June 21, 2008


Five Purple Tigers, Trojan first teamers

Two-time league champion Cortland High placed five team members on the OHSL Freedom Division girls’ lacrosse all-star first team.
Four seniors — midfielder Janelle Stegeland, attack Bailey Reagan, midfielder Caitlin Stevens and midfielder Natalie Muka — joined junior midfielder Katherine Hunsberger as a first team selection for the first place Purple Tigers.
Homer Central senior midfielder Kaylee Benz also made the first team, while Cortland’s Kim Pace was named the league’s Coach of the Year. Pace led the Purple Tigers to a perfect 16-0 mark against division foes.
Other first-team Freedom Division players are seniors Melissa Jaworski (attack) and Lauren Cobb (midfield), junior midfielder Molly Maroney and sophomore midfielder Tori Nies from Jamesville-DeWitt; East Syracuse-Minoa seniors Kristin Darcy (attack) and Laura Matthews (midfield), junior goalie Carissa Ficarro and sophomore midfielder Allison Rossi; Chittenango midfielders Kailey Krause (senior) and Jessica Antelmi (junior); Fulton junior attack Kristen Lawson and senior midfielder Leanna Littler and Mexico sophomore midfielder Stevie Lombardoni.
Named to the second team from Cortland were seniors Emily Piedigrossi (defense) and Lisa Frare (attack) as well as juniors Caitlin Cottone (goalie), Emily VanGorder (midfield) and Jenna Phelps (midfield).
Homer senior midfielder Lindsay Wilson also made the second team, as did J-D seniors Kristal Buck (attack) and Emma Loewy (defense), junior midfielder Meredith Howe and sophomore midfielder Ashriel West; ES-M midfielders Alecia Schaffer (senior) and Gina Campese (junior); Chittenango senior defender Ryann Putnam and freshman midfielder Jenna Barber; Fulton seniors Rebecca Harrington (attack) and Ruthie Tallents (midfield) and junior midfielder Michelle Bateman and Mexico senior attack Kayla Lombardi and freshman midfielder Danielle Gushlaw.
Cortland’s honorable mentions were senior attacks Kim Hall and Emily Walsh, junior midfielder Molly Bramschreiber and sophomore defender Janesa Cornish. Seniors Kacie Harder (midfield) and Danielle Compagni (defense) and juniors Kimmy Carboine (attack), Martha Riley (attack) and Morgan Osborne (midfield), represent Homer on the honorable mentions.
Other honorable mentions include J-D defenders Rachel West (senior), Claire Kopp (junior), Emily Luckette (junior), Alex Freeman (junior) and sophomore goalie Tara Prosak; ES-M senior attack Alexandria Greiner, junior attack Maddeline Chopski, sophomore defender Rachel Kalod and freshmen Alyssa Anderalli (midfielder) and Emily Rossi (defense) and Chittenango senior attack Ashley Davis and juniors Gretchen Blanding (defense), Tess Piraino (attack) and Christine Stoddard (defense).
Also earning honorable mention were Fulton senior attacks Heather Coppola and Whitney Mirabito and junior defenders Devon Niccoli, Emily Hastings and Emily Pitcher; Mexico junior midfielder Heather Boyzuck, sophomores Cassandra DeLong (goalie) and Rebecca Clark (attack) and freshman defender Heather Taylor and Whitesboro senior midfielder Marissa Hotaling.
Cortland coach Kim Pace had the following comments on her first-teamers, with stats included.
On Janelle Stegeland: “No matter what her role was at a given time, Janelle’s presence was always apparent everywhere on the field. She was a huge part of our offense, defense and midfield transition. With her very focused attitude and drive to always do her best, she made everyone around her better. As the team’s leading scorer she could score at will, but this year she focused more on helping her teammates be successful. Janelle grew into an all-around player this year and a very strong leader on the field.”
64 goals, 27 assists, 59 draw controls, 94 ground balls, 50 caused turnovers
On Bailey Reagan: “Once again this year Bailey was our play maker. She led the team in assists for the season for the third time in a row and compiled 97 assists over the past four years; an amazing statistic. Bailey sees the field very well and this year did a great job of differentiating between a fast break situations and a settled situation. She was very patient and did an outstanding job of setting her teammates up for the goal. Bailey was one of the leaders on our offensive end of the field.”
29 goals, 42 assists, 42 draw controls, 67 ground balls, 28 caused turnovers
On Caitlin Stevens: “Caitlin was the defender that every opposing attack player hated to see. She had the ability to mark the opposition’s leading scorer and completely take them out of their game mentally. She took that job very seriously and enjoyed driving the opponent crazy. Cait was the vocal leader of our defense and the one I went to when we needed something to change on the defensive end of the field. She could motivate and organize the defense with a few simple words.”
20 goals, 11 assists, 57 draw controls, 102 ground balls, 78 caused turnovers
On Natalie Muka: “Natalie was the spark of the team this year. When our intensity level dropped and we needed to pick things up again, Nat took control, picked up her level of play and changed the momentum of the game. She was one of our most aggressive defenders, who thrived on taking the ball away from the opponent. She would do whatever was necessary to get the ball. She really stepped up this year and became a leader.”
7 goals, 14 assists, 13 draw controls, 89 ground balls, 55 caused turnovers
On Katherine Hunsberger: “Katherine also made her presence felt all over the field, no matter what she was doing. While she was the second leading scorer on the team and was the catalyst in a few of our come from behind games, she did so much more than score goals. She was a major part of our transition game and an outstanding defender. She has an amazing ability to read the opposition and react quickly to what they are trying to do. She had countless interceptions or blocked passes in our midfield and often made it look effortless. She has a very quiet presence on the field, but is always in the right place at the right time to get the job done.”
55 goals, 24 assists, 55 draw controls, 44 ground balls, 37 caused turnovers
Pace regarding her Coach of the Year honors: “This year I had such an amazing group of girls to coach. Not only were they outstanding lacrosse players, but they were great kids. We were as successful as we were because of how hard the kids worked, how dedicated they were, and how well they worked together. We also couldn’t have done it without our assistant coaches, Fred Cutia and Bob Gambitta. They should be recognized as assistant coaches of the year. They do an amazing job with very little recognition. I couldn’t do it without them.”
Homer coach Doug Pasquerella said of Kaylee Benz: “Kaylee had an unbelievable year. She had one stretch where she was averaging seven goals per game. Kaylee could have had many more goals and points, but she is a very unselfish player. She is a consummate team player and a phenomenal athlete.”
Benz set a new school single-season points record with 81 points and tied the single-season goal mark with 68. She also tied the school single-game record for goals (9) and points (10) against Fulton.

OHSL Freedom Division
League standings: Cortland 16-0, Jamesville-DeWitt 14-2, East Syracuse-Minoa 11-3, Chittenango 9-7, Fulton 7-7, Homer 6-10, Mexico 3-11, New Hartford 0-12, Whitesboro 0-13