September 7, 2011
Cortland freshman impresses in victory
PHOENIX — Talia Cruz made a big impression for the Cortland High girls’ soccer team Tuesday afternoon.
Playing in just her second varsity game, the freshman midfielder scored three goals to lead the way as the Purple Tigers opened their OHSL Freedom American Division season with a 9-0 romp over host Phoenix.
CHS led 1-0 on an unassisted goal by senior forward Erika Faberzak 8:31 into the contest when Cruz got her first varsity tally on a high shot from 25 yards out at 23:35. Senior midfielder Ashley Behrenfeld made it 3-0 just under three minutes later off an assist from junior midfielder Amber Welsh, and Cruz closed out the first-half scoring 13 seconds before halftime off an assist from Faberzak.
Cruz completed her hat trick at 13:17 of the second half, touching home a corner kick from junior defender Amanda DeGraff. Sophomore forward/midfielder Kennedy Cook had two goals in the second half for the winners, now 2-0 overall, while junior forward Rachel Prentice and Faberzak scored once each.
“The game started a little flat for us but picked up,” Purple Tigers coach Abbey Albright said. “The first 15 minutes of the second half we possessed the ball very well, played to feet and did a nice job of being first to the ball. Throughout the game our defense really improved with our formation, which is something that we worked on. Talia Cruz is starting to play to her potential and Kennedy Cook really impressed me on the field.”
Junior goalies Amanda Edwards and Carli Korik (who played the final 15 minutes) combined on the shutout, neither being called on to make any saves as Cortland rolled up a 32-3 shot advantage. Sydney Patzke made eight saves and Lindsay May stopped four shots as they shared time in the Phoenix nets.
Cortland visits East Syracuse-Minoa on Friday.
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