April 02 , 2007


Trojans capture tourney top spot

CENTRAL SQUARE — Homer Central girls have repeated as lacrosse champions at the Central Square Tournament.
The Trojans defeated Central Square in the championship game by a tight 9-7 margin on Saturday to improve to 2-0 this season.
“The girls pulled off two great wins this weekend,” said Homer coach Jackie Reichert. “It is a terrific way to start the season and give the girls a confidence booster.
“Once again, the scoring was spread out with six girls scoring or adding assists,” Reichert added. “We still have things to work on, but this weekend was a good advantage to get some of our kinks out of our system before our league games begin.”
Lindsay Wilson scored the first Homer goal with 14:31 left in the first half off an assist form Morgan Osborne. Danielle Shhattuck netted her first of three goals with 10:01 left in the half and Martha Riley found the net with 6:07 on the clock. Both Shattuck and Riley had unassisted goals.
The three Trojan goals were offset by two Jackie Schaap tallies as Homer led 3-2 at the intermission.
With the game tied 5-5, Shattuck completed her hat trick at the 11:52 mark to put Homer in front for good. Wilson (23:25) and Shattuck (11:52) scored the first two Trojan goals of the second half.
Molly Siwula scored the seventh Homer goal while Central Square got two goals from Jill Zerrillo, one more from Schaap and singles tallies form Cara Jeffries and April Smith.
The winning goal of the match came from Kaylee Benz off a feed from Wilson with 5:56 remaining and Benz added an unassisted insurance goal with 1:20 to go to seal the victory.
Krista Guy played another solid game in goal with nine saves while Kayle Murray stopped 13 shots for Central Square.
Homer will return to action Tuesday when the Trojans travel to Jamesville-DeWitt for a 4:15 p.m. contest.
SOUTH JEFFERSON won the consolation game at Central Square as Maria Behling scored seven goals during a 13-8 victory over Johnson City from Section 4. Kaitlin Fahsel added three goals and one assist to the winning cause.
Becca Zajac netted five goals for Johnson City with Gina Edwards scoring twice.



Brothers nip CHS in Guido title test

Staff Writer

It is safe to say the Cortland High boys’ lacrosse team passed its first real test of the season Saturday evening in the championship game of the Dave Guido Tournament at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex.
After two easy wins to start the season, including a 14-4 first-round romp over South Jefferson Friday night, the Purple Tigers went stride-for-stride, hit-for-hit and save-for-save with defending Section 3 Class C champion Syracuse CBA.
So much so, in fact, that it took goal 1:20 into the first sudden-death overtime period by junior midfielder Ben Ashenburg to give The Brothers a 7-6 victory and their third straight Guido Tournament title.
Despite the less than ideal final outcome, CHS coach John Spallone was still pleased with what he’d seen. “You couldn’t have asked for a better high school lacrosse game,” he said with a smile and a shake of the head. “The kids were disappointed that they didn’t play mistake-free, but I couldn’t be happier with their intensity and effort. There was tough, physical, end-to-end action, with everyone scrambling to keep things from being unsettled.
“We’ll build on this one, for sure; the things we need to address are fixable,” he added. “The kids are now committed to intensity in practice so they’ll be prepared for that level of intensity in games. After games like this, a team can go one way or the other, and I see this game as defining us, forcing the gelling process to occur.”
“We expected a tough game,” CBA coach Jon McCoy said, his team having made the final with a 17-8 triumph over Niagara-Wheatfield Friday evening. “I was surprised at how well Cortland’s close defense played. Overall they’re a good team.
“It was our third game of the week, and I didn’t feel as though we were running and playing hard enough in the first half. It wasn’t a matter of making mistakes or not trying. I think the week just caught up with us. We’ve been battling injuries and sickness in all three games so far, and have had different midfield lines in each one. We’re not fluid yet.”
Faceoffs were the only area of the game in which there was an appreciable difference between the teams, as CBA senior midfielder Jovan Miller went 9-for-13. The first possession of the extra session was huge, as it ultimately ended in the game-winner.
“(Pat) Kendall passed the ball to (Craig) Lange, and he found me,” said Ashenburg, who lashed a shot past Cortland goalie Zach Zayac from about five yards out for his third goal of the season. “That pass made the play. I just went kind of low and to the opposite corner. He had made a couple of nice saves on me at the end of regulation. Cortland gave us a run; they played tough. It was a great tournament.”   
Zayac came up huge down the stretch in regulation, stopping three CBA shots in all to preserve the tie and give the hosts a chance to beat The Brothers for the first time in four Guido contests, including last year’s championship game. After the Purple Tigers regained possession, Spallone called a timeout with 14 seconds left. CHS got a couple of good shots off, including a point-blank try at the horn, that CBA netminder Zack Palmieri was able to turn aside.
“What phenomenal saves on the part of both guys,” Spallone said of Zayac and Palmieri. “Each of them came up big when he had to.”
Palmieri made 13 saves, one more than Zayac. The Brothers’ Griffin Ferrigan wasn’t called on to stop any shots during a brief stint in the nets late in the first quarter as Palmieri had a minor eye problem.
Neither team led by more than one goal at any time in the contest. Cortland junior attackman Nate Thomas opened the scoring just under four minutes in off an assist by senior midfielder Joel White, and CBA senior midfielder Jack Harmatuk answered 1:48 later before Miller gave The Brothers a 2-1 lead just nine seconds after that. It took only 25 seconds for CHS to pull back even as White scored off an assist by junior attackman Jack Spallone.
That same combo clicked again for Cortland 1:37 into the second quarter, and Harmatuk answered 34 seconds later. Neither team was able to score again before halftime.
Miller converted a Harmatuk assist 2:29 into the second half to make it 4-3 for CBA, but with 6:33 left in the third senior midfielder Jay Hartnett pounced on a rebound and swept the ball on the ground past Palmieri. Jack Spallone then made it 5-4 CHS off an assist from Thomas with just 40 seconds left in the third.
Miller fed Lange to make it 5-5 with 8:57 left in regulation, and Jack Spallone scored on a nice fake from close range on the left-wing side with 4:36 left to put the hosts back up. Lange tied the score again, this time off an assist from senior attackman Devin Daly, with 3:06 left. The two goalies then stood their ground, Palmieri getting a little help as a shot from close range on the left side by White caromed off the post with 1:35 left.
John Spallone echoed McCoy in praising his close defense, noting of the junior trio: “Matt Pitcher is doing a great job after being injured a good part of last season, while Chris Fernandes and Jesse Brown are among the best defenders in the league, and of course Zach is one of the better goalies.”
Cortland hosts defending OHSL Class B champion Jamesville-DeWitt at 4:15 p.m. Thursday.
Niagara-Wheatfield 16, South Jefferson 15: James Rickard scored with 1:37 left to give Niagara-Wheatfield a wild 16-15 win over South Jefferson. The Falcons, who were led by Rickards five goals, led 6-3 after one quarter before South Jefferson went an 8-1 tear in the second to assume an 11-7 halftime lead. The Spartans (0-2) pushed the advantage to 13-8 with four minutes left in the third, and still led 13-9 heading into the fourth.
The Section 6 squad, however, then took back over, outscoring South Jefferson 7-2 in the final 12 minutes for the win.
“We started out strong, then got way down,” said Niagara-Wheatfield coach Vince Schiffert, his team now 2-1 on the season. “But the kids didn’t crack under pressure. Its’ a big step up for us to come to Section 3 and play good teams; this is the level we have to play at if we want to win our sectionals. To be able to come back and win against a Section 3 team is huge for us.”  


Missed opportunities costly for Trojans

Staff Writer

Homer Central boys saw a couple of golden opportunities slip away under sunny skies at Butts Field Saturday afternoon as the Trojans suffered a 9-4 non-league lacrosse loss to visiting Jordan-Elbridge.
 “I am not interested in moral victories where you can say we played with them, but we lost,” said Homer coach Tom Cottrell, whose squad is 0-3 after the first week of the season. “I will say there are things that we did better at and there are things that we still need to work on.
“I did tell the guys that, eventually, some of these close games with go in our favor as long as we keep working hard. As long as they do that, I have no complaints. They did give a great effort. We just need to work on being better skilled. Right now, it is just our skill level that is letting us down,” he added.
The Trojans played well defensively, despite losing Mark Brenchley with a stinger in the opening four minutes of play. Zach Walter stepped in and worked hard with teammates Joe May and Mike Carboine protecting the Trojans crease.
Despite their efforts and some outstanding 13-save showing by goalie Kyle Crosley, the Trojans tried to keep the 3-0 Mustangs at bay. In the end, they spent too much time playing defensively.
“When we lost Mark early, that was a little kick in the gut,” said Cottrell. “I thought we responded to that well and that was due to Kyle Crosley. I thought he was fantastic in goal. He is not only developing into a good goalie out there, but he is becoming a leader. He really kept us in this game for three quarters. That got contagious and other guys started playing better.”
Homer did take a 1-0 lead 2:05 into the match when sophomore  attackman Paul Armideo scored his first of two unassisted goals, but Jordan-Elbridge answered with three goals just over two minutes to take early control.
Joe Poppe took a feed from Kyle Merrill and tied the game with 8:25 left in the opening quarter. It would be the first of three goals for the junior midfielder.
After being denied by Crosley seconds earlier, Brian Belcher fired a shot home from 10 yards out with an assist from James Hohm to put the Mustangs in front. One minute later, Tom Guadagnolo scored a man-up goal off a Kory Smart assist for a 3-1 J-E advantage with 6:21 left in the quarter.
The visitors controlled play for much of the remaining time in the quarter though Shawn Cleary and May each got good shots on goal in the final 48 seconds, but Ken Bush (20 saves) stopped both attempts.
Homer started the second quarter strong. With the Trojans enjoying a man-up opportunity, Kyle Metzger picked up a loose rebound in front of the Mustang cage and fired the ball into the back of the net with 9:43 left until halftime to pull Homer to within 3-2.
The Trojans kept the pressure up and tied the game with 8:08 left until the break as Metzger delivered a nice pass to Steve Schillo, who ripped a shot into the back of the net from 10 yards out to even the score at 3-3.
While Homer continued to apply pressure Bush and the Mustang defense were able to keep the Trojans off the board the remainder of the half.
J-E capitalized on a Homer mistake with 2:37 left to take a 4-3 lead into the intermission. The Trojans were in transition, but got whistled for offsides to give possession back to J-E. The Mustangs wasted little time as Poppe found Merrill open and the senior fired a shot past Crosley.
Trailing 4-3 at halftime, Homer had a golden opportunity to even the score with a two-man advantage to start third quarter play, but the Trojans could not find the equalizer thanks to a strong Mustang defensive effort.
With 8:03 left in the quarter, Steve Major delivered a pass from behind the cage to Smart, who quick-sticked a shot past Crosley for a 5-3 Mustang lead. Poppe scored with 30 seconds left in the quarter to give J-E a 6-3 cushion entering the fourth quarter.
Poppe completed his hat trick with 8:46 left in the match and Smart scored his second goal with J-E on a man-up with 4:47 to give the visitors an 8-3 advantage.
Armideo stopped the five-goal Mustang run with 3:34 remaining as he scored an unassisted goal, but J-E closed out the scoring with 2:57 left as Hohm tucked a shot into the upper-right corner of the goal.
Jordan-Elbridge held a 36-31 edge in shots while the Trojans scooped up 33 ground balls to 24 by the Mustangs. The Trojans really had trouble with their man-up offense, converting just once in eight chances. In the final J-E penalty actually came as time expired, so you could say the Trojans only had seven real chances to work the extra-man advantage.
Homer will return to action on Butts Field Tuesday when they host Jamesville-DeWitt at 7 p.m.



Second half spurt tips Purple Tigers

EAST SYRACUSE — With this season-opening lacrosse game all tied up at halftime, victory was there for the taking for Cortland High girls.
Instead, host East Syracuse-Minoa scored the first three goals of that second stanza to pull out a 6-4 victory over the Purple Tigers in Saturday’s OHSL Freedom Division game.
CHS was held scoreless in the second half until 11:07 left to play when Katherine Hunsberger scored her second goal of the game. The Purple Tigers had another goal waved off three minutes later to a crease violation and never got another shot past ES-M goalie Carissa Ficcaro, who stymied CHS with 13 saves.
“It wasn’t the start we were hopeing for, but there were a lot of bright spots in the game,” said Cortland Coach Kim Pace, who also got goals from Bailey Reagan and Kim Natoli.
Pace was especially happy with the defensive effort that helped CHS have a 17-10 edge in shots, and three of those ES-M attempts came off free position scoring chances.
“They communicated well and worked together to force numbers turnovers and give our offense more scoring opportunities,” said Pace of the Purple Tiger defense. “Kelly Griffin and Stephanie VanGorder did a great job of directing the defense.”
Beth Cutia and Caitlin Stevens also excelled at marking up Jen Lewis, the Spartans’ leading scorer from a year ago. Lewis was held to one goal, off a free position shot that opened the scoring.
ES-M led 3-0, only to see CHS battle back to pull even before halftime arrived. Hunsberger tied it at 3-3 with 42 seconds left in the period, coming after Griffin blocked a shot headed into an open net on the other end of the field.
But ES-M got goals from Emily Chayka, Alecia Shaffer and Kristen Darcy within a two-minute span in the second half to take the lead for keeps. That was the difference, as the Spartans avenged three losses to CHS from a year ago, including a sectional setback.
“We came out strong and aggressive, but I think we had some first game jitters and made a lot of mental errors,” said Cortland’s Pace. “The girls played with intensity the full 50 minutes and never gave up despite trailing for the majority of the game.”
CHS will host Tully on Tuesday night, the game an 8:30 p.m. start at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex.



Red Dragon women pick up pair of wins

GENEVA — SUNY Cortland women regained their winning lacrosse touch over the weekend at the William Smith Heron Draw.
The Red Dragons finished the two-day event with an 11-6 victory over Colorado College Sunday, taking control with a four-goal outburst midway through the second half to built a six-goal lead.
On Saturday, Cortland knocked off host William Smith 10-8 as freshman Jessie Fritz scored three goals and freshman Deanne Abell made 11 saves in goal.
The two victories came following an uncharacteristic three-game losing streak for the Red Dragons. Cortland, ranked 13th nationally in Division III, finished 2-0 at the tournament and is 4-3 on the season.
Colorado and William Smith were each 1-1 and Denison went 0-2 during the weekend’s competition.
Cortland 11, Colorado College 6: Senior Andrea Venditti led the Red Dragons with three goals. Seniors Jennifer Willis and Ali Bourgal each finished with two goals and two assists and senior Gina Fazio scored twice.
Senior goalie Michelle Zimmer made a career-high 14 saves, seven in each half, for the victory.  Kate Fitzgerald and Mallory Newton led Colorado (4-4) with two goals apiece.
Cortland took a 3-0 lead less than four minutes into the game on goals by Elizabeth Acee, Venditti and Fritz. Colorado closed to within 3-2, but the Red Dragons scored four times over the final 15 minutes of the half, including two Fazio goals, and led 7-2 at halftime.
The Tigers made things interesting in the second half, scoring three times while keeping Cortland off the scoreboard for more than 16 minutes. Fitzgerald scored the last two of those goals and Colorado was within 7-5 with 16:28 left.
Bourgal snapped Cortland’s scoring drought with an unassisted goal at the 13:43 mark, with Venditti tallying just over a minute later to push the lead to four. The lead grew to 11-5 on goals by Willis with 11:03 left and Venditti with 6:31 on the clock.
The Red Dragons held Colorado without a goal from the 16:28 mark until there were just five seconds remaining, when the Tigers scored to create the final margin.
Cortland 10, William Smith 8: While Fritz led the way with her three goals, Willis and Fazio each finished with two goals and one assist. Junior Beth Elmer also scored twice for the Red Dragons, who never trailed in the contest.
Sarah Dillon led the Herons with five goals and one assist.
Fritz scored twice in the first 11 minutes of the game to help Cortland take a 5-1 lead. The hosts scored four of the next five goals, however, including three by Dillon, and were within 6-5 at halftime.
Willis netted the first two goals of the second half – a free position shot 2:48 into the period and an unassisted goal less than four minutes later — to give Cortland an 8-5 advantage. Willis then assisted on an Elmer goal with just under 21 minutes remaining to extend the lead to 9-5.
William Smith scored less than a minute later to close within 9-6. Neither team scored again for almost 10 minutes before Dillon found the cage with 10:21 left to cut the Red Dragons’ lead to two goals. Fritz answered with an unassisted goal at the 8:41 mark to push the lead to three, with Dillon wrapping up the scoring 19 seconds later.

Cortland hosts Hartwick College on Tuesday, a 4 p.m. start.