April 6, 2012
Homer gives Caz good scare
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Emma Porter of Homer Central sticks her tongue out as she fires a shot on Cazanovia goalie Lauren Devine, with Kristie Kleine (left) also defending Thursday at Butts Field.
On paper, Thursday’s OHSL lacrosse game between Homer Central and Cazenovia should not have been close.
The memo never reached the Lady Trojans who gave the visiting Lakers a good tussle before dropping a 9-6 decision at George Butts Field. Homer falls to 1-3 overall. Cazenovia improves to 1-1.
“It was an exciting game,” Homer coach Ed Porter said. “We didn’t play as well in the first half, but I can’t say enough about these girls. This might be the best ‘team’ I have ever coached at Homer. I coached junior high and jayvees and I really think this is the best ‘team.’ I couldn’t be prouder of the girls.”
Among those earning post-game praise was goalkeeper Hailey Sweeney. The senior made eight saves in the first half and kept the game close as Cazenovia held a 7-4 advantage.
“Hailey played a great first half,” Porter said. “She was rock solid while our defense was struggling. We are just a slow starting team, but we finished well against a good team.
“There are no slouches in our league,” he continued. “You have to be prepared every time. I am so pleased that we keep getting better each game. We played really well as a team.”
Cazenovia jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Senior attack Emmajean Speer scored at the 23:32 mark and again at 19:18. The score could have been worse, but Sweeney (nine total saves) was up to the task. She quickly accumulated five saves, but Homer could not maintain possession of the ball.
When the Trojans did have the ball, they scored. In fact, it was three shots and three goals in the first 15 minutes for the home team. Logan McEvoy notched her fifth goal of the season of a pass from Emma Porter with 18:49 left in half to make the score 2-1 Cazenovia.
After Speer completed her hat trick with 16:55 to go, Porter answered for the Trojans with a nice spin move 19 seconds later.
Becca Wheeler and Jessy Silfer gave the Lakers a little breathing room as Cazenovia took a 5-2 advantage with 11:31 left in the half.
Katelyn Gray stopped the mini-run with her first of two goals with 10:10 on the clock.
Cazenovia increased the margin to 7-3 as Caroline Franz scored at the 8:57 and 3:19 marks of the half.
Homer closed out the scoring as Gray scored with 2:24 remaining to get the Trojans to within 7-4 at the halftime intermission.
The second half was much closer as each team could only muster two goals. Part of the problem for Cazenovia was a change in defensive philosophy by Homer. Porter switched his team into the Buffalo package.
“We did go to our Buffalo package,” Porter said. “ You double-team the ball in more spots on the field. It allowed us to turn up the intensity. It also forced Cazenovia to turn the ball over a few times. We’ve been practicing this package, but it’s the first time had an opportunity where we could use it. I hope we can use it a few more times and get more pressure on the ball.”
The Trojans did slow down the Lakers, but it was the visitors scoring the first two goal of the half to open up a 9-4 cushion. Colleen Dougherty netted the first goal with 24:29 remaining before Emily Willard found the back of the cage.
It was six minutes before Homer began one last comeback bid. Nadine Downing scored her first varsity goal just inside the eight-minute mark. Porter collected her second goal of the night with 6:41 remaining to make the count 9-6. The Trojans applied some more pressure but could not slip the ball by Laker goalkeeper Megan Cooney.
Cooney made five saves during second half play while teammate Lauren Devine recorded one save in the first half.
Homer will now regroup and take to the Butts Field turf Tuesday, hosting Skaneateles in a non-league contest at 1 p.m.
HOMER JVs dropped a heartbreaking 11-10 decision with 1:10 left in sudden death overtime Wednesday. The Trojans (0-2) rallied from an 8-4 halftime deficit with eight second-half goals.
“We really didn’t do anything different in the second half,” Homer coach Geoff Sorenson said. “We just placed out shots better. We were winning draws, controlling the ball and passing well. The girls really played very well.”
Kim Dieroff paced the home team’s attack with six goals. Morgan Hollenbeck added three goals and Alex Contento tallied once. Olivia Porter added two assists.
Libby Camp made nine saves in goal for Homer who had more shots (19-16) and won 14-of-23 draws.
Homer JVs will return to action Apr. 16 in a 5 p.m. against visiting Tully.
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