May 6, 2013


Trojans don’t let this lead slip away to CHS

Staff Writer

Just 11 days earlier, Homer Central boys raced to a 7-1 lead at Cortland High’s Moiseichik Field only to see the Purple Tigers roar back to steal away 12-10 lacrosse victory.
In the rematch between longtime rivals at George Butts Field this past Saturday night, the Trojans jumped out to an 8-0 halftime advantage and vowed there would not be a repeat of that April 23 contest.
Cortland did score four goals in the fourth quarter, but it mattered little at that point as pink-clad Homer boys posted a resounding 13-4 OHSL Freedom Division win on Stick It To Cancer Day.
Homer improves to 7-3 in division play and 8-5 overall. Cortland slips to 7-2, 10-3 overall.
“We needed to possess the ball and take quality shots,” Homer coach Tom Cottrell said. “We did that and you need your senior goalkeeper to step up in the big games. Last Saturday against Carthage and again today, Jon was a huge factor.
“Part of that possession time came because of Chris Birchenough winning face-offs in the first half,” he continued. “He got the ball and got us going forward. We played as a team and spread the scoring out. We shared the ball and the guys finished off their shots.”
“Homer possessed the ball more than we did today,” Cortland coach Matt Blaich said. “Their boys wanted this game more than our boys did. We were not here today and ready to play. We’ll bounce back. There are plenty of games left and there’s no use in hanging your head after one loss. Homer deserved the win today.”
Cortland senior Andrew Potter held an overall edge, 12-8, in winning face-offs, but Birchenough got his success in the the first two quarters as Homer built its early lead.
Like Coach Cottrell said, a big key to the Trojans success was the play of goalkeeper Jonathan Cottrell, who made nine saves today on both high and low shots — many from close range.
“Once I made the first save, the rest came easier,” Cottrell said. “I was really seeing the ball well tonight. That really helps a lot.
“A big key was our offense possessing the ball well,” he added. “When they did have the ball, the defense really stepped up.
Casey Cleary (three goals) scored the first two goals of the game, the first on a man-up with Beau Riley (three goals-three assists) assisting. Riley got the Trojans a 3-0 first-quarter lead with a nice bounce shot into the lower left corner.
Homer netted five more goals in the second quarter. Jake Gray got the first of his two goals with a nice end-to-end run. Birchenough won the next face-off and dished a pass to Riley just eight seconds later for a 5-0 advantage. Brandon Maxson, Brad Sovocool and Gray closed out the first half with goals for the 8-0 cushion.
Alec Sovocool and Riley scored third-quarter goals 29 seconds apart as the Trojan lead ballooned to 10-0.
Matt May got Cortland on the board with 10:26 left in the game on a man-up goal. Ferrito and Cleary answered for Homer, but Pat McMahon and May countered for Cortland to make the score 12-3. Maxson and McMahon traded goals in the final 30 seconds for the final 13-4 count.
HOMER JVs nearly let one get away. After leading 6-1 after one period and by four goals much of the contest, the Trojans gave up the lead in the fourth quarter before coming back for a 12-11 triumph over a tenacious Cortland JV squad.
“We were playing very well as we went into halftime,” Homer coach Nick Patriarco said. “We lost the mental aspect of our game in the second half. Cortland deserves a lot of credit as they battled back. They were able to put a lot of pressure on us in the final two minutes, but our defense and goalie came up big to get us the win.”
Zach Clark did make 10 saves in the game for Homer with three huge stops in the closing two minutes.
Baylie Goddard led the Trojans with four goals and one assist. Ryan Wainwright added three goals while Matt Suits (three assists) and Bailey Wood each netted two goals.
Bronson Gagliano scored six goals and added one assist for the Junior Tigers. Joe Piedigrossi (two assists) and Trey Libbey each netted two goals.
Cortland will return to Freedom Division action Tuesday. The Purple Tigers host New Hartford at 7 p.m. on the Moiseichik Field turf. The JV game begins at 4:30 on the grass field.
Homer will return to action Tuesday at the Trojans travel to East Syracuse-Minoa. JV action begins at 4:30 with the varsity game to follow at 6:30.


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