April 19, 2010


Spartans hand Purple Tigers first setback

EAST SYRACUSE — A few mental mistakes was all it took to blemish Cortland High’s perfect record.
East Syracuse-Minoa took advantage of those miscues to built an 8-3 halftime lead before posting an 11-7 OHSL Freedom Division girls’ lacrosse victory Saturday over the visiting Purple Tigers.
While the Spartans improve to 4-2 in division play and 5-2 overall, Cortland slips to 3-1 in division and overall action.
“The loss wasn’t due to lack of effort. The girls played hard throughout the entire game,” Cortland coach Kim Pace said. “We had a few mental letdowns in the first half. We ended up in a quick hole that we could never get out of.”
Marlee Vlassis gave ES-M a quick 1-0 lead with an unassisted goal just 36 seconds into the game. Cortland responded quickly as Marissa Mastronardi scored just 11 seconds later to even the score at 1-all.
The Spartans then went on 5-0 run to open the game up.
Alex McEachron gave ES-M the lead for good with 23:05 left in the first quarter with the first of her three goals. Allyson Rossi scored with 20:28 and 15:39 remaining in the half for a 4-1 Spartan lead. With 14:16 left in the half, Nikki DeVona took a pass from Alyssa Anderalli and made a strong finish. Just one minute later, Anderalli found McEachron open and threaded another quick pass to her teammate for the goal. Anderalli’s second of three assists on the night made the score 6-1 in favor of the home team.
Mastronardi stopped the ES-M run with her second goal of the game with 12:28 left in the half. Haley Meldrim added an unassisted goal with 5:23 to go as the Purple Tigers crept to within 6-3.
the next mental lapse Pace mentioned was even more devastating. McEachron and Rossi each completed their first-half hat-tricks with 17 seconds of each other — McEachron at the 3:51 mark with Rossi following as the Spartans led 8-3.
Mastronardi got her third goal with 1:01 left until the intermission as Cortland trailed 8-4 at the break.
ES-M began the second half with two goals 1:04 of each other as the lead grew to 10-4. Vlassis scored her second goal off an assist from Anderalli with 20:55 to go in the game. Anderalli scored, unassisted, for the sixth-goal cushion with 19:51 to go.
Cortland did close strong with three of the final four goals in the game, but the deficit was too much to overcome. Mastronardi’s fourth goal came with 15:56 remaining. DeVona unanswered for ES-M before Kaylee Gebhardt (7:03) and Jacquie Clark (0:04) rounded out the scoring for the Purple Tigers. Mastronardi assisted on Clark’s tally.
“We started making better choices in the final minutes of the first half,” Pace said. “That helped, but trading goals in the second half wasn’t enough to make a comeback.
“ES-M is a very physical team and we had a hard time adjusting to their physical play,” she added. “They forced us to turn the ball over and then capitalized on it. they took advantage of our mistakes where we didn’t take advantage of theirs.”
Cortland held the advantage in draw controls, 13-7, and ground balls, 56-38. The shots were even at 19 each. Julia Convertini made six saves for the Purple Tigers while Katie Cook stopped 11 Purple Tiger shots.
“Taylor Reynolds and Kaylee Gebhardt had great games in the midfield today,” Pace stated. “Taylor caused eight turnovers and picked up 11 groundballs. Anytime there was a lose ball near her, she came up with it. Kaylee did a great job of finding the open space in transition. She does a great job helping to make things happen with and without the ball. Haley Meldrim was also very aggressive on groundballs and applied pressure to ES-M’s midfielders in their transition.
“Katie Cook had a great game in goal for ES-M,” she continued. “She is the strongest goalie we have faced all season. She played with confidence in and out of the goal, which is something we will have to take into account the next time we play them.”
CHS will return to action Tuesday as the Purple Tigers travel to Fulton for an 11 a.m. match. ES-M will entertain Homer Central in a varsity-only match at 1 p.m. Tuesday.