April 5, 2011
Second half spurt lifts Purple Tigers
NEW HARTFORD — Coach John Spallone was happy with the performance his Cortland High boys’ lacrosse team turned in Monday evening at New Hartford.
It wasn’t just the fact that the Purple Tigers stormed back from a 3-2 halftime deficit by scoring six of the next seven goals en route to what ended up an 8-6 OHSL B Division victory, improving to 2-0 in the league and 2-1 overall.
It was the way they played with a lack of practice time on a full field that thrilled their coach.
“I thought we played a very, very good game,” Spallone said. “We played solid defense for the second game in a row, rode the ball well and cleared reasonably well. It was a pretty solid effort overall.
“I was thrilled with the amount of offense we produced,” he added. “We certainly would have liked to have seen some more goals, but that will come. We hit the pipe six times in the game, and were effective on man-ups (2-for-4). I’m thrilled that the kids are improving their overall play, and doing a commendable job of it, with games being basically the only time they get onto a full field. The kids are resilient.”
That much was evident in the way Cortland won the game.
As noted, the host Spartans (1-1 overall) led 3-2 at halftime, and were up 4-3 after the teams exchanged goals early in the third quarter. The Purple Tigers then scored five goals in a row, taking a 5-4 lead into the fourth and scoring the first three goals of that period to wrap things up.
CHS senior attackman Phil Potter had two goals while sophomore midfielder Pat McMahon and senior midfielders Austan DiIorio and T.J. Bardsley each scored one in the five-goal outburst.
In all, Potter had two goals and an assist and leads the team in scoring with 13 points on eight goals and five assists. McMahon and Dave Fernandes (second behind Potter on the team at 6-2-8) had two goals each, Bardsley a goal and an assist and DiIorio one goal.
New Hartford got three goals and an assist from Kevin Chapman, a goal and two assists from Nick Calogero and a goal each from Eric Fitzgerald and Nick Levanti. “Fitzgerald had five goals and Chapman four goals and three assists in their first game, so we did a pretty good job on them defensively,” Spallone said. “They scored two late goals when we attempted to utilize a keepaway strategy that we’d only talked about and hadn’t practiced.”
Junior goalie Casey Bergeron made seven saves to 15 for the Spartans’ James Prue, the winners with a 38-25 shot advantage. New Hartford had a 43-36 edge in groundballs, while the Purple Tigers won 12 of the 18 faceoffs.
Cortland continues league play when it visits Homer Central’s Butts Field at 6 p.m. Thursday.
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