April 27, 2016
Trojans nip rival Purple Tigers
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland High’s Logan Chase (3) takes a shot on goal while contested by Homer’s Carolyne Yonta (11) in the first half Tuesday at Moisechik Field.
In a game that was bound to be low-scoring anyway, Tuesday’s wet, chilly conditions did their part to slow things down as the Homer Central girls’ lacrosse team shaded Cortland High 4-3 on Moiseichik Field.
Trojans senior midfielder Olivia Porter, who had the game’s opening goal in the first half, did all of the second-half scoring in the contest, rallying her team from a 3-2 halftime deficit.
Porter tied the game 3:46 into the second half, then notched her 41st goal of the season, off a pass from behind the goal by eighth-grade attack Mattie Riter, with exactly 16 minutes left to give the visitors their final margin of victory.
Homer used a strong possession game to keep the ball for all but a few seconds of loose-ball time the rest of the way. That and good defense, including two key saves by sophomore goalie Katie Richardson, allowed the winners to hold the hosts scoreless for the entire second half.
The Trojans had won the first game of the season between the teams, the season-opener for both, 5-3 on Butts Field back on March 25.
“That’s been a skill of ours,” Homer coach Ed Porter (Olivia’s father) said of that possession game, his team now 6-2 in the OHSL Freedom National Division and 7-3 overall.
“Paige is a good goalie, and would save the ball and put it over the top,” he added of CHS junior goalie Paige Potter. “I didn’t want to risk taking a shot, having her make a save and then they score going the other way. I was surprised we were able to hold the ball that long, but it’s something we’ve worked on and practiced a lot, beating the first defender and moving the ball on.
“It’s good to have experienced players like Olivia, Carolyne Yonta (junior midfielder) and Hannah Casey (senior midfielder) when you want to hold the ball.”
“I had lots of help,” Olivia Porter said when asked about her decisive tallies. “Mollie Ferrito, Carolyne and Hannah did a good job of holding the ball and keeping it on our end, and Mattie made a nice pass.
“We work on it (holding the ball). It seems to happen to us a lot, and I think we’re pretty good at it. Every time they got the ball downfield they scored. Shea (Swartwout, CHS senior midfielder) is a very good player, and I think they would have scored if they’d gotten the ball downfield.”
“Olivia is having a pretty good year,” Coach Porter said. “We look to her for scoring and to create opportunities for other players when she’s getting marked out. Every time we’ve faced Cortland since Shea has played we’ve marked her out, too. You have to limit their shots, but players like those two are going to get their shots.”
“HOMER HAD A PRETTY good stall going on,” said Cortland coach Kindra Catalano, whose team never got a chance to equalize Olivia Porter’s scoring and fell to 3-4 in Freedom National play and 4-6 overall. “We have a lot of young players who need to know how to put pressure on the ball and shut down passes. They’re learning.
“Logan Chase (junior midfielder) did a great job on draw controls (the Purple Tigers with a 5-3 advantage in that facet of the game) and over the full field. We want to work the ball to the net quickly, but their defense was able to set up on us. We weren’t able to get ground balls (eight to Homer’s 15); anything we dropped, they were able to control. The weather didn’t help, but Homer is an intense, high-pressure team; it’s what they do well.”
Neither team was at full strength due to vacations and other circumstances. Ed Porter singled out freshman attack/midfielder Karly Roos and junior attack/midfielder Marissa Urban for stepping in and playing out of position — Roos on the opposite side from where she usually is stationed and
Urban setting up behind the goal.
Catalano praised freshman Elyssa Yonta, a freshman defender called up from the JV team and a cousin of both Carolyne and her sister Tess Yonta, a sophomore defender. The Cortland coach also said that freshmen defender Morgan Tabel and Lauren Swartz “played very well. Both were asked to play a lot more midfield than usual.”
Both goalies played strong games. Potter made 11 saves, including three on free positions, and Lawrence stopped seven shots, the biggest two from close range in rapid succession in a 30-second span right after Olivia Porter had tied the game. Homer had an 18-11 shot advantage in the contest.
“I’VE WORKED WITH Paige for three years now,” said Catalano, who was a goalie at Homer during her high school days. “She’s done a good job of stepping up and becoming a leader, and has improved her skills more and more.”
“Katie was right on from the start, and we needed that,” Ed Porter said. “She’s very active outside the goal crease, and does things other goalies don’t do. She’s quick enough to get to loose balls first and start us off on transition.”
Olivia Porter opened the scoring 1:10 into the game unassisted before Swartwout scored the next two goals (giving her 39 this spring), unassisted 3:45 in and off a free position 9:59 before halftime.
It looked like the teams would be deadlocked at halftime when Yonta scored her 17th goal of the season with 24 seconds left until intermission, but after Chase won the draw Tabel converted a pass from junior midfielder Margaret Reagan with eight seconds left for the first goal of her varsity career and a 3-2 halftime lead for Cortland.
After the game, Olivia Porter said that “We did want to beat Cortland, but we’re all friends so it’s not dirty and we don’t try to hurt each other. It was a friendly game. I’m sad that it’s the last time I’m going to play against them. It’s going to be weird.”
To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe