April 7, 2008


Trojans get best of CHS


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Homer Central’s Shawn Cleary (8) tries to elude Cortland High’s Nate Thomas Saturday night at Butts Field, where Homer pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 10-1 victory.

Staff Writer

It was a clash of playing styles Saturday as Homer Central boys used their speed and quickness to finally subdue a tough, aggressive Cortland High squad on George W. Butts Field to close out a busy four-game lacrosse slate.
Sophomore attackman Carl Zimmerman scored three goals and dished out one assist during a six-goal fourth quarter blitz as the unbeaten Trojans posted the 10-1 victory in the OHSL Class B contest to improved to 3-0 in division play and 4-0 overall.
The Purple Tigers slip to 1-2, 3-3 overall.
New Hartford opened the four-game schedule with a 6-2 win over Chittenango before Cortland JVs edged Homer JVs 5-4 in overtime. East Syracuse-Minoa beat Whitesboro 12-8 in the second of three varsity gamesat Butts Field before the Trojans and Purple Tigers closed out the full day.
“Cortland has been very tough, especially with Joel White,” said Homer senior captain Will Connery thinking of past Purple Tiger squads boasting current Syracuse University freshman White. “We have a lot of underclassmen stepping up very big. It is great to be able to play with all this offensive talent.”
Connery has been a big part of the success by winning faceoffs. Connery took 10-of-13 draws Saturday night and is 58-for-76 (76 percent) for the season.
“I really have just used the same move all season long,” Connery stated. “I watch what the other guy is doing and then react. I just go with the clamp. It has been working well so far.”
With Connery winning every faceoff in the first quarter, Homer built a 3-0 lead. Shawn Cleary used a nice stick-fake and put the Trojans in front 1-0 with 8:41 left in the quarter.
A pair of Cortland penalties set-up the next two goals. Paul Armideo was on the receiving end of passes from Conner Ferrito (5:47) and Aaron Darr (3:28) to net his eighth and ninth goals of the season.
Cortland did get five of six shots on goal in the first quarter, but Trojan junior goalkeeper Paul Zimmerman stopped all five.
“I am really comfortable in goal with the guys in front of me,” said Zimmerman, who recorded 18 saves on the evening. “Mike (Carboine) is a great player and Vic (Marchetti) is real solid. Mike Park has really stepped up as well. I really am comfortable and I enjoy playing with all these guys.
“I am not surprised at how we have been playing,” Zimmerman continued. “The biggest thing this year is the passion on this team. Everyone has it and it shows when we are on the field. We are showing people how we can really play the game.”
“WHOEVER THINKS that Homer is not for real does not know anything about the game of lacrosse. That is a good team and they are anchored by that guy standing right over there,” said Cortland head coach John Spallone, pointing at Paul Zimmerman). “He is one heck of a goaltender at the high school level.
“Homer has a very good disciplined group,” Spallone added. “They play well together. We were close through three quarters and our kids are frustrated. We play an aggressive style and we were taken out of it. We did get some good shots and they were swallowed up by Paul.”
Cortland built some momentum and did breakthrough in the second quarter as Nate Thomas scored an unassisted goal with 6:22 left in the half. The Purple Tigers had several other real good chances, but Zimmerman had all the angles covered.
Homer got some pressure on Travis Carruthers (10 saves) in the second quarter, but the Purple Tiger keeper responded and kept his team in the hunt.
The Purple Tigers continued the assault in the third quarter, but could not beat Zimmerman. The frustration mounted and the Purple Tigers began taking more penalties.
Darr scored a man-up goal with 6:53 left in the third quarter off a feed from Armideo to give Homer a 4-1 cushion.
The Trojans pulled away quickly in the fourth quarter. John Sciera netted his first of two goals with Carl Zimmerman assisting for a 5-1 Homer lead. Three minutes later, it was Zimmerman scoring on a nice spin move in front of the cage.
With 7:39 remaining, the visitors lost a defenseman who was ejected after his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and the Purple Tigers would spend much of the remaining time down at least one man.
Sciera scored on the man-up with 4:21 to go and Zimmerman tallied again with 3:13 remaining.
Zimmerman completed his hat-trick with his 13th goal of the season by converting another Ferrito pass with 2:42 on the clock. It as the fifth man-up goal in 14 chances for the Trojans.
Luke Pedersen closed out the scoring with 1:45 left on an unassisted goal to give Homer the 10-1 triumph.
Homer will hit the road for the first time this afternoon as the Trojans travel to Fulton for a 4:30 p.m. Class B contest.
Cortland will look to regroup as the Purple Tigers host East Syracuse-Minoa Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
CORTLAND JVs pulled out a 5-4 victory over Homer when Josh Tomko won the opening overtime face-off, raced down the field and scored just in just eight seconds. It was the season opener for the Purple Tiger JVs while the Trojan JVs fell to 1-3 overall.
Austin DiOrio gave Cortland a 1-0 lead with 3:26 left in the first quarter, but Tae Ho Ryu countered for Homer two minutes later by converting a nice feed from Jaydon Kiernan.
The Purple Tigers took a 3-1 lead in the second quarter as Colby Reagan found the back of the net with 8:44 left in the half and Tomko netted his first goal with 6:19 showing. Homer put some pressure on late in the half, but Erich Burch (11 saves) stood tall in the Cortland goal.
Zach Hatfield found the range with 6:25 left in the third quarter to pull Homer to within 3-2, but Tomko won the ensuing face-off and scored 10 seconds later for a 4-2 Cortland advantage.
Correy Gibbons used a nice shovel shot to beat Burch 30 seconds into fourth quarter play after a pass from Brett Stokoe as Homer closed to within 4-3.
With 1:41 left in regulation time, Zach Hatfield snuck a shot passed Burch to knot the score at 4-4 and force OT. Nick LaRue played well in the Homer goal and recorded 13 saves.