September 11 , 2007


Despite coaching changes Eagles look to stay on top

Girls Soccer

Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Tori Harris (9) of DeRuyter, and Monica Byron (12) of McGraw, colliding while going after the ball in a CCLgame last year, are returning to their respective schools.

Staff Writer

While all three local Central Counties League girls’ soccer teams have new coaches this season, at McGraw Central they’re hoping it’s a case of ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same.’
Dave Law moves from the head coaching position for the Eagles boys’ team to take charge of the girls’ squad, replacing John Rutan. In the past four years, the first under Rutan’s wife Kathy, who was his assistant the next three years, McGraw compiled a record of 72-7-4 (47-4-1 league), won a state Class D championship in 2004, was a state semifinalist last year, won three  sectional D championships and captured the last three CCL titles.
Law is used to such success, having led the Eagle boys’ squads to three of their four straight CCL crowns (42-12-3 overall, 30-4-3 league in his three years as head man). He was an assistant with the other league title team.
Bill Cobb and Kim Brown take over for Lisa Schuyler at Cincinnatus, while Rob Neal and Tom Springer replace Amy Prince at DeRuyter.
Coach Dave Law
The Eagles have nine of the 18 players on last year’s roster (11-0-1 league, 19-1-2 overall) back, but among the losses were five of the 2006 team’s five first-team all-leaguer.
Forward Jen Rutan was a CCL all-star and all-Section 3 Class D pick three years in a row and made the Class D all-state first team last fall after being named to the second team the season before. She ended her scholastic career with 59 goals and 44 assists for 162 points. Back Sarah Bilodeau was an all-leaguer three straight seasons, an all-Section 3 Class D pick the last two years and a Class D all-state first-teamer last fall. She scored 10 goals and 14 assists for 34 points in her high school career.
Midfielder Diane Ralyea graduated and sophomore forward Emily Williams (who moved to Homer) were also first-teamers who were lost, Williams the second-leading scorer in the league at 12-5-29.
Honorable-mention back Julie Hewes also graduated, as did midfielders Jaimie Harriger and Heather Rogers, while junior Kailee Williams (midfield, Emily’s sister) and junior midfielder Shawnee McAdam moved.
Sophomore back Kristen Guy is the lone returning all-star, while sophomore striker Nicole Law (the coach’s daughter) and junior goalkeeper Chelsea Hayes are both back after being accorded honorable mention status last fall.
Also returning are seniors Tory Finton (midfield, the only returning starter among the upperclassmen), Katie Niver (back), Lisa Soshinsky (midfield), Monica Byron (forward) and Shannon O’Hara (midfielder) as well as junior back Alicia Giamichael, the only starter back from her class.
Newcomers this fall are juniors Erin Patch (defense) and Madeline Burns (midfielder) plus sophomores Kelsey Bordwell (midfield), Kierra Mack (forward), Casandra Millard (forward), Elizabeth Niver (midfielder, Katie’s sister) and Jenna Tobias (midfielder).
“Over the past three years the McGraw girls have graduated some very talented players who had played together consistently,” Dave Law said. “They created a reputation that precedes them. When we started practice this year, I started by ‘introducing’ these girls to one another. Even though many of them have several years of playing experience, very few had ever played on the same teams together in competitive style. Usually when something like this happens, and so many experienced players leave at one time, a few new players who haven’t gotten the acknowledgement or attention in the past blossom all at once.
“Two things are very different for me  working with girls instead of boys, and the imbalance of not having a large core of returning players. I’m very excited for this new challenge. I have a great group of girls who are eager to learn and continue the program. Some of the more experienced girls chip in to help; it’s great to see the progress they’ve all made in forming this year’s team already.”
As for this season’s outlook, Law noted that “Our success will depend on how well and how quickly the team plays together. If we finish above .500 this season it will be out of sheer desire and heart, The girls know what to do, and everyone will play. I suspect we’ll continue to get stronger as the season goes on.”
Coaches Bill Cobb
and Kim Brown
Two all-stars from a year ago, senior defenders Jolene Eaton 3-3-9, tied for 10th in the league) and Courtney Brown, head up a group of 12 returnees from last fall, when Cincy was 8-3-1 in the league and 9-8-1 overall, losing in the first round of the D sectionals.
Also back are seniors Nellie Loomis (midfield; 4-1-9, tied for 10th), Kaliegh Pierson (goalkeeper) and Kortni Wright (midfield; 6-4-16, seventh), juniors Chelsea Brown (defense), Deanna Frink (defense), Ashley Metler (forward), Jennifer Randall (forward), Kim Shepard (defense) and Lauren Shore (defense) and sophomore JaLynne Smith (5-1-11, eighth).
Eaton, Loomis and Wright are the tri-captains.
The newcomers are senior midfielder Michele McUmber, sophomores Kolleen Brown (midfield), Tricia Root (goalkeeper), Rosie Shevalier (forward) and Hannah Smith (forward) and freshman midfielder Kirsty Turner.
Lost to graduation were Section 3 Class D and CCL all-star KaraBeth Eaton (sweeper; 8-3-19, fourth; Jolene’s sister), league all-star Kim Wehner (midfielder), honorable mention Sam Shepard (fullback) and Danielle Mulhern (fullback).
“Playing together and staying healthy will be the keys for us in achieving our goal, which is to be near the top of the league,” Cobb said. “As for the league race, I’ll tell you at the end of the season.” 
Coaches: Tom Springer
and Rob Neal
Springer returns as co-head coach of the Rockets after having coached the team for 13 years ending in 2000. He inherits a squad that went 7-4-0 in league play (third) and 9-9-0 overall, losing in the first of the sectional D tournament.
The 21-player roster this fall includes 14 veterans, including senior forward Chelsea Way, who led the league in scoring last season (19-7-45) and was an all-star for the third straight year. Senior defender Kate Vosburg was also an all-star last year.
Also back are seniors Kaitlyn Pforter (midfielder, a tri-captain along with Way and Vosburg), Megan Stevens (midfielder), and Polly Gallerani (forward); juniors Jen Cizenski (midfield), Becca Hagmann (forward), Morgan Mierke (forward), Tori Harris (defense) and Cortney Thousand (forward), sophomores Carissa Clark (forward), Amber Schlafer (defense) and Weslee Eckler (defense) and freshman goalkeeper Kayla Hampton.
Newcomers are junior midfielder Alyssa Patsos, sophomore midfielder Heather Prugger and freshmen Amber Slocum (midfield), Bridget Way (forward, Chelsea’s sister), Amber Tucker (midfield), Danielle Cuddleback (forward) and Amber Marshall (defense).
All-star defender Lori Forshee and honorable mention midfielder Kristi Custer were the key losses from a year ago.
In discussing the keys to the Rockets’ success this season, Springer listed “Communication, passing, staying away from injuries and playing together.
“Our goal is to improve as a team. I think if the girls keep playing together, and with some luck, we can finish 10-8 or 12-6 overall. To listen to everybody, McGraw is the team to beat in the league. I would hope that we will be in the top two or three.”




Third straight Homer shutout

CAZENOVIA — The winning continues for Homer Central soccer boys.
Since losing 3-2 in overtime at Westhill in the season opener on Aug.  31, the Trojans have not lost. In fact, Homer has not allowed a single goal since that match and is enjoying a three-match road winning streak.
The latest victim was Cazenovia Monday as the visiting Trojans posted a 2-0 OHSL Liberty Division victory to improve to 2-1 in the division and 3-1 overall. The Lakers fall to 1-2, 2-2 overall.
“This was another good win for the kids,” said Homer coach Dave Shiffman. “It was not an easy game. It was not only tough physically, but it was tough mentally, and they responded well.
“Seniors Vic Marchetti and Shawn Cleary took charge on defense,” Shiffman continued. “They brought stability and good leadership to the back line. They were beating Cazenovia players to the ball, as were Dan DiGiovanna and Brendan L’Hommedieu. We also got good outside play from Luke Pedersen and Paul Zimmerman.”
It was a scoreless first half, but Homer finally broke the ice with 27:44 left in the match.
Brett Capps triggered the scoring run with a nice crossing pass. Paul Armideo settled the ball after the ball bounced around a couple of Cazenovia defenders. Armideo then turned the player who was marking him and made a nice low shot that rocketed passed goalkeeper Colin Hill (17 saves). It was the second goal for the junior in 2007.
“Brett was making nice crossing passes throughout the match,” said Shiffman. “Paul had a strong game in the middle.”
Cazenovia turned up the pressure and began to attack more, but the Trojan defense was up to the challenge. Jack Kissel made seven saves during second-half play. Derrick McCall recorded five saves in the first half.
Brett Stokoe notched his third goal of the season with 3:46 left to give the Trojans some breathing room. The play started with a long free kick by Bennett Quinlan that cleared the Lakers defenders. Stokoe ran onto the ball and fired a low, hard shot that Hill got his fingers on but could not keep from settling into the net.
The Trojans controlled the game with a 22-16 shot advantage and an 8-6 edge in corner kicks.
Homer will return to OHSL Liberty Division action Wednesday when the Trojans host Marcellus in a 6:30 p.m. match on George Butts Field. This will be the first home match for the Trojans this season.




Purple, Trojans taste court success

Cortland High and Homer Central girls displayed the winning tennis touch in OHSL Freedom Division outings on Monday.
Playing at home, CHS swept singles while coming up with a solid 5-2 victory over Jamesville-DeWitt. It was the fourth win in as many league matches for the Purple Tigers and fifth in six contests overall.
Visiting Homer pulled out a 4-3 victory over Mexico by capturing victories at second, third and fourth doubles. Katie Strausser and Rachel Perry rallied from a 2-0 third set deficit to earn the decisive team point at fourth doubles.
It was the first victory of the season for the Trojans, now 1-3 overall.
Cortland 5, Jamesville-DeWitt 2: Staying unbeaten on the season for the first-place Purple Tigers were Molly Bramschreiber (5-0) at second singles, Kim Hall (6-0) at third singles and the second doubles tandem of Eva Rosenthal and Robyn Hesse.
Bramschreiber was a 6-0, 6-2 winner over Priya Gupta, while Hall bested Katie Cieplicki 6-2, 6-3. Rosenthal and Hesse were 6-3, 6-2 winners over Ann Kossachev and Michelle Maloff.
Jaimee Robertson improved to 5-1 at first singles with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Joanna Wu, and Lauren Shirley and Courtney Tennant are now 4-1 at first doubles after a 6-3, 6-2 win over Sophia Minn and Shipra Gupta.
“Jaimiee seems to be getting stronger each math at first singles,” Cortland coach Bob Walrath said. “Molly came to the net to close out points, which turned out to be a pleasant surprise for us, and Kim completes the singles with her clean play at third. The girls have been working to improve their games, putting in the time it takes to get better.
“Lauren and Courtney beat a pretty good doubles team; they handled the pressure points maybe the best I’ve seen yet. Eva and Robyn played a near-perfect match. I am so excited for them; they had so few errors. They set each other up with easy points at the net with penetrating ground strokes. They mesh and complement each other well.”
Homer 4, Mexico 3:  “I’m so proud of all the girls, their unity pulled out the win,” said Coach Nancy Cavellier. “Everyone was supporting every match, especially the deciding point where Katie and Rachel got the fourth point in the third set.”
Down 2-0 in that third set, Strausser and Perry broke serve and never looked back in posting a 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 victory and break a 3-3 deadlock.
The lone victory for Homer in singles came from Jean Martinez. She beat Joel Dimon 6-2, 6-3 in first singles.