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April 9, 2016

Trojans warm to the occasion

Lax

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Homer’s Dante Yacavone (left) goes up against Oswego’s Derek Kohut (7) in the second quarter Friday at Butts Field.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

With the temperature hovering around freezing and a wind chill in the mid-20s, it took a little time for Homer Central boys to get started.
But the Trojans eventually warmed up as the game progressed for their second win of the season.
Dante Yacavone scored five goals and delivered two assists as Homer recorded a 13-5 OHSL Freedom Division lacrosse victory over Oswego Friday night on George Butts Field. Homer improves to 2-0 in National Division play and 2-1 overall.
The Buccaneers fall to 0-2 in the Freedom American Division and 0-3 overall.
“The rain as been brutal this week and it’s been cold, but it’s nice to get out here tonight,” Yacavone said of the win and the eight days between games, as a game with Tully was postponed last Monday night and this contest was moved from being at Oswego Thursday. “It was bitter cold when we started, but we got warm during the pre-game and were able to get stretched out.
“I’ve found the game to be quicker and there is more physicality,” said attackman Yacavone, one of eight sophomores on the Trojans roster and among 13 players who moved up from the junior varsity this season. “We have been playing with the older guys for quite a while on travel teams, so it’s been an easier adjustment.”
“We are just happy to get a game in,” Homer coach Tom Cottrell said. “We didn’t come out of the gate as sharp as we would like to on either end of the field, but we’re growing and getting better each time out. We played better as the game went on. It was nice Oswego agreed to come down here and play on the turf instead of waiting to get on their field up there.
“Dante had a great game tonight,” he continued. “He was active off the ball and I think that is why he had a big night. I hope some of the other guys see if you move without the ball good things happen. If that becomes contagious, we’ll be a better team on offense.”
OSWEGO JUMPED OUT to a 1-0 lead three minutes into the game when Austin Nearbin scooped up a loose ball in front of the cage was flipped it into the goal.
The Trojans tied the game on a man-up goal as Brody Urban converted a nice pass from Yacavone with 4:34 left in the quarter. Yacavone scored 11 seconds later off a pass from Jacob Rivers to give the Trojans a 2-1 lead.
The Buccaneers tied the game with 1:07 left in the quarter as Nearbin found an open Trey Clark who rifled a waist high shot into the goal. It took 24 seconds for the Trojans to retake a 3-2 lead as Tucker O’Donnell scored on the man-up with Vincent Basile assisting.
Oswego tied the game at 3-3 just 12 seconds into second quarter play as Mark Schuffenecker netted his first of three goals. Homer didn’t panic and rolled up five straight goals to build an 8-3 cushion at halftime. The first three goals came within a 57-second span. Lars Roos started the run with an unassisted goal at the 6:05 mark and the sophomore midfield struck again 39 seconds later with Yacavone assisting. Urban made it 6-3 with 5:08 left in the half on an unassisted goal. Yacavone added a man-up goal with 2:06 remaining and he tallied another man-up goal with 54 seconds left until halftime. Roos and Jake Riley assisted on those goals.
The Trojan were able to take control because Ryan Gabriel was solid on face-offs The senior midfielder won 11 of his 13 chances in the first half and 15-of-22 in the game.
The teams traded goals in the third quarter as Homer led 11-5 and the Trojans got the only two fourth-quarter goals. Roos and Basile finished with two goals each and one assist while Urban had two goals. O’Donnell handed out three assists as did Riley with Jerrad Reiner collecting one goal for the Trojans.
ONE OF THE ANCHORS on the defensive side has been Homer senior goalkeeper Mark Suits, who has trimmed down 25 pounds since football season and runs a young defensive group in front of him. Suits made seven saves during the game.
“We was a slow start today, but we picked things up in the second and third quarters,” Suits said. “We got a comfortable lead and kept adding to it.
“I did lose a little bit of weight and I feel quicker than ever,” he added. “That has helped me a lot and I think we are all communicating better on defense. We can always improve on that. We have a young defensive squad and we have done well so far. I enjoy being the leader back there. We have very good players who know what they’re doing. Basically, as long as we talk, we’ll be alright.”
“I didn’t think Mark was particularly sharp as he has been in the first quarter,” Cottrell said. “He recognized that and he played much better the rest of the game. He will be an essential part of us having a successful season.
“To his credit, Mark’s done everything physically to be ready to do that,” he added. “He has worked incredibly hard to transform himself physically in the off-season. He spent a lot of time between the pipes taking shots and working on his game. He is a vastly improved goalie over last year and he was pretty good last year. We’re excited about his progress.”
Homer will return to action Tuesday as the Trojans host Cortland at 7 p.m. in a non-league clash. The Trojan JVs open the evening against the Purple Tigers at 5 p.m.
HOMER JVs hung tough for three quarters on a chilly Butts Field, but Oswego pulled away in the fourth quarter to secure a 9-5 victory. The Trojans (1-2 overall) trailed 5-3 after three quarters before the Buccaneers pulled away.
“We couldn’t seem to get anything going today,” Homer coach Nick Patriarco said. “Oswego played a zone defense which gave us some trouble adjusting to. We played with a lot of heart, but our fundamentals weren’t great today.”
Ryan Wood scored a man-up goal as Oswego took a 1-0 first quarter lead and Josh Thomas scored twice in the second quarter as the visitors took a 3-1 halftime advantage. Thomas finished with three goals and Wood netted two goals for the game. Jack Rice added two goals and one assist while Mike Borer and Derek Morgia tallied once. Jacob Wise made nine saves in the Buccaneer goal.
Steven Walter scored the lone goal in the first half half and finished with four goals and one assist. John Horner netted the other Trojan goal and Gabe Cline picked up one assist. Mike Turck made 11 saves for Homer.
Homer JVs hosted Cazenovia this morning at 10 o’clock.

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