April 12, 2007


Relentless CHS downs Trojans

CHS Trojans

Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Cally Weddle of Homer (left) drives into Janelle Stegeland of Cortland as she makes her way toward the goal during Thursday’s girls’ lacrosse game, in which the visiting Purple Tigers scored a 15-6 victory.

Staff Writer

One word describes the offensive attack of the Cortland High girls. Relentless! The Purple Tigers sent wave after wave at Trojan goalkeeper Alexis Johnston en route to a 15-6 OHSL Freedom Division lacrosse victory at Butts Field. Cortland and Homer now have identical 1-2 records in the division and 3-3 overall marks
Jenelle Stegeland led the Purple Tigers as the junior midfielder pumped in four goals, but what was more impressive was the balanced effort throughout the line-up. Senior midfielder Kim Natoli added two goals and three assists, junior midfielder Bailey Reagan added two goals and two assists and Robin Barber netted two goals with one assist. Katherine Hunsberger (two assists), Lisa Frare, Natalie Muka, Jenna Phelps and Caitlin Stevens each tallied one goal. Emily VanGorder and Jen White had one assist each.
“The girls are playing very unselfishly right now,” said Cortland coach Kim Pace. “They are looking for that last pass before the goal. Instead of just taking it in, they look for the double-team and draw the defense to them before passing the ball to the open teammate. The girls are moving the ball around very well.”
“We have really picked it up in the last week,” Pace added. “We are playing much better even though we have had a couple of close losses. We still have to do some shuffling with injuries and a couple of girls in France, but the girls are adjusting to their new roles, stepping up and showing they are comfortable with their new roles.”
Homer won the opening draw and got a good look at the goal when Cally Weddle was fouled just one minute into the match. Weddle got a free-position chance and rifled a good shot at senior goalkeeper Victoria Convertini, who made the save.
Cortland counterattacked quickly with Stevens getting a shot on goal the Trojan junior Alexis Johnston (10 saves) stopped. The Purple Tigers kept the pressure on and Reagan scored with 23:18 left in the first half to put Cortland in front for good.
With good passing, Cortland kept the ball in the attacking end much of the half. Even though the missed a two-on-one chance, Hunsberger converted a free position restart for a 2-0 lead with 17:33 left in the half. Stegeland found the net for the first time 28 seconds later and lead grew to 3-0.
Homer tried to make things interesting when junior Kaylee Benz scooped up a ground ball in front of the Cortland goal and fired a shot into the back of the net to cut the Trojan deficit to 3-1 with 15:33 to play in the first half. Homer would only get one more shot in the half.
Robin Barber scored on a free position with 14:05 on the clock before Stegeland netted her second goal off a feed from Reagan for a 5-1 cushion with 11:43 on the clock. Reagan assisted again when Jenna Phelps found the back of the cage with 10:16 left until the intermission and Natoli tallied 42 seconds later with Hunsberger assisting.
The Purple Tigers closed out the first half scoring with two seconds left and Reagan scored off a pass from White.
Stevens, Natoli, Muka and Barber scored the first four goals of the second half as the Cortland advantage ballooned to 12-1 with nine unanswered goals.
While the Purple Tigers were continuing this run in the second half, Homer was beginning to generate pressure of its own, but five of six shot that were on goal were turned away by senior goalkeeper Danielle DePerno, who came on to play the second 25-minute stanza.
The Trojans scored twice within a 90-second span to cut the margin to 12-3 with 11:26 left in the match. Junior Danielle Shattuck scored the first of the two goals with sophomore Morgan Osborne netting the second tally.
With 7:05 left, Stegeland completed her hat-trick and bumped the lead back to 13-3.
Cally Weddle used great second effort to score her first of two consecutive goals for the Trojans. Her first goal came on a rebound attempt after DePerno stuffed Weedle’s first scoring chance. The second goal came off a free position with 3:08 remaining.
Stegeland scored her 19th goal of the season with 2:43 left and Frare closed out the Purple Tiger scoring with 14 seconds on the clock.
In between, Morgan Osborne scored the final Trojan goal with 1:28 remaining.
Both Convertini and DePerno kept a good-scoring Homer offense in check much of the chilly afternoon. Convertini was not challenged often in the first half, but the senior made three saves and allowed just one goal. In the second half, DePerno was tested often and she stood tall with 12 saves, including several shots at point-blank range.
“Danielle really kept us in the game in the second half,” said Pace. “Some of the goals she allowed were on second-chance shots, but she also stopped some of those as well. Victoria played well in the first half and helped give us some momentum.”
While Homer control the draws (15-8), Cortland held the edge in shots (28-21) and groundballs (36-31).
“Alexis Johnston played really good for us in goal again today,” said Homer coach Jackie Reichert. “The biggest factor in the game was that Homer did not want this game in the first half and Cortland did. Cortland really took advantage of that. You need to play 100 percent against Cortland and we did not do that today.”
While Homer did get more shots on goal in the second half, it was the location that was a problem for Coach Reichert.
“We did not change the level of our shot at the goalkeeper,” Reichert said. “We kept shooting at the same way and they made the saves. Cortland has good goalkeepers. It was not until the final ten minutes that we really started playing well and it was too late at that point.”
Cortland High girls return to action Saturday night at 7:30 as the Purple Tigers host East Syracuse-Minoa at the SUNY-Cortland Stadium Complex
Homer Central girls visit Chittenango at 7 p.m. Tuesday. 



Purple Tigers start slow, whip Homer

Staff Writer

It took a while for the Cortland High boys’ lacrosse team to get going against visiting Homer Central Thursday morning at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex.
A little over a quarter to be exact, as the Purple Tigers, ninth-ranked among the state’s Class C teams, led by just 1-0 after the first 12 minutes of play. Coach John Spallone’s club, however, took control early in the second, scoring five goals in a span of 3:04 to assume a 6-0 lead, and went from there in scoring a 12-1 victory to improve to 2-1 in OHSL Class B play and 4-2 overall. The Trojans are winless in three league games and six contests overall, continuing the worst start in the program’s history.
Senior attack Taylor Brown led the way for CHS, scoring five goals — including the lone first-period tally and the first and last in the second-quarter outburst. All five of Brown’s goals were off assists from Syracuse University-bound senior midfielder Joel White, who also had one goal. Each now has 15 goals this season to lead CHS. A total of eight different players scored for the winners in the contest.
“We were able to find holes in the defense,” Brown said of his collaborations with White. “When a defender slid to Joel, it was usually the one on me, and I was able to get in front, in position to put it in. I’ve scored five goals a couple of times, but never more than that.
“Maybe we were a little overconfident at the beginning, but once we started scoring we went from there. Before last year I’d never beaten Homer; we have a really strong team this year and everyone’s played together for a long time. We know each other’s tendencies, when to pass and shoot.”
“We talked about coming out with intensity,” Cortland coach John Spallone said. “If we did our thing, we’d be in good shape, but we didn’t. Why, who knows? I don’t know if it was overconfidence, but the kids figured ‘We’ll do all right, let’s just go play.’ Our timing was off in terms of what we wanted to do offensively and defensively. We knew we’d be all right, we just had to get ourselves going in sync.
“We can’t be disappointed with the fact that we basically controlled the game from start to finish, but we weren’t very sharp. We won and were able to spread the scoring around, but we didn’t move the ball as crisply as we’re going to need to. We didn’t clear the ball or ride as well as we did Tuesday (in a 17-6 road win over East Syracuse-Minoa).”
“We came out and played well in the first quarter,” said Homer coach Tom Cottrell, who came into the season knowing defense would be a key for his squad after losing eight of his top nine scorers from last season to graduation. “We played hard, and played well defensively. A lot of our problems in the second quarter were self-inflicted. Not that Cortland wasn’t playing well too, but we didn’t do some of the things we had in the first, like team defense, not turning the ball over and clearing the ball effectively.
“The kids play hard and do what they can; a handful do everything they can, but it’s not enough. We play good defense, but can’t do it all game. We didn’t quit, but our skill level isn’t where it should be.”




J-E wins mound duel

ELBRIDGE — It was a classic pitching duel as Homer Central junior Ashley Brown squared off against Jordan-Elbridge ace Colleen Ryan Thursday. The veteran Ryan got the upper hand by tossing a one-hitter and striking out 13 Trojan batters during a 1-0 OHSL non-league softball victory.
By no means was Brown any less impressive. She struck out 10 Eagles, allowed just four hits and the lone run allowed was unearned. Neither pitcher walked a single batter.
“Defensively, we played well overall,” said Homer coach Cris Colasurdo after the one-week lay-off between games. “Ashley pitched a very good game.”
“Our hitting has been the problem right now,” Colasurdo continued. “The weather has forced us back inside and we just have not been able to do things the way we would really like to.”
Junior tri-captain Stephanie Hartquist got the only hit for Homer (0-1 Freedom Division, 0-2 overall) as she laced a single in the top of the third inning. The Trojans actually got had runners of first and second in the inning with one out, but Ryan struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
J-E (3-0 overall) got its lone run when Sarah Fordyce led off the bottom of the sixth inning. Fordyce was safe at first base on a dropped throw. Erica Peterson used a sacrifice bunt to move Fordyce to second. Ryan then hit a double to right field to score Fordyce. Brown retired the next two batters on a fly out and strikeout.