September 12 , 2007


CHS salvages tie at Homer

chs homer

Photos by Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Cortland High defender Callie Hull (center) gets sandwiched between Jenae Griffth (15) and Mackenzie Sullivan (right) of Homer Central last night.  The two rivals played to 1-1 overtime draw at Butts Field in Homer.

Staff Writer

Andrea Turcsik picked the perfect time to score her first varsity field hockey goal.
With no time on the George Butts Field clock, Cortland High got a second penalty corner chance and Turcsik was at the receiving end of a pass from Liz Wright. The junior attacker swept the ball into the goal to even the score at 1-1 to force overtime against rival Homer Central.
In the 10 extra minutes both the Purple Tigers and Trojans had excellent scoring opportunities, but both goalkeepers stood tall and the neighboring rivals ended their latest OHSL West Division meeting deadlocked.
It was the second straight overtime contest between the two neighbors, as Cortland (1-1-1 division and overall) and Homer (1-1-1, 1-3-1) battled to a 2-2 draw on Oct. 5 last year at this same Butts Field local. The late Turcsik tally denied host Homer its first win in the series since 2003, the final season that Barb Wood coached the Trojans to a season sweep.
“I am proud of how the kids dug deep,” said Cortland coach Jamie Brown. “They never gave up and they kept battling.
“I hoped the momentum would carry over into the overtime,” Brown continued. “We had opportunities in overtime, but both goalies came up big. The girls gave it all they had and I could not ask for anymore than that.”
“Both teams played great,” said Homer coach Ellen Garrett. “Give a lot of credit to Maggie Brown. For being a young player, she really kept her composure.
“It was a good lesson for our team that it’s not over until the final whistle blows,” Garrett continued. “I was disappointed that we let them get those two late corners, but the girls really played their hearts out. They did play hard and I am proud of their effort. It was a great team effort on the field and on the sidelines. The girls on the sideline were very supportive of those on the field.”
The first half saw few scoring chances for either team as play stayed between the 25-yard lines.
Homer had a great penalty corner chance with 18 minutes left in the half. Ashley Brown put the ball in play. Brittany Larue stopped the pass and Vickie Smith rocketed a shot just outside the right post. Eighth-grader Maggie Brown (five saves) did make two saves for the Purple Tigers while Cortland never got a shot to reach Trojan goalkeeper Krista Guy (three saves).
Cortland did get two penalty corners late in the half. The first came with 20 seconds left and, ironically, the second came again with no time left on the clock, but being a continuation of the previous attempt, the Purple Tigers got a second chance. Nothing came of either opportunity.
Cortland tried to take the lead with 28:25 left in regulation time, but the shot attempt went wide.
Four minutes later, Homer got on the board. After the first penalty corner failed, the Trojans got a second chance and converted. Ashley Brown put the ball in play. After it caromed around in the circle. Jenae Grffith stepped up, controlled the loose ball and ripped a shot into the goal with 23:48 on the clock.
Cortland stepped up the pressure. With 15:50 left, Janelle Stegeland took a in-pass from Alena Tuturro and fired towards the left post. Guy got made a dive for the ball and deflected it wide.
Homer had one more good chance to get insurance goal with 10:45 to go, but Maggie Brown came out of the cage and cleared the ball away with a strong kick.
As for Turcsik scoring her first goal, it was a little premonition for Coach Brown as she sent the junior into the game in the second half.
“I don’t remember when I sent her in, but I did put my hand on her before she went on the field and said that it would be a nice time for her first goal,” Coach Brown said. “I didn’t know it was her that scored the goal at first, but I didn’t care at the moment. I was happy for her when I was told it was her.”
Homer had three chances in the first five minutes of seven-on-seven sudden-death period to end the game. Griffith mishit a near breakaway chance at 7:26, Vickie Smith ripped a solid shot off a penalty corner at 6:35 and Griffith fired from point-blank range with 5:34 remaining. Maggie Brown made great saves on the two on-goal shots. Mackenzie Sullivan got one more shot off with 3:45 left and Brown stopped that shot as well.
The Purple Tigers missed a breakaway chance when Melanie DelRosario shot wide with 3:30 left. Twice in the final minute, Guy kept Homer even by blocking two close shots by DelRosario with 50 and 11 seconds left.
Once the game was over, the mutual respect was there.
“I knew Homer was a better team than their record indicated,” said Coach Brown. “They have played some tough teams and they have some good athletes. Homer is a team gaining confidence and it is just a matter of time before they really start winning a bunch of games.”
“I have known Jamie for a long time,” said Garrett. “I was an assistant coach for her when she was the JV coach. I told our girls to show a lot of class. I know this is Cortland-Homer, but there is not need for the bad things to happen or be said. These are two good teams with good athletes and both put forth great efforts tonight.”
Homer will return to OHSL action Thursday as the Trojans host Weedsport at 6 p.m. on George Butts Field. The Trojan JVs face Weesport JVs Thursday at 4:30.
Cortland High has one week off before hosting Watertown Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. with JV action to follow.
CORTLAND JVs got a pair of goals from Christine Gutchess and held on for a 2-1 win over Homer JVs at Butts Field. Cortland JVs improve to 1-1-1 on the season, Homer JVs slip to 2-3.
Gutchess banged home a pass form Eleanor Polley with 22:34 left in the first half for a 1-0 halftime lead.
Play was delayed nearly 45 minutes by thunder and a heavy downpour with 8:34 left in the first half.
With 12:17 left in the game, Gutchess scored again with Julia Porter assisting.
Homer battled back and pulled within one goal with 4:48 remaining. Ashley Barnard retrieved a loose ball in the circle and put the ball in the cage. It was the only shot for the Trojans.
Lindsey Van Liew made three saves in goal for Homer while Amanda Nauseev and Alexis Brevetti each played one half for Cortland.




Unbeaten Cortland trims J-D

DeWITT —The Cortland High girls’ soccer team gave up its first goal of the season Tuesday afternoon but stayed perfect through four games with a 6-1 win over host Jamesville-DeWitt.
The Purple Tigers, now 2-0 in the OHSL Freedom Division, were led by Natalie Muka’s three goals, while Alexis Keeney had a goal and an assist. Katherine Hunsberger and Casey Marks adding single tallies.
Muka opened the scoring 1:47 in off a throw-in by Jenna Phelps, and scored an unassisted tally from 15 yards out just over seven minutes later to make it 2-0. Hunsberger converted a penalty kick at 30:15 after being taken down in the box and Keeney scored on a direct kick from 20 yards out on the left before serving a cross that Casey Marks finished at 14:03.
Cortland thus had a 5-0 halftime lead, and that was still the score when the Red Rams’ Victoria Nies converted a penalty kick just under six minutes into the second half. After a thunder delay at 27:35, Muka finished the scoring at 8:22, beating a defender after taking a through ball from Emily VanGorder.
“The game started with windy conditions that impacted the play for both teams,” Cortland coach Abbey Albright said. “Once the rain and cold came it made for some difficult playing conditions, but I thought that my girls adjusted well. J-D’s defense played extremely high. Offensively we took advantage of this by using our speed up top.”
Cortland goalie Hannah Polanko-Baker made four saves, the Purple Tigers out-shooting their hosts 23-6.
CHS hosts Mexico at 4:30 p.m. Friday.




Local teams out to stop McGraw

Staff Writer
While McGraw Central tries to extend its four-year stranglehold on the Central Counties League boys’ soccer championship, fellow local squads Cincinnatus and DeRuyter — which finished second and third, respectively, last season — both look to move up, each with a large core of returning players.
Coach Cory Smith
The Eagles will have a new look this season. In addition to nine the 17 players on last year’s roster graduating from a squad that was 11-1 in league play and 15-4-1 overall, losing to Poland in the Class D sectional semifinals, three-year head coach Dave Law moved over to coach McGraw’s varsity girls’ squad. Smith, an assistant with the girls’ team the last three seasons, takes over this season.
Key losses from last fall were all-leaguers Eric Law (midfield; school-record 27 goals and 12 assists for 66 points, best on the team, also an all-star in ‘05), Jesse Wildman (midfield), Evan Emery (goalkeeper; 116 saves) and Patrick Leach (fullback) plus honorable-mention backs Josh LaPlant and Brandon Mack. Also gone are midfielder Ryan Russell (4-412, third on the team in scoring) and forward Josh Hempstead.
Senior forward Brad MacLean is the lone returning all-star from ‘06, when he was second on the team in scoring with 12 goals and 12 assists for 36 points. He was also an all-star in ‘05. Senior midfielder Anthony Powell, an honorable mention, also returns. The other returnees are senior defenders Tynan Lynch and Ethan Phelps, juniors Eric Ralyea (forward-midfield) and Josh Shepard (goalkeeper) and sophomores Danny Kennedy (defense) and Joey Steinhoff (midfield).
This year’s newcomers, all up from the junior varsity, are senior defenders Tyler Stiles and Matt Towers, juniors Alan Smith (defense-midfield) and David Tobias (goalkeeper), sophomore defender-midfielder Cody Brown and freshmen Alex Smith (midfielder; the coach’s son and no relation to Alan) and Chris Moffitt (defense-midfield).
MacLean, Phelps and Powell are this year’s tri-captains.
“We lost a lot of experience from last year’s team,” coach Smith said. “This team has been working very hard in pre-season and they seem to be getting along very well with each other. If the young guys are able to step up and play to their potential, we can be in the thick of things in the league. I think every team has a chance to win the title this season, with Cincinnatus looking strong.”
Coach Leigh Wright
A total 15 of the 17 players on the Red Lions’ roster this fall have varsity experience, led by senior striker Jherrett Maroney, whose 14 goals and six assists (34 points) in league play earned him all-league honors for the third year in a row last fall, when Cincy was 9-2-1 in the league and 12-7-1 overall, losing to LaFargeville in the D sectional quarterfinals. Senior fullbacks Cameron Blanchard and Mark Wynes were also all-stars last fall.
Returning honorable mentions are seniors Greg Monroe (halfback-striker; goalkeeper last fall), Kyle Blanchard (halfback; Cameron’s cousin), Lenny Slocum (fullback-halfback) and Mark Cobb (halfback).
Also back are seniors Casey Stith (halfback-fullback), Jamison Maroney (halfback fullback; back after a year off due to injury and Jherrett’s cousin), Tony Malmquist (halfback) and Zack Hotaling (fullback), junior halfback Zach Halstrom and sophomores Bryan Pendell (halfback), Jessie Hotaling (fullback; Zack’s brother) and William “Wolfy” Rheinheimer (goalkeeper).
The two newcomers, both up from modified, are freshmen Jake Stone (striker) and Shondel Wright (halfback; the coach’s son).
This season’s quad-captains are Cameron Blanchard, Jherrett Maroney, Cobb and Wynes.
Halfback Austin Baldwin and fullback Nick Rathbun were lost to graduation.
“The keys to our success this season with be staying healthy, continuing to work on the little things and working together as a unit,” coach Wright said. “We also have to play one game at a time and not look down the road. Our goals are to continue to get better and to have one of the most successful seasons Cincinnatus has had in awhile.
“I think that Madison and us will be the top teams in the league this season. McGraw and DeRuyter will be mysteries, meaning that they could be tough one day and just not there the next, so if you aren’t ready to play them they will take one from you. Otselic Valley is up and coming, and Brookfield did not field a team this year, with some players going to Madison.”
Coach Mike Skeele
The Rockets went 7-3-2 in the league last season and 8-10-2 overall, losing in the first round of the Class D sectionals. A total of 18 players return from that squad, led by a pair of honorable mentions from a year ago, seniors Dustin McClure (goalkeeper) and Brandon Galloway (defense).
Also back are seniors Nick Brown (forward), Erik Skeele (forward), Kyle Vadala (defense), Sean Meigs (defense), Brandon Meacham (midfield), Dave Revette (midfield) and Alex Fox (defense) and juniors Chris Roodenburg (forward), John Haggert (midfield), Matt Stevens (defense), Mike Damianos (defense), Ryan Sutherland (midfield), Dan Raymond (goalkeeper-midfield), Ethan Grime (forward), Brandon Chapman (defense) and Mike Harris (midfield).
Galloway, Brown and Revette are the captains this fall.
New to the varsity level are junior defender Josh Weaver, sophomores Ryan Ellis (midfield), Caleb Lidell (forward), Kyle Galloway (defense, Brandon’s brother), Sean Rutherford (forward) and Eric Fox (midfield, Alex’s brother), and freshman defender Aaron White.
Lost to graduation were all-star defender Matt Paddock, honorable mention midfielder Chuck Grime and midfielders Eric Duncan, Nate Sutherland and Jacob Newton.
“The defense will be our strength this season,” said Skeele, who is in his 21st season as head coach of the Rockets, “while the midfield is inexperienced as a unit, which will try to get and support the front-line players. Trying to finish the ball into the back of the net will be our biggest challenge.
“I expect the league to be balanced this year. The team to beat will be Cincinnatus, although I expect us to be right there with them. Madison, McGraw and Otselic Valley will be right there also. I feel that everyone can beat everyone on a given day, so it will be a challenge to get through the league and win the title. I expect that all of us to be tested throughout the season and cause some damage in sectional play.”