April 12, 2008


CHS clicks to upend J-D


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Cortland High’s Emily Walsh (19) scores a first half goal past Jamesville-Dewitt defender Claire Kopp (9) and goalie Tara Prosac during Friday’s Freedom Division lacrosse game at SUNYCortland. CHSrolled to a 16-4 victory.

It looked during the early stages of Friday night’s contest at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex that Friday night’s game between the Jamesville-DeWitt and Cortland High girls’ lacrosse teams would go right down to the wire.
Appearances can be deceiving.
The Purple Tigers trailed 2-1 and 3-2 in the first half, but then exploded to take a 9-3 halftime lead en route to a 16-4 romp over the Red Rams to improve to 3-0 in the OHSL Freedom Division and overall.
The loss was the first for J-D in five league games and the second in seven contests overall.
“Midway through the first half everything we have been working on for the past month fell into place and we were clicking all over the field offensively, defensively and in transition,” Cortland coach Kim Pace said. “Everyone on the field worked so well together for the entire game. The defense did an outstanding job of communicating, double-teaming and collapsing on any scoring threat.
“Our transition game was the cleanest I have seen it, and the passing and catching was amazing. Our offense did an outstanding job of recognizing when we should take advantage of a fast break and when we should settle things down. We have been focusing a lot on decision-making and choices in practice, and tonight it all came together,” the coach added.
After Cortland’s Janelle Stegeland opened the scoring 57 seconds into the game, Melissa Jaworski scored twice to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. After Bailey Reagan tied the game for CHS off an assist from Lisa Frare, Victoria Nies gave J-D its last lead before the winners scored the last seven goals of the half.
“We knew Melissa Jaworski was going to be a scoring threat,’ Pace said. “She is J-D’s leading scorer. After she had two quick goals, we moved Caitlin Stevens out of our midfield and had her face mark Jaworski. Cait was able to take her completely out of her game and make her a non-factor the rest of the way. Cait did what she does best and shut down the opposition’s leading scorer.
“We also knew that Krystal Buck would be a threat, as she is their second-leading scorer,” said Pace. “Emily Piedigrossi took her out of her game and didn’t even let her get a shot off. Em has been working very hard in practice to become a leader on the defensive end of the field, and it showed tonight, I’m also very pleased with Janesa Cornish’s defensive play tonight. She and Emily worked very well together down low on the defense.”
Pace was pleased with the offensive balance her team displayed in the contest, with eight different players scoring goals and eight of the CHS goals coming off assists. She cited Frare and Reagan for the jobs they did in settling the offense down when fast breaks weren’t available.
“Bailey did a great job helping our transition from midfield, while Lisa was better than I have ever seen her behind the cage,” Pace said. “Our midfielders, Janelle Stegeland, Katherine Hunsberger, Jenna Phelps, Emily VanGorder and Natalie Muka, were relentless in the midfield. They worked so well together to find the open player when we were transitioning the ball and did a great job of pressuring their transition game and capitalizing on their mistakes.”
Stegeland led the way for the Purple Tigers with four goals and two assists, while Reagan had three goals and two assists, Hunsberger three goals, Frare two goals and two assists, Walsh a goal and two assists and Natalie Muka, Jenna Phelps and Jen white one goal each.
Victoria Nies had the other two goals for the Red Rams.
Pace also praised goalie Caitlin Cottone for her performance, with 13 saves as the winners had a 23-19 shot advantage.
“Many of her saves came in the second half on free position shots,” Pace said. “Nothing was getting by her in the second half. While our defense only allowed 11 shots on goal in the second half, Caitlin came up with eight saves and only allowed one goal over the final 25 minutes. This game was a real confidence booster for her. It was just what she needed to see that she’s ready to play at this level.
“J-D is a strong tam with a lot of great athletes. It was our night,” added Pace. “We forced them to make mistakes and then capitalized on them. Our aggressive play and never-let-down attitude took them out of their game mentally. The girls really showed what they are capable of when they play their game for an entire game.”
CORTLAND JVs also improved to 3-0 with a 14-6 win over J-D. Marissa Mastronardi scored six goals while Maggie Brown had two goals and three assists, Tricia Reynolds, Taylor Reynolds and Carly Cunningham a goal and an assist apiece and Kaylee Gebhardt, Keri Brownrigg and Haylee Meldrim one goal each, while Maya Gebhardt had an assist.
Goalie Julia Convertini made 11 saves, while Alexis Keeney and Eleanor Polley were cited for the defense.
The JVs were to visit Mexico this morning, while the varsity makes the same trip on Tuesday.