September 2 , 2008
Brand new look to Purple Tigers
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Cortland High’s Kyle Cute (4), defending against Fulton last season here, is a senior captain for a Purple Tigers team that opens the season against Fowler at home this afternoon.
A lot is new for the Cortland High boys’ soccer team this fall.
Nick Kline, who had coached the Cortland modified squad the past eight seasons, replaces Dan Law as head coach after the latter accepted a teaching position at Jamesville-DeWitt. Law left CHS as the winningest coach in the history of the program, compiling a record of 113-89-11 (.556) in 11 seasons.
Kline inherits nine players from last season’s squad, which finished 5-8-1 in the OHSL Freedom Division (fifth) and 7-11-2 overall, advancing to the second round of Section 3 Class A play. He noted that with one exception, positions have not yet been established for his players, with situational variables such as opponent strengths involved.
The Purple Tigers are playing host to Fowler from Syracuse this afternoon to get the season underway. Play begins at 4:30 p.m.
Junior Dan Miller is the top returning scorer, having netted four goals and two assists for 10 points (fourth on the team) last fall en route to honorable mention all-league status. Senior Matt Herbert scored four goals in ‘07 for eight points and was the Purple Tigers’ fifth-leading scorer.
Junior Josh Tomko (2 goals-1assist a year ago), senior Kyle Cute (2-0) and junior Logan Marks (2.71 goals-against average and one shutout in 2 1/2 games as a part-time goalie) are the only other players who notched points last season. Also back are seniors Matt Southwick, David O’Neil, Dencil Daniels and Kyle Quail.
This year’s captains are Cute, Marks, Southwick and Miller.
Two first-team all-leaguers, midfielder Luka Starmer (9-3-21, top scorer on the team, team’s Offensive MVP) and sweeper Matt Marks (3-6-12, third on team, defensive MVP) graduated last June, along with Joaquim Queralt, an exchange student from Spain and a striker who was second on the team in scoring (7-4-18). Midfielder Derek Allen (0-3-3, Coaches’ Award) was an all-league honorable mention, and goalie Brian Clifford (Most Improved) had a 1.32 goals-against average in 17 1/2 games with eight shutouts, one shared with Logan Marks.
The 14 varsity newcomers this fall are senior Allen Kryger, juniors Kachi Anumonwo, Eric Burch, Justin Burns, Adam Bushnell, Benjamin Darby (goalie, the only player set at a position thus far), Andrew Hotchkiss, Beau Lacey, Jerrod Mahar, Jon Podoliak, Brandon Prosser, Christian Rogers and Patrick Sherman and sophomore Greg Masler.
“We have to have a defense that works well together to keep the other team from scoring, and we have to be able to possess the ball and create some opportunities on offense,” Kline said. “We’ve had some trouble with consistency, playing at the same level for an entire (scrimmage) game, but have a good group of returning players. The camaraderie of this group is also good.
“I coached the bulk of these players at the modified level, so I know their personalities and we already have a rapport developed. But my approach to varsity is different from modified for one thing, everyone played an equal amount in modified — so there’s definitely a transition period.”
In assessing the league race this season, Kline said that “Syracuse CBA is always dominant, but I think the league will be competitive. We have the opportunity to beat any team on any given day.”
Kline, in addressing specific goals set by both himself and the team, said that “We want to score first in every game, win more than 10 games with a winning record at home, avoid losing to the same team twice and get to sectionals.
“We also have the team objectives of communicating and listening to each other, showing respect, being unselfish yet confident, learning and applying what is learned in games and hustling all of the time.”
Jeremy Milligan is the newly appointed varsity assistant coach. Tom Dovi returns as the JV coach, and Joe Aquilina replaces Kline
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