April 8, 2011


Quick-starting Trojans trip CHS

3 early goals trigger 17-7 Butts Field win

Staff Writer

It’s all about momentum when Cortland High and Homer Central get together in any varsity contest.
In the 65th meeting between the two lacrosse rivals Thursday night at Butts Field in Homer, the hosts seized it as Connor Johnston won the opening face-off and 24 seconds later Dyson Sprouse scored the first of three Trojan goals in the opening 1:54 of this OHSL Class B early-season showdown.
Homer went on to grab a convincing 17-7 triumph over the Purple Tigers in the first of two league match-ups between the rivals this spring.
“The thing I liked the most about this team is we play a full 48 (minutes),” Homer coach Tom Cottrell said after improving to 2-1 in the league and 3-1 overall. “We did get off to a quick start tonight. The kids executed well and shared the ball. That got us a lead early.
“We have been keeping our eye level up,” he continued. “We have some great individual guys, but they all play better together as a team. We moved the ball around, we looked for the open guy tonight. That was good for us.”
“It was not the start we anticipated,” Cortland coach John Spallone said, the PurpleTigers also 2-1 in the division and 2-2 overall. “We looked like we were surprised at how quickly Homer scored that first goal. The next thing we knew they scored three goals and they converted on their man-up opportunities to really prevent us from getting back into the game.”
“We’ve been preparing all week for this game,” said Trojan senior attackman Hunter Osborne, who scored six goals in the contest. “We knew we had to play hard. We came out hot and kept it going throughout the whole game.
“”We’re all one unit,” he added, referring to the number of players involved in the scoring. “The guys that are veterans know what to expect and the younger guys are getting more valuable experience. It will be great for them not just this season, but next year as well.”
Osborne gave Homer a 2-0 lead with 10:17 left in the first quarter off a pass from Aaron Zimmerman (1 goal-2 assists). Just 11 seconds later, Beau Riley made it 3-0 by converting a pass from Connor Ferrito.
That was the first of five assists by Ferrito, who also had three goals.
CHAD TIMMONS GOT Cortland on the board with a man-up goal with 7:03 remaining in the first quarter. After Osborne scored his second goal on the man-up for the Trojans, Dave Fernandes — who assisted Timmons’ goal — scooped up a loose ball to the left of goalkeeper Jonathan Cottrell and stuck the ball in the back of the cage to trim the Homer advantage to 4-2.
Osborne completed his hat-trick 44 second into second-quarter play off a feed from Johnston for a 5-2 lead, and then another turning point came when Cortland was whistled for a two-minute, non-releasable penalty with 10:50 left in the half. The Trojans’s Johnston scored twice in a 26-second span to increase the lead to 7-2 — the first off a Zimmerman assist and the second assisted by Ferrito with 9:17 to go.
Johnston finished with four goals and two assists for the winners.
Pat McMahon scored an unassisted goal for the Purple Tigers with 5:15 left to complete the first half scoring.
The two teams traded goals in the first 5:24 of the third quarter before another man-up goal for the Trojans triggered a three-goal spurt into the fourth quarter. Osborne scored two of those goals and Ferrito netted the third in the sequence as Homer led 12-5 with 9:56 left in the game. Osborne, Sean Ferrito, Connor Ferrito twice and Johnston closed out the Trojans’ scoring. Casey Cleary picked up two of his three assists in the fourth quarter.
Cortland got fourth-quarter tallies by T.J. Bardsley and Colby Reagan.
As impressive as the offense was, the Homer defense also played a good game. Senior Cody Sandy, senior Joe Marchetti, junior Anthony Contento and sophomore long-stick middie Alec Sovocool all made some big plays and had good efforts along with sophomore goalkeeper Cottrell (8 saves).
“JOHNNY IS COMING along great,” Sandy said after the young Homer goalie. “He’s the best. The three of us on defense (Sandy, Marchetti, Contento) look at him as one of us. We look at ourselves as a four-person unstoppable unit. It’s would be impossible though without all the defense drills we do and the hard work in practice where it all comes together. It’s not just us, it’s everyone on this team.”
“Even though seven goals is more than I would like us to give up, I thought our defensive personnel played well,” Coach Cottrell said. “Joe did a good job on Fernandes. Cody did a great job on Phil Potter. Anthony was all over the field. I like our mix on defense. Throw in a sophomore anchor (Cottrell), a sophomore long-stick up top (Sovocool) and we had a group playing quite well. I think we will continue to get better.”
Potter, the Purple Tigers’ leading scorer coming into the game, was held scoreless and did not return after suffering a possible concussion in the second half. Austan DiIorio’s two goals led the Purple Tigers’ offense.
Goalie Casey Bergeron finished with 11 saves for Cortland. Though he gave up 17 goals, many were from inside nine yards, which Coach Spallone said was more the fault of his defensemen not keeping the Trojan shooters away from the cage.
Homer held the edge in every other statistical category to pull even with Cortland in the league standings.
Both teams return to OHSL Class B action Tuesday. Homer will travel to Chittenango for a 7 p.m. contest. Cortland High will travel to East Syracuse-Minoa for a 4:30 match.
HOMER JVs werer scheduled to visit Cortland Thursday, that game postponed due to poor field conditions. Homer JVs will travel to Chittenango Tuesday for a 5 p.m. game while Cortland hosts East Syracuse-Minoa at 5 p.m.


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