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September 11, 2009

 

Trojans give Bears a scare

SoccerBob Ellis/staff photographer
Carl Zimmerman (6) of Homer Central heads the ball past Luca Bottoni of Chittenango Thursday night at Butts Field. Chittenango tripped the Trojans, 1-0.

There is no question that Homer Central boys have come a long way since pre-season practice started.
Playing against one of the best Class A teams in all of Section 3, the Trojans gave Chittenango all it could handle before falling 1-0 at George Butts Field Thursday night.
The Bears got a goal from Luca Bottoni early in the second half and held off a determined squad for the 1-0 OHSL Freedom American Division win. Homer is now 0-1 in division play and 1-2 on the season while Chittenango improves to 2-0, 3-0-1 overall.
“We played very well,” said Homer coach David Shiffman. “We gave a great effort throughout the game. We could not have shown any more heart. We were in this game the entire time.
“Chittenango is a very good team. I believe they are a better team than Fulton,” he continued, Homer coming off a 3-2 loss at Fulton. “They play strong defense and, because they play year round, they are ahead of us right now.”
With nearly all of his squad back from injuries, Shiffman made some key changes. Brett Stokoe and Luke Pedersen did move up top and Carl Zimmerman moved into the midfield. Cameron Ashley has returned to action and is the stopperback with Kyle Clark shining at sweeper. Josh Curatolo is looking strong on defense as well.
“We got good pressure and had some good scoring opportunities,” said Shiffman. “We had to play a counterattack style tonight and did well. We created some dangerous chances.
“We only made one real defensive mistake,” he continued. “We did not get a good clear and Chittenango took advantage.”
Mike Koegle got to the ball on the short clearing attempt and flipped in over to Bottoni. Bottoni broke in unmarked against Trojan goalkeeper Johannes Helgren (six saves) and rocketed a shot into the net 1:29 into the second half.
“Johannes really played well in goal,” Shiffman said. “There was nothing he could do on that play. He played his best game of the season.”
Shiffman mentioned one other player who came off the bench and provided some valuable minutes.
“Keefe Garrett cam in a did a nice job at midfield,” Shiffman reported. “If he keeps improving like that, he will see more minutes.”
Zach Boswell kept the Trojans off the scoreboard by making five saves for Chittenango.
Homer will return to OHSL Freedom Division action Saturday as the Trojans host East Syracuse-Minoa at 3 p.m. on George Butts Field.
HOMER JVs climbed into the win column Thursday with a hard-fought 2-1 win over visiting Chittenango.
“I moved a lot of players around today trying to look at some different combinations,” said Homer coach Chad Totman. “I moved Aaron Zimmerman from sweeper to striker and he put a ton of pressure on Chittenango’s defense. Drew Christopher played a stellar game at sweeper and gave Homer great depth. He was very vocal on the field. Nick Burton also played well and help transition the ball from defense to offense.”
After a scoreless first half, Homer (1-2 overall) got on the board just 1:49 into the second half. Zach Randal ran through the ball and passed to Dylan Shattuck, who finished to the lower left side of the goal.
The Trojans added a the second goal with 15:56 left as Connor L’Hommedieau crossed the ball to the top of the box that bounced off the keeper. Allen Perry finished by re-directing the ball into the open net. Andrew Martin put Chittenango on the board with 8:51 with a unassisted tally.
Homer JVs host East Syracuse-Minoa Saturday at 1 p.m.