April 30, 2010


Grabs 14-9 win over New Hartford —

Little lull can’t slow down CHS

LacrosseBob Ellis/staff photographer
T.J. Bardsley of Cortland High and Eric Fitzgerald (8) of New Hartford battle for a ground ball during Thursday’s lacrosse game. Host CHS was a 14-9 winner.

A quick start and then a nice recovery after a lull added up to a win for the Cortland High boys’ lacrosse team Thursday afternoon.
The Purple Tigers scored the first four goals of the game against visiting Hew Hartford before the Spartans rallied back to tie it up at 4-4. After a goal by junior attackman T.J. Bardsley gave CHS a 5-4 lead after the first quarter, coach John Spallone’s squad outscored the visitors 8-2 over the second and third en route to a 14-9 OHSL Class B triumph.
“We got off to a great start, but a little bit of a relaxed effort on ground balls and subsequent faceoffs, and New Hartford got right back into the game,” said Spallone, whose team improved to 5-2 in the league and 7-3 overall with the victory. “They had stolen the momentum back until a nice individual effort by T.J. on a left-handed alley dodge, getting us back up 5-4. He has done a very nice job for us since moving to midfield, giving us that very important offensive balance.
“The middle quarters were where we took control of the game. Not having played since last Friday (an 8-7 win at Watertown IHC) probably left us a little bit rusty, not having faced any competition in almost a week,” he added. “In the fourth quarter we substituted and kept them in, even setting them up on man-up.”
Junior attack Phil Potter led the winners offensively, scoring four goals and adding two assist, while Bardsley was right behind with four goals and one assist. Junior attack Dave Fernandes had three goals, while senior attackman Brandon Planck had a goal and two assists, junior midfielder Colby Reagan a goal and an assist and junior midfield Austan DiIorio one goal.
“Phil and T.J. had very solid games offensively,” Spallone said. “I give Brandon a lot of credit; he is doing a nice job of letting the offense happen where the defense allows. We are very effective when we don’t force things to happen. Colby Reagan made sensational shot and Austan DiIorio had a great catch and finish inside.
“Dan Miller (senior midfielder) had a great game picking up ground balls, and I thought we regained our momentum in the second quarter thanks to his effort. In the third quarter we got into a very nice rhythm, with success by Andrew Potter, Phil’s brother, at the faceoff X, going on a four-goal run to open the second half.”
Eric Fitzgerald had two goals and an assist for New Hartford (2-5 league, 3-8 overall), while his brother Jason Fitzgerald and Tyler Gardinier had two goals apiece.
Purple Tigers senior Eric Burch made nine saves — “He was solid and cleared the ball very well,” Spallone noted — while junior netminder Alex Stevens stopped one shot in a fourth-quarter appearance. Patrick Alcott made 12 saves and James Prue had one for the Spartans, who were outshot 33-28 but did win the ground ball battle 36-29.
Spallone also praised senior Jerrod Mahar and juniors Greg Congdon and Brian Strough for their play at long-stick midfielder in place of injured sophomore Clay Fickenscher.
Cortland visits Chenango Forks at 2 p.m. Saturday with the Guido Cup at stake, the hosts the champions of the final Dave Guido Invitational last season. The teams will now play each year, with the previous year’s winner as host, for the Guido Cup.