June 2 , 2008
Trojans, Purple Tigers both ousted
Homer left frustrated by torrid CBA goalie
Dick Reygers/contributing photographer
Homer Central senior Shawn Cleary gets past Syracuse CBA defenders Ben Ashenburg (8) and Matt Dugan (11) during Saturday’s Class C semifinal game at Coyne Field in Syracuse. Cleary had a goal in the 13-6 Trojans loss.
Throughout the 2008 lacrosse season, Homer Central has thrived on a high-powered offense along with a stingy defense led by senior co-captains Mike Carboine and Vic Marchetti and anchored by junior goalkeeper Paul Zimmerman.
In the Section 3 Class C quarterfinals Saturday, it was third-seed Christian Brothers Academy from Syracuse who had the red-hot goalkeeper as senior Griffin Ferrigan made 24 saves to guide the third-seeded Brothers to 13-6 victory over the second-seeded Trojans at Syracuse University’s Coyne Field.
Homer wraps up a stellar season at 18-3 overall.
Syracuse CBA (15-4) will meet fourth-seed Skaneateles (15-5) — who upset top-seed LaFayette (19-2) by a 9-8 score in the other semifinal — for the Class C title Wednesday at 5 p.m. back at Coyne Field.
“At the beginning of the season, we knew the kids could score,” said CBA coach Mike Stagnitta. “A lot of our defensive success goes to Coach (Mark) Sacco. The confidence that our senior captain in goal showed and, the fact that he knew he had good poles in front of him, was the difference today.”
“Homer is a good team,” Stagnitta added. “If they had scored four or five goals quickly, it might have been a different story.”
“I felt confident today,” said goalie Ferrigan. “I have only had one goal every game and that is to keep the other team at six goals or less. If I can do that, I know I have given my team a chance to win. The defense in front of me played well and I responded to the challenge when I needed to.”
At the end of a tough day, Homer coach Tom Cottrell could only reflect on what had happen on this afternoon.
“We were still right there after the first quarter,” Cottrell said. “The problem was that we did not respond in the second and third quarters like we should have. We took too many shots right at the goalkeeper. He did play very well, but our shot selection was not great.
“Give some of that credit to CBA,” Cottrell added. “They did jump out in front quickly. We just were not clicking today. Whether it was them or whether it was us, we were just not as sharp today as we have been.”
Homer did grab a 1-0 lead on a lot of determination. After two quick shots were taken by the Trojans from close range and stopped by Ferrigan, Carl Zimmerman grabbed the second rebound and quickly put the ball in the back of the net with 10:16 left in the first quarter.
It took CBA just nine seconds to even the score. Matt Dugan won the faceoff. The ball was scooped up and Casey Lasda ripped a shot past Paul Zimmerman (11 saves). Lasda (five goals) scored again two minutes later and CBA grabbed its first lead of the game.
THE TROJANS KEPT firing and tied the game with 4:37 left in the quarter. Paul Armideo (three assists) threaded a nice pass to Carl Zimmerman for his second tally. Zimmerman finishes the season with a school record 73 goals this season. The sophomore added 24 assists for a total of 97 points, the third best single-season total in school history.
It took just 40 seconds for the Brothers to retake the lead at 3-2 and they would never trail again. Jarred DePalma (three goals) scored the unassisted goal for a 3-2 CBA advantage at the 3:57 mark.
In another 52 seconds, the Brothers got a goal from David Biegler off an assist by Nate Frechette. The score remained 4-2 at the end of the quarter.
CBA came out strong in the second quarter and scored three times before the midway point of the quarter. Tom Trasolini scored with 10:31 left in the first half and Jarred DePalma followed with goals at the 9:36 and 7:45 marks for a 7-2 cushion.
Homer fought back and closed the margin to 7-4 by halftime. Shawn Cleary scored off an Armideo assist with 4:13 on the clock and John Sciera converted a feed from Luke Pedersen with 3:28 still showing, but that would be the final goal of the first half for either team. The Trojan put 15 of 23 shots on goal. Ferrigan stopped 11 of them.
Both teams were looking better defensively as the third quarter got underway. Homer broke through with 7:38 left in the third quarter as Conner Ferrito netted an unassisted goal to pull the Trojans to within 7-5.
CBA answered with three straight goals to run its lead to 10-5. Lasda opened the run with his third goal of the game with 7:10 on the clock. Ben Ashenburg tallied a man-up goal 40 seconds later after converting a feed from Frechette, who would score himself with 2:39 remaining in the quarter.
Trailing by five goals, Homer scored a man-up goal when Brett Capps took a nice pass from Armideo as the Trojans to within 10-6, but that would be as close as Homer would get.
LASDA SCORED twice within a 57-second span. The first goal came off a Frechette assist with 6:52 remaining in the contest. With 52 seconds left in the game, Frechette scored with Trasolini assisting to make the final score 13-6.
With 18 wins, the Trojans had their second best record in school history. Carboine and Marchetti offered some thoughts on the season of their high school careers.
“We had a great team and we had a great season,” Carboine said. “We had it all. We had great scoring, great defense and great goaltending. Every aspect of our game was better than last year. It was a great improvement from last year (4-14).”
“We all worked hard in the off-season and bought into the philosophy that we would be a good team this season,” Marchetti stated. “We came out to play or practice hard every day and we kept improving. All the hard work paid off. As seniors, we had to step-up as leaders this year. We did that and things really came together. The younger players looked up to us and we helped get everyone focused to come out and do their best.”
It is goodbye for Carboine, Marchetti, Capps, Cleary, Will Connery, Talon Sprouse, Trevor Caughey, Jacob Phelps and Lance Graffius. But Homer will return 15 players for next spring.
“All the players and coaches can be proud of the season we had,” Coach Cottrell said. “I am proud of all the kids. They worked their tails off. We will be back next season.”
Cortland upset bid falls short
SYRACUSE — The third time wasn’t the charm for the Cortland High boys’ lacrosse team Saturday night against top-seeded Jamesville-DeWitt in the Section 3 Class B semifinals at Syracuse University’s Coyne Field.
But it certainly was close.
After losing by 11 and 12 goals to J-D in the teams’ two regular-season OHSL B contests, the fourth-seeded Purple Tigers gave the defending state and sectional Class B champions all they could handle, coming up just short in a season-ending 8-7 setback.
Asked how his squad, which finished the season 8-12 overall, was able to close the gap so dramatically, CHS coach John Spallone listed the four goals he and his staff set for their team coming into the contest.
“We didn’t want to let J-D get a run, and they didn’t. We wanted to stay out of the penalty box, and did a good job of that,” he said, CHS whistled for four infractions on the night, all leading to futile man-up opportunities for J-D.
“We wanted to play tough defense, and did. And we wanted to get a lot of high-quality shots, and we did. Their goalie (senior Alex Jorgensen) made some great saves,” he added. So did Cortland senior netminder Travis Carruthers, with 11 stops, including a handful of point-blank stuffs, to 15 for Jorgensen as the Purple Tigers had a 37-33 shot advantage.
“The kids played their hearts out,” Spallone said. “Probably no one expected us to play them close. But our players believed in themselves and played an absolutely spectacular game. I couldn’t be prouder. We did some different things, changing our clear and riding them very effectively. We stood toe-to-toe with a heavyweight team and almost knocked them out, pushing them to the limit. The kids did everything they needed to do to win except score two more goals.”
J-D sophomore midfielder Jake Bratek made sure that the black-clad underdogs’ efforts would come up short, scoring the game’s final goal with 1:58 left from the right side off a feed from behind the Cortland net by sophomore attack Eric DeJohn. After one more stop from Jorgensen, the Red Rams regained possession and held the ball the rest of the game, Carruthers stuffing senior midfielder Jeff Vetter with 55 seconds left and Cortland taking a slashing penalty with 32 seconds remaining in a last-ditch effort to get the ball back.
“It came off the fast break,” Bratek said of his game-winner. “I was behind the goal, and no one was on me; I saw an open lane, and liked it. It was calling my name. Cortland is a hard-working team. We’d beaten them twice, but weren’t surprised at how the game went at all. We know everyone is always gunning for you the third time out. Our post-season experience helped us tonight, definitely. After last year, we’d do anything to feel that again.”
“WE KNEW IT would be tough,” said Red Rams coach Jamie Archer, his team now 17-2 heading into Wednesday’s 7:30 p.m. championship game back at Coyne Field with second-seeded Carthage. The Comets of Cartharge were a 12-8 winner over No. 6 East Syracuse-Minoa in Saturday’s other Class B semifinal.
“We got some big scores early the last time and got rolling,” Archer added, referring to a 16-4 home win over CHS on May 6. “We shouldn’t have beaten them that badly. We weren’t quite prepared for this much of a battle, but they got up early and got their kids to believe in themselves. Once that happens, it’s tough to make them stop believing. We wanted to jump on them early, but it didn’t happen that way.
“We don’t have one go-to guy, but Jake is our leading midfield goal-scorer and we look for him to step up when he needs to. We went stick-side high all night and got stopped, and he went low opposite for his goal. If we’d done that all night, it might not have been such a close game,” he added.
Cortland came out strong, as senior midfielder Nate Thomas opened the scoring 3:07 in with a bouncer from the near-right side. Fellow senior midfielder Mike Hartnett made it 2-0 just 21 seconds later on what was almost a rerun of Thomas’s tally. Vetter halved the deficit, opening J-D’s scoring from in close on the right side with 3:44 left in the first, and junior midfielder Mac Keehfus tied it from the left side with 1:22 remaining. Senior attack Mike Edwards then scored the first of his three goals with just 42.4 seconds left, giving the Red Rams their first lead at 3-2. The second quarter was scoreless until almost the midway mark, Vetter scoring with 6:25 left to make it 4-2 J-D before Cortland senior attack Jack Spallone, en route to an eventual hat trick, scored his first goal 1:15 later assisted by senior attack Brad Rogers, to close out the first-half scoring.
IT TOOK THE Purple Tigers all of seven seconds into the second half to tie the score, Spallone scoring from close range on the right side off a feed from Thomas. He completed his natural hat trick from the other side, rolling up from behind the goal and cutting in to make it 5-4 for CHS with 6:19 left in the third. Edwards answered 32 seconds after that before senior attack Brian Sypher gave Cortland the lead back with 4:34 remaining.
The final goal of the stanza, by Red Rams senior midfielder John Clark off an assist by Vetter with 3:01 left, made it 6-6, which was where the two teams stood entering the final 12 minutes.
Edwards scored his third goal of the game 2:49 into the fourth and J-D led 7-6. Rogers hit the top left corner from the right wing with 2:14 remaining in regulation to make it 7-7, and Bratek won the ensuing faceoff and then scored what turned out to be the game’s last goal.
“Every senior on the field for us did a great job, did more than we asked,” John Spallone said. “Travis in goal, Matt Marks and Chris Fernandes on defense, Brad and Jack working well together up front, Nate, Mike and Chris, all played hard. Matt Pitcher played well on defense, and it was nice to have (defenseman) Jesse Brown back. It’s a shame we lost him for so long (to a wrist injury).”
ROGERS LED the team in goals with 46, while Jack Spallone had a team-high 39 assists to go with 42 goals for 81 points, also a team-high total. He finished his high school career with 116 assists, second all-time in the program to Steve Cutia, who finished with 130.
Carruthers finished the season with 194 saves and a goals-against average of 9.76 per contest, having appeared in 17 games for the Purple Tigers.
J-D already owns a victory over Carthage (17-2) this season, having shaded the visiting Comets 11-10 on May 19 as DeJohn scored the decisive goal with 1:15 left. “Carthage is tough, and we’re going to have to work hard in practice this week,” Bratek said.
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