September 13, 2006


CHS mettle gets tested by Trojans

White scores game-winner for unbeaten Purple Tigers

CHS  Girls

Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Jen White (10), of Cortland High School gets a hug from Molly San Jule and Alena Tuturro (8), after scoring what would be the game winning goal against Homer. The Purple Tigers ripped their neighbors 3-2.

Staff Writer

Coach Jamie Brown and her Cortland High field hockey team knew that Tuesday’s game with visiting Homer would be a tough one. The Trojans made sure that those expectations were met.
The Purple Tigers, who had won their first two games of the season, both in the OHSL Division II West, by identical 5-0 scores, scored twice in a span of 2:12 late in the game to wrest a 3-2 win away from their tenacious visitors in another league contest. Homer is now 1-1 in league play and 3-2 overall.
“The girls did what they had to do in their first close game of the season,” Brown said. “I told the girls afterwards that I was really proud of how they dealt with adversity after two easy games. It shows a lot of character. They could easily have put their heads down in the first when they got behind, but came back and tied it. Then they got down again, stepped it up and won.”
As it was, senior midfielder Tania Young scored off an assist from junior midfielder Natalee Stiles on a penalty corner with 5:59 left in the game to make it 2-2 before Jen White, a junior inner, scored the game-winner with 3:47 left off an assist from senior forward Robin Barber to give the hosts their only lead of the game, and the only one that counted.
“Everyone played well,” Homer coach Kate Smith said. “We tried to keep the intensity high throughout the entire game.
“We had a little big of a defensive breakdown that gave them their first goal — no one was marking 14,” she noted, referring to CHS senior forward Molly SanJule, who scored off an assist from junior back Janelle Stegeland. “We tried to correct that, but on the game-winning goal we got caught up-field right after we had taken a penalty corner.
“I feel like Cortland got their second wind. We were down on their end of the field more, but they stepped it up. Maybe they underestimated us a little. At the end, the girls had kept it up and there weren’t a whole lot of substitutions because we were playing well and I wanted to keep that going. The defense was hanging in there, and the intensity stayed good.”
Homer junior forward Elaina Jones opened the scoring with 16:25 left in the first half on an unassisted tally from close in on the right wing side during a scramble after Cortland goalie Chelsea Snyder had made a kick save. Just over four minutes later, with 12:17 left until the half, Stegeland lashed one from the top left side of the circle and SanJule was there to grab the loose ball in front and beat Homer goalie Stefanie Lewis.
The Trojans came out strong in the second half and dominated play, keeping the ball in Cortland’s end of the field most of the time. It paid off when junior link-wing Lindsay Wilson put the ball home during a scramble in front with 16:10 left on another unassisted goal.
Brown called a timeout and Cortland started to take over, resulting in Young’s game-tying tally. Shortly thereafter, White netted the game-winner.
“Janelle hit the ball from outside the circle to the middle, Robin sent it across to the left post and I was there to hit it in,” White said. “Coach told us to be aggressive, and though there was a lot of pressure, we knew we could do it. We have before, last year, and with good communication and teamwork we pulled through it.
“Beating Homer is a great feeling, and it gives us a lot of confidence to keep winning.”
“We were missing (sophomore inner Melanie) DelRosario, who’s out with an illness,” Brown said. “I rotated Lisa Frare, Megan Thomas and Jen (all juniors) in her place. I put Jenn in with eight to 10 minutes left, and told her we needed someone to be aggressive, go hard to the ball and make things happen. She follows directions well.”
Snyder made 10 saves in the game and Lewis four as Homer had a 13-10 shot advantage. Smith cited Lewis, senior midfielder Callie Weddle and junior sweeper Rachel Nachtrieb for their individual performances before noting that in fact the entire team had turned in good performances.
“Callie was all over the place, wherever she needed to be, getting her stick safely into the play,” she said. “She kept the pressure on with her body in the right position and her stick in the right place. Stefanie played well, and Rachel came up with some good saves as well.”
Brown singled out junior outside back Elizabeth Wright and senior sweeper Beth Cutia for their efforts, and noted that “We’re not going to sneak up on anyone now. They’re all going to be gunning for us.”
Both teams are back in action on Thursday, when Cortland visits Weedsport and Homer travels to Cato-Meridian.
THE JV CONTEST ended in a 2-2 tie, Cortland’s Paige Reynolds scoring with 33 seconds left to earn the deadlock. The Purple Tigers’ Megan Turco had the only goal of the first half, 4:36 in, while Homer’s Brianna Lewis scored 5:37 into the second half to tie it 1-1 off an assist from Mckenzie Sullivan. Sullivan put the Trojans (1-1-3) ahead with 7:54 left before Reynolds equalized.
Rachel Ryan and Lindsay Van Liew combined for four saves in the Homer nets, while Maggie Brown made three saves in the first half and Amanda Nauseef two in the second for Cortland, which had a 10-9 shot advantage.
“It was like night and day from our first game,” said Purple Tigers coach Maureen White, whose squad (0-1-1) opened the season with a 4-1 loss at Port Byron last Friday. “Everyone stepped up and played well. Andrea Turcsik on the front line and Mallory Monroe at center back were great.”
The Cortland JVs visit Weedsport Thursday, while Homer JVs host Moravia Saturday in their next game as Cato-Meridian doesn’t have a JV squad.



Cortland responds to rally past Rams

The first half of the Cortland High boys’ soccer team OHSL Freedom Division contest with visiting Jamesville-DeWitt Tuesday evening wasn’t pretty for the Purple Tigers. In fact….
“It was kind of a mess, to be honest,” Cortland coach Dan Law said, the Purple Tigers trailing 1-0 at the break. “We weren’t doing things we’re capable of doing, offensively and defensively. We weren’t playing like a team. People were trying to do too much with the ball instead of being patient.
“At halftime, I told them that we have athletic players and are a strong and talented team, but weren’t acting like a team. Individuals can’t take over games against the teams we play. They responded and turned it around in the second half, which is nice to see. It was much needed,” he added.
The end result was a 3-1 Purple Tiger victory that upped their record to 1-2 league and overall. J-D is now 2-1 league and 3-2 overall.
Matt Natoli’s unassisted goal with 19 minutes left in the first half had sent the Red Rams into intermission on the long end of a 1-0 score, and the hosts equalized 9:57 into the second half. Jack Wood’s throw-in was flicked by Dan Leonard to Joel White, who beat J-D goalie Jamie Kogut from close range.
The game-winner came just under five minutes later, as Theo Bishop sent the ball in front to Derek Allen, who in turn delivered it to Luka Starmer for a header that found the back of the net. Cortland withstood some J-D pressure after that, and in catching the Red Rams in transition Bishop was taken down in the box, White drilling home the resulting penalty kick with 5:34 left.


Trojans shut out at Butts

While hard work and effort were there for Homer Central boys Tuesday, it was Marcellus that came away with a 4-0 OHSL Liberty Division soccer win Monday.
Alex Rouse scored a pair of Mustang goal as the Butts Field visitors improved to 1-1 in division and overall play. The Trojans slip to 1-2 in division and overall play.
“The kids are continuing to work hard,” Homer coach Dave Shiffman said. “We still have a couple of problems that still need to be addressed. We need to use the guys coming up from the back. We also need to work on switching the field. We need to improve of man-marking skills as well as making the transition from offense to defense.
“We have been working on those things in practice and I am seeing some improvement. They are things that will show up with a younger team, but everything should continue to get better,” he added.
The Mustangs balanced out the scoring with two goals in the first half and two more during second-half play. Alex Rouse led Marcellus with two goals while Tom Glose netted one goal with one assist. Kyle Blackmer recorded eight saves in the Mustang goal.
Joe May made 10 saves during first-half play with Jack Kissel stopping five shots in the second half. Each Trojan goalkeeper allowed two goals.
Luke Pedersen, Pat Cleary, Kyle Meztger and Sam Watrous received post-game Shirrman praise.
“Sam Watrous played his best game yet,” Shiffman said. “Joe May showed strong leadership on the field and on the sidelines. He was rooting hard for the younger guys from the sidelines. Joe really showed what a team captain should do for the team.”
Homer will return to action Thursday as the Trojans travel to Westhill for a 6:30 p.m. Liberty Division contest.
HOMER JVs got back on the winning track Tuesday with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Marcellus at Butts Field. After playing scoreless soccer through regulation time and the first 10-minute overtime stanza, Corey Hess netted the game-winner 3:20 into the second overtime.
Carl Zimmerman began the final flurry with a strong throw-in to Brett Stokoe, who headed the ball to the center of the goal box. Hess rushed in a finished off the play and a nice shot past the goalkeeper.
Homer (3-1 overall) will travel to Westhill Thursday.