April 13, 2016


Trojans in control

Hand rival CHS 1st loss


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Ryan Wainwright of Homer works his way through Cortland High defenders Joe Piedigrossi and Nate McCormick (9) Tuesday night at Butts Field.

Staff Writer

Never underestimate the value of a key time-out.
The Cortland High boy’s lacrosse squad came out on fire Tuesday night, with Homer Central goalkeeper Mark Suits making four saves while two additional Purple Tiger shots hit the pipe in the opening five minutes.
That’s when head coach Tom Cottrell called time-out to settle his guys down, and it was all host Homer from that point on following that early chat.
Dante Yacavone and Brody Urban each scored four goals as the Trojans rolled to a 13-1 non-league win over 19th state-ranked Cortland on George Butts Field. The Class C honorable mention Trojans improve to 3-1 overall, while the Purple Tigers suffered their first loss after getting off to a 2-0 start.
“There was really no magic there,” Cottrell said. “(Assistant coach) Mark Ferrito and I were on the sidelines and talking to each other. It was just turnover after turnover with the ball going in both directions. We decided we just needed an opportunity to take a deep breath, settle down and play the way we are capable of.
“We took the time-out,” he continued. “We reminded the guys of what we were here to do. We played very well after that.”
“We did have a couple of shots hit the pipe and they had a couple of nice saves early,” Cortland coach Matt Blaich said. “Our fundamentals beat us tonight. We couldn’t pass-and-catch six-on-six. They were just the better team today.
“We still have a long season ahead of us,” he continued. “We just have to be ready to go the rest of the season without much time to adapt with a game every other day most of the way.”
Yacavone gave Homer a 1-0 lead with 6:06 left in the quarter and the floodgates began to open. Vincent Basile scored 43 seconds later after Jake Riley stole the ball and fed the open Basile for the quick goal. Denkenberger notched his first goal with 4:07 left in the quarter going low on goalkeeper Cameron Aldrich. Urban made it it 5-0 on back-to-back unassisted goals with 1:23 and nine seconds left. The first was a nice shot into the upper right corner and that second came as he let a shot fly as he emerged from behind the goal.
“IT WAS A GREAT team win,”Denkenberger said. “We came out of that first time-out and really began executing our offense. We moved the ball well and got the job done.“We were playing too quick for our own good in the opening minutes,” he added. “Good defense translated into good offense as we were able to pull away.”
“We were just more worried about the name on the jersey rather than who we were playing,” Urban said. “It really was just another lacrosse game out there.
“Mark was on fire in goal,” he continued. “If he hadn’t stepped up, we could have been easily been down early.”
Urban completed a natural hat trick (three straight goals) with 5:45 left in the second quarter for a 6-0 lead. Any doubts on the outcome were erased as the Trojans scored three times in the final minute of the half for a 9-0 cushion. Yacavone went low with 59 seconds showing. Denkenberger shot under the crossbar with Yacavone assisting 19 seconds later and Yacavone also went top shelf with eight seconds to go.
Yacavone made it 10-0 on a man-up goal with 6:15 left in the third quarter off a Tucker O’Donnell assist.
Connor Caughey got Cortland on the scoreboard with 2:33 left in the third quarter with a nice spinning shot that eluded Suits.
Denkenberger completed his hat trick with a buzzer-beater at the end of the quarter as Yacavone assisted.
Urban scored his fourth goal with 9:09 remaining in the game. Max Riley collected his first goal with 7:03 remaining on Yacavone’s third assist.
“ONCE YOU PUT ONE goal in your mind kinda clears and they just start falling in,” Urban said. “It just becomes second nature to score. That’s the way it was for me and for the whole team. When that happens, it just makes it an easy game.”
Suits was active in goal for the Trojans with 15 saves in 43 minutes as Cortland did have its offensive moments, but the Homer defense allowed just 19 shots all night long.
Zach Clark played the final five minutes and did not see a single shot. Aldrich made four saves for Cortland. Ben Pallone came on with 9:09 to go after Urban’s fourth goal and surrendered the final goal of the game.
“I think both ends feed off each other,” Coach Cottrell said. “Cortland had opportunities to score early and Mark Suits saved our butts in goal. Once we settled down, we got the offensive possessions. We figured out how to get scoring opportunities and we did a better job of finishing than we had in the first three games.
“I though we did a nice job defensively,” he added. “We shut them out for almost 34 minutes and that is a testament to good team defense and great goaltending. That was also because of possession and that comes from Ryan (Gabriel) at the face-off X, along with Ryan Wainwright and Jacob Rivers on the face-off wings. It was just a team effort. All phases were steady.”
Gabriel won 15 of 18 face-offs for the Trojans.
Both teams will return to OHSL Freedom Division action Thursday. Homer will travel to Central Square for a 6:30 p.m. contest that follows the 4:30 JV game. Cortland travels to Jamesville-DeWitt for a 7 p.m. start with the JVs beginning at 5 p.m.
HOMER JVs struck for three goals in the first quarter and used that momentum to roll to a 6-1 victory over Cortland on Butts Field. The Trojans improve to 2-3. Cortland slips to 1-2. The Trojans lost 7-1 on Saturday to Cazenovia so this was a nice bounce back win.
“We played a good first half and built a nice lead,” Homer coach Nick Patriarco said. “We cleared the ball better today and were able to limit their scoring opportunities. We had some good contributions from different players today and that is nice to see.”
John Hornergave Homer a 1-0 lead with 6:09 left in the opening quarter. Steven Walter scored one minute later and Noah Thomas capped the strong strong with his goal with six seconds left in the quarter for the 3-0 cushion. Josh Cargen and Gable Cline helped the Trojans build a 5-0 halftime lead.
Alex Myers collected the lone Cortland goal with 8:31 left in the match. Horner netted his second goal two minutes later for the 6-1 final. Walter and John Denkenberger had one assist each for the Trojans. Pat Hartnett assisted of the Purple Tiger goal.
Kirkland Case stopped seven shots for Cortland while Mike Turck made four saves for the Trojans.


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