May 9, 2008
CHS keeps post-season hopes alive
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Cortland High goalie Travis Carruthers stops a shot by Chittenango's Bryce Martin (12) during the Purple Tigers’ 14-6 win Thursday.
The Cortland High boys’ lacrosse team did what it needed to do to keep its post-season hopes alive in its home finale Thursday afternoon.
With a 14-9 win over Chittenango in their Senior Game, the Purple Tigers improved to 5-8 in the OHSL Freedom Division and, more importantly, 7-10 overall.
That means that if they win their one remaining regular-season contest, May 20 at New Hartford, they’ll qualify for the Section 3 Class B tournament.
“One down, one to go,” CHS coach John Spallone said. “With the emotion and excitement of our Senior Game, we still played the game we needed. Our defense was solid and steady, Travis Carruthers played a very good game in the goal — at one point he made to point-blank one-on-one saves in a row — and the starting defenders, Chris Fernandes, Matt Marks and Matt Pitcher, blanketed Chittenango’s offense.
“Brett Miller actually kept a roller that Travis got most of from rolling over the goal line. Steve Planck ran the wing very well in the first quarter and Kyle Peterson hustled and played great defense in the second half,” the coach added.
Brad Rogers led the offense with five goals, while Nate Thomas had four goals and three assists, Jack Spallone two goals and four assists, Brian Sypher two goals and an assist and Marks a goal and two assists. Carruthers made 10 saves and Eric Burch two in the winners’ nets as the Purple Tigers had a 44-24 shot advantage.
“Our offense had a very productive day,” John Spallone said. “All six starters had important contributions to the output. Jack and Nate produced that needed attack-midfield balance. Brad shot very well, and Brian had a strong game scoring, picking up ground balls and, on several occasions, clearing the ball the length of the field on his own — he is very elusive in open space. Dan Miller and Mike Hartnett had strong groundball games, and Mike is critical to the start of our offensive motion, especially as Nate is needed to handle most of the faceoffs.”
Coach Spallone also praised Cortland’s second line, which he noted played its best game of the season. He singled out Matt Herbert for winning all three faceoffs he took contested (each team won 12), Joe Rosetti and Allen Kryger for their defense as well as their efforts in the context of the motion offense and Will Fickenscher for his play at midfield.
As for the 12-day gap until the all-important New Hartford game, Spallone said: “We have a full week to back off, do a few more basic things and sharpen up, as well as heal. We have a few guys who are banged up. It will give us lots of time to get our game plan in place.”
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