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April 6, 2010

 

Purple Tigers rally to top Trojans in overtime

Lacrosse

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Homer Central’s Emma Porter (19), right, is guarded by Cortland High’s Janesa Cornish (11) in the first half of Monday’s lacrosse match-up at Butts Field. Visiting CHS rallied to win in overtime, 8-7.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

It took Cortland High one half to get comfortable in its opening OHSL Freedom Division girls’ lacrosse opener Monday at George Butts Field in Homer.
After overcoming a 5-2 halftime deficit and scoring a game-tying goal with 14 seconds remaining in regulation time, Elle DePerno scored her third goal of the game 39 seconds into the first of two 3-minute mandatory overtime periods to post an 8-7 victory over a winless Homer Central squad that played its best game three outings into this season.
“We made some silly mistakes in the first half, but things starting clicking better in the second half,” Cortland coach Kim Pace said. “The girls played together better in the second half. It was good to have a tough test right out of the box. It showed the girls that they cannot take anyone for granted and they need to be ready each game.
“Homer has really improved,” she continued. “Doug (Pasquerella) has done a great job with his girls in just four weeks. Their stick skills have really improved. Homer wanted the game more than we did in the first half and they played a very good game.”
“This was a good game for us,” Pasquerella said of his improving Trojans. “Rivalry games always bring out the best in teams. Cortland really stepped up in the second half.
“I thought we did a much better job of controlling the tempo of the game,” he continued. “We really are not a run-and-gun team. Hailey Sweeney really stepped up in goal for us.”
Goalie Sweeney made 13 saves, including a number of close-range shots, but Cortland began to wear down the Trojan defense in the second half with more pressure.
Marissa Mastronardi gave Cortland a 1-0 lead in the second minute of play, but Homer responded with four straight goals.
Katelyn Gray knotted the score at 1-1 off a free position restart with 21:56 left in the half. The Trojans took the lead five minutes later as Ashley Cavellier made a nice pass to Kenzie Sullivan, who finished off the play. Goals by Gray (8:51) and Abbey Phelps (7:08) increased the Trojan advantage to 4-1.
Mastronardi netted her second goal of the game with 5:32 to go in the half to pull the Purple Tigers to within 4-2, but Emma Porter helped the Trojans take a three-goal lead into the halftime break, Porter converted a feed from Phelps with 22 seconds left in the half.
THE SECOND HALF saw Cortland pick up the pace of the game. The Purple Tigers began taking control in transition and came roaring back.
Julia Porter started the comeback with an unassisted goal with 21:51 in regulation time. DePerno netted her first goal off a pass from Mastronardi with 20:38 on the clock. With 11:51 to go, Mastronardi netted her third goal of the game to even the score at 5-5. Three minutes later, Julia Porter gave Cortland a 6-5 lead.
Gray made a nice full-field run for the Trojans and finished with a strong shot inside the near post to tie the game at 6-6 with 8:32 left in regulation time.
With 6:23 to go, Phelps gave Homer a 7-6 lead and things were looking good for the Trojans. That was until DePerno scored to force overtime and got the game-winner in overtime.
“It was good to get a the win,” Mastronardi said. “We passed the ball all right in the first half, but we were beating ourselves. We got a nice push in the second half and got some momentum. We all looked for each other when it comes to scoring. If we aren‘t open, we look for the person who is.”
“Marissa and Elle are two of my seniors,” Pace said. “They both stepped up as leaders today.”
Cortland High will return to action Thursday when the Purple Tigers travel to New Hartford for OHSL Freedom Division action at 6:45 p.m. The JVs will open the action at 4:30.
Homer has the rest of the week off before returning to OHSL Freedom Division action, hosting New Hartford on April 12 at 6:30 p.m. The junior varsity game begins that Butts Field twin bill at 5 p.m.