September 7, 2010
Homer stickers ready to open season
It will be a young Homer Central field hockey team hitting the field for their OHSL Division II season opener tonight against visiting Port Byron, a 6:30 p.m. start at Butts Field
There will be seven players moving up from the junior varsity ranks to round out the 16-player roster for the Trojans. Homer comes into the 2010 campaign after posting a 2-13 record, 1-9 in OHSL play, one season ago.
“We are looking a bit young,” said fourth-year head coach Ellen Garrett. “We have only four returning seniors, but two of those four are in their third year with the varsity as starters. We are counting on their leadership to pull us through.
“We do as some other returning juniors. It’s just time for the girls to get use to using their sticks again.
“We’re a little rusty, but we’ve been getting better during the pre-season,” she continued. “All the girls are putting together a good effort and working hard. We just haven‘t played together a lot.”
Those third-year returning seniors are forward-midfielder Ashley Barnard, forward-midfielder Sarah diGiovanna and forward Hannah Davis. Barnard and Davis were honorable mention all-stars in 2009.
Also returning for the 2010 season are senior back Colleen Gardner; junior forward Jessica McLaughlin, junior midfielder-back Adrianna Pizzola, junior midfielder Katelyn Barhite, junior goalkeeper-midfielder LeeAnne Pedrick plus sophomore midfielder Stephanie Barlow, another honorable mention all-star. Pedrick played one game in goal last season and has agreed to step into the starting role this season.
“Ashley, Sarah and Hannah have been around for a while,” Garrett said, “They have been taking the lead for practice. They have been helping out the younger players and being a little more aggressive.
“That’s what we talked about last year,” she added. “We needed to be more aggressive and shoot the ball more. We have been working on our passing and working together as a team. We have been doing well. We just need to put that together in a game format.”
The Trojans will also see a change in goal yet again.
“It is the third year in a row for a new goalkeeper,” Garrett said. “LeAnne has been willing to step into there. It’s a tough position to step in to, but she is doing it for the team. LeAnne is gaining confidence every day. She is athletic and she has a great attitude. I think the defense in front of her will help out.”
Moving up from the 2009 junior varsity team are junior sweeper-back Becca DeWitt, junior midfielder-back Deanna Levitzsky, junior sweeper-back Kristen Cascanett, junior midfielder-back Gabriele Burhans, sophomore midfielder-forward Braeden Sharer, sophomore forward-midfielder Maria Urban and sophomore midfielder-back Kayla Cargen.
“I think Deanna and Kayla can make immediate impacts,” Garrett said. “Both have great speed and really hustle.
“All the new girls have great attitudes and are coachable,” she continued. “They are learning fast. We have a lot of girls who can really develop into good players. They just need some time on the field.”
Kori Buhr returns as the junior varsity coach and Kim Butts will work with the modified team.
It’s a new alignment as well for Section 3 Field Hockey with Homer joining Cato-Meridian, Cazenovia, Cortland, East-Syracuse-Minoa, Port Byron and Weedsport in the new;ly aligned OHSL. Each team will play and home-and-home series.
“Cazenovia and Cortland should be the teams to beat again this season,” Garrett said. “Those two teams fought it out last year.
“Our record last year was deceiving,” she added. “We had a lot of one-goal games and a number of overtime games. We were right in the thick of many games. We looking to improve each game. We are looking for the girls to settle into the right positions and come together. I really think with should jell and we get into the swing of the season.”
To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe