boys made some positive strides Thursday night, but it wasn’t enough to gain the victory on George Butt Field.
Percy Booth scored three goals and handed out one assist as visiting LaFayette built an early 3-0 lead and rode that advantage to a 7-5 non-league lacrosse win over the Trojans.
“”Both teams are young,” LaFayette coach Mike Riese said after grabbing his first win in three outings this season. “We have some sophomores and a couple of freshmen. Both teams made some young team mistakes out there. It will be a little bit of time before that team (Homer) and our team bloom.
“We did have some seniors step up today,” he added. “Our offense does need to take control of the ball better because that is where our veterans are. It was a good win for us after losing our first two games.”
Those losses came to Syracuse CBA by one goal and a lopsided loss to powerful Westhill earlier this week.“We have Cazenovia Saturday and next Thursday too,” Riese chuckled. “No rest in the (Class) Cs this season.”
“There are a lot of good things to take away from this even though we did suffer our first loss,” Homer coach Tom Cottrell said after falling to 1-1, his team tested after a 19-1 season-opening romp over Chittenango on Tuesday. “I am happy how the kids battled for the full 48 minutes. I thought we got better as the game went along offensively and defensively.
“We were a little tight early in the game. Whether it was our inexperience or just being nervous so we made a few uncharacteristic mistakes, but I thought we tightened up things at both ends of the field as the game went on. Unfortunately we dug ourselves a bit of a hole early and couldn’t dig all the way out of it,” he added.
LaFAYETTE TOOK A 2-0 lead in the first quarter as Devon Buckshot scored off a feed from Booth with 6:01 left in the opening quarter. The Lancers made it 2-0 with 3:40 left on a man-up goal by Booth Jordyn Marchiano assisting.
The Lancers made it 3-0 with 8:40 left in the second quarter. Ian Evans stuck the ball in the lower left corner of the goal off an assist from Ryan Agedal.
Homer began a comeback bid with back-to-back tallies. Jake Riley ripped a shot into the cage with Brody Urban assisting with 7:06 on the clock before halftime. Ryan Wainwright followed with a quick low shot from a Jerrad Reiner pass to pull Homer to within 3-2 with 4:32 left in the half.
The Trojans were flagged for a one-minute tripping penalty with 2:49 showing and it took LaFayette 36 seconds to capitalize. Booth went low on goalkeeper Mark Suits (11 saves) for a 4-2 halftime advantage.
Homer got to within 4-3 with 8;50 left in the third quarter as Tucker O’Donnell found an opening with Vincent Basile collecting the assist. A slashing penalty was called as the Trojans set up the scoring play so they got a man-up chance after the goal was scored, but could not take advantage with the extra man.
Booth scored a pair of unassisted goals to close out the quarter as LaFayette led 6-3. The second shot came in close and just tickled through the legs of Suits.
The teams traded goals in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter. Riley scored his second goal with an assist from Dante Yacavone, but LaFayette answered with a hip-high shot by Buckshot for the 7-4 lead.
A penalty on Suits brought Zach Clark into the goal for one minute, but the Trojan defense killed off the Lancers man-up opportunity. Clark notched one save in that brief appearance.
HOMER GOT TO within 7-5 with 4:48 remaining as Riley netted his second goal, but the Trojans got more closer. There were some good scoring chances, but Lancer goalkeeper Bert White stopped all three tougher chances.
A big key to the win was the play of White who made 18 saves as Homer had a 43-23 advantage in shots.
“We have a great keeper in Bert White who is only a sophomore,” Riese said. “We settled into a zone defense and that does give a team the outside shot. We want to have teams shoot from the outside so we can see the ball better and take care of the inside are nearer the goal.”
“Both teams we have played a zone defense, but each of the defenses was different,” Cottrell said. “This was a much more active zone. LaFayette does play it better and they have some very active sticks. We had to adjust and go back to what we were taught. Once we did that we gave ourselves better opportunities to score.”
Ryan Gabriel was solid on face-offs for Homer winning nine of his 13 chances. The Trojans held an overall 9-7 edge at the ‘X’.
“Ryan was and is going to be absolutely critical for us all season long,” Cottrell said. “To compete against the better teams on our schedule, it’s all about possession. Ryan did a great job particularly in the second half. He got us opportunities to score. Ryan Wainwright and Jacob Rivers helped off the wings on the face-offs.
“Both goalies did a good job tonight,” he added. “We held them to seven goals and that is certainly livable. I love this team because they don’t want to lose. That was apparent on their faces and I love they will be practice tomorrow and ready to go back to work. We’ll be better after this loss tonight.”
Homer will return to action Monday as the Trojans host Tully at 7 p.m. in a non-league clash. The JVs begin the night with their 5 p.m. game against the Black Knights.
HOMER JVs evened their record at 1-1 after a thrilling 5-4 victory over LaFayette Thursday.
“The guys really worked hard for this win,” Homer coach Nick Patriarco said. “I’m glad they were rewarded for their effort. Fundamentally, we played better than our first game and did a better job at winning the 50-50 ground balls. Our close defense and goal play was solid again. It’s very encouraging how the guys are really trying to listen to us and adjust to the many new game situations.”
John Horner gave Homer a 1-0 lead with 6:19 left in the first quarter, but it was the Trojans scoring three of the final four goals of the first half that put them on top 4-3 at halftime. Ethan Whittington and Gabe Cline tied the game at 3-3 and Horner gave the Trojans the one-goal cushion with 37.6 seconds left in the half.
Joe Brady scored the game-winning goal with 9:49 left in the third quarter to give Homer a 5-3 advantage. Whittington, John Denkenberger and Stephen Walter had one assist each for the Trojans.
Wyatt Weil (2 assists) pulled LaFayette to within 5-4 in the first minute of the fourth quarter, but goalkeeper Mike Turck and the Trojan defense kept the visitors off the board the rest of the way. Turck had seven saves.
Lars Stout had two goals and one assist for LaFayette with Ian Schaefer netting one goal. Riley Jones recorded eight saves for the Lancers.


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