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April 29, 2008

 

Purple Tigers pass stiff challenge

CHITTENANGO — The Cortland High girls’ lacrosse team expected one of its toughest games of the season Monday night at Chittenango, and wasn’t disappointed.
The Purple Tigers rallied from a 3-1 deficit just over five minutes into the game to take an 8-5 halftime lead, and went on to score a 12-9 victory that kept them unbeaten (8-0) atop the OHSL Freedom Division standings.
Jamesville-DeWitt is second at 9-1 after a 16-7 win over Fulton Monday, and Chittenango is now third at 7-2 (8-2 overall).
“Chittenango plays a very physical game,” Cortland coach Kim Pace said. “They have three very strong players who aren’t afraid to go to the goal and will try to drive through anything. Caitlin Stevens did a great job of containing Kailey Krauss, Chittenango’s leading scorer, holding her to just two goals when she averages around five a game. Katherine Hunsberger and Janelle Stegeland shared the duty of marking Jessica Barber, their second-leading scorer, and held her to a goal and two assists.
“We came out strong and scored 20 seconds in, but Chittenango scored the next three. During a timeout we made some defensive adjustments to shut down their inside roll around the crease,” she added. “Emily Piedigrossi and Janesa Cornish worked very well on low defense tonight, stopping Chittenango from rolling the crease and getting an easy shot off.”
Pace praised the offensive efforts of Bailey Reagan and Lisa Frare in getting the ball behind the goal cage and settling things down when a fast break didn’t present itself. She noted that with Reagan being face-marked the entire game, Frare stepped up as another threat down low.
“Janelle Stegeland and Katherine Hunsberger were also being face-marked, as Chittenango tried to make them non-factors,” Pace said. “Because our team works so well together, it doesn’t make much of a difference when two or three players are face-marked, because the rest of the team just steps up to help out. Katherine became an assister (with four), while Janelle did a great job of moving the ball in transition and finding the open player. Molly Bramschreiber stepped up offensively; with every game she is gaining more confidence in herself.”
Pace also singled out Jenna Phelps and Natalie Muka for their work in defensive transition, chasing Chittenango’s midfielders down when they tried to sprint the ball through midfield. “Nat and Jen’s speed is unmatched,” she said. “They can catch just about anyone in transition.”
Caitlin Stevens led the Purple Tigers with four goals, while Reagan had three goals and an assist, Stegeland and Bramschreiber two goals each and Frare a goal and two assists. Jessica Antelmi led Chittenango with five goals and an assist.
Cortland had a 26-21 shot advantage in the contest, with Caitlin Cottone making nine saves in the winners’ nets to 12 saves for the Bears’ Emily Murray.
CORTLAND JVs beat Chittenango 10-2 as goalie Julia Convertini made 16 saves and 10 different players scored once each. Kaylee Gebhardt added two assists and Maggie Brown one for the Purple Tigers, now 8-1.
Single CHS tallies came from Maya Gebhardt, Tricia Reynolds, Kelsey Faberzak, Jacquie Clark, Carly Cunningham, Marissa Mastronardi, Haley Meldrim and Kaitlyn Drach.
Both Cortland teams visit Homer on Wednesday, the JV game starting at 5 p.m. and the varsity contest at 6:30 p.m. at Butts Field.