May 3, 2010


Tripping Forks reclaims Guido Cup for Cortland

CHENANGO FORKS — After losing a halftime lacrosse lead to head into the fourth quarter deadlocked on a warm, strength-sapping Saturday afternoon, Cortland High boys were able to step up their play when it counted the most.
In a non-league trip to Chenango Forks to compete for the David Guido Memorial Cup, the Purple Tigers struck for four unanswered goals to pull away for 12-8 road victory that brought that piece of valuable hardware home — along with an 8-3 overall record.
“We talk constantly about there being three areas of the game where if a player just wants to out-work the opponent he can have an impact on the outcome of the game,” said Coach John Spallone, feeling his Purple Tigers did just that as Colby Reagan, Dave Fernandes, Austin DiIorio and Brandon Planck all scored in the fourth quarter.
Reagan had a rocket of a shot find the net, Planck scored off a nifty pass after Josh Tomko escaped a double-team behind the net and DiIorio put away a shot on a drive to the net. But the goal that Coach Spallone enjoyed the most was the play that put the Purple Tigers up 10-8.
Andrew Potter started things off by winning a faceoff, gobbled up on the wing by midfielder Dan Miller. While being belted by a pair of Chenango Forks players, Miller got off a pass to Tomko in stride. After trading passes with Planck, Tomko sent a diagonal pass to Phil Potter who then provided the cross-crease delivery Fernandes converted into a crucial goal.
CHS scored twice after that and held the ball for the final three-plus minutes to put away the Blue Devils and wrest away the Guido Cup the hosts had possessed for the past two years.
Planck finished with three goals and four assists, Phil Potter had a handful of assists, Fernandes struck for three goals, T.J. Bardsley and Reagan each tallied twice and Tomko had a pair of assists to go along with a goal for the Purple Tigers.
“Their top defender started the game covering Phil Potter, but they switched him over to Dave Fernandes after he scored two goals in the first half, and then ended up on Brandon Planck in the second half,” noted Coach Spallone. “Of course the problem is akin to picking your poison. The attack was a collective six goals and nine assists. It’s the offensive balance that we talk about, and yesterday was Brandon’s day to have the hot hand.”
The Cortland defense also played well, outside of the third quarter when Chenango Forks out-scored the Purple Tigers 5-1 to dig out of a 7-3 halftime hole. Rory Adams, Ryan Lamond and Jack Felter each had two-goal games for the Blue Devils.
“Our defense did an excellent job of sliding to their draw and dump offense, forcing numbers of turnovers,” said Spallone. “Our man-down was very solid, with Dan Miller in the middle and Derek Keegan positionally solid on every extra chance for Forks.”
Chenango Forks was only 1-for-5 in extra-man scoring chances, while the Purple Tigers cashed in on half of their eight opportunities.
The victory was a nice way to head into Tuesday’s trip to Homer Central, that league contest a 6 p.m. start at Butts Field.
“Given the heat, it was another tough, determined win,” said Coach Spallone, temperatures in the 80s for this outing. “The boys are finding something extra when the game is on the line. They’ve done so all year and our confidence in winning the game at the end is growing.”
McNerney to be Honored

As an additional highlight to Tuesday’s Cortland High at Homer Central boys’ lacrosse contest scheduled for 6 p.m. at Butts Field, Cortland Youth Bureau director John McNerney will be recognized for his contributions to the sport locally.
McNerney will take his bows at halftime for his efforts to promote youth lacrosse programs in both Homer and Cortland through the BULL League now known as the Upstate Lacrosse Association. The Cortland and Homer Lacrosse Booster Clubs will be presenting McNerney with a plaque.
The game will also be a Coaches vs. Cancer occasion, with a stick donated by Graph Tex to be raffled off to raise money for the fight against cancer.