September 14, 2011


Purple Tigers upend Trojans

Thomas tally gives CHS 1st win

Field HockeyBob Ellis/staff photographer
Kristy Litzenberger (right) of Cortland High keeps the ball from Madison Bossard of Homer Central Tuesday night at Butts Field. Visiting CHS was a 1-0 winner.

Staff Writer

This was an early season match-up where both local field hockey teams were looking for not only that initial win of the season, but that first elusive goal, too.
So it was mission accomplished for visiting Cortland High on Tuesday night, thanks to Taylor Thomas being in the right place at the right time against rival Homer Central.
The Purple Tigers sophomore capitalized on a weak clearing attempt by Homer and fired a hard, clean shot into the cage with 22:22 left in the first half. That Thomas tally proved to be the only goal of the night as the Purple Tigers posted a 1-0 OHSL West Division win on the Trojans’ Butts Field turf .
Cortland improves to 1-1 in league and overall play. Homer falls to 0-2, 0-3 overall.
It was the first varsity point for Thomas and one of the highlights of the night.
“It was nice to play with a lead,” Cortland coach Jamie Brown said. “We were hoping for a little more to show for it, but it didn’t happen. I hope it is something that carries over to the next game. We broke the ice and I hope we continue it that direction.
“It was nice to see Taylor get her first varsity goal,” she added.
While neither team was overly dominant, the late game flurry over the final eight minutes by Homer was a product of a deeper bench. The Trojans have 21 players, the Purple Tigers are a thin 13-player squad. All but one penalty corner from each team occurred in the second half.
“I think that part of it, in general, was we’re young,” Coach Brown said of the late game push by the home team. “When it was crunch time, we got a little helter-skelter. The reaction is a semi-panic mode, but we survived it. It just has more to do with maturity.
“Practice is tougher with just 13 players,” she continued. “We can’t do 11-on-11. It’s been fine in games so far. We have kids who can play multiple spots. We have good senior leadership and the younger players are coming along. We have some nice combinations out there.”
The senior leadership comes from goalkeeper Maggie Brown and her classmates Sarah Hartnett, Zakarra Butts, Alex Pallasino, Gabrielle DiSanto, Kristy Litzenberger and Hannah Bistocci. The younger players Brown referred to were Thomas and sophomore Morgan Larkin along with freshman Erin Brown.
CORTLAND TOOK SIX of its nine shots in the first half. Homer had four second-half shots and seven total. LeeAnne Pedrick made three of her four saves in the first half for the Trojans.
The Trojans did get four shots, mostly off the four penalty corners chances late in the game, but Maggie Brown stood tall with three of her four saves down the stretch.
“I am proud of the girls,” Homer coach Ellen Garrett said. “They really hung in there. We played our best game of the season. They hustled to the ball better.
Kayla Cargen cleared the ball well tonight,” she continued. “She brought the ball up the field several times and really hustled all over. She did a great job as did Adrianna Pizzola. Both freshmen (Madison Bossard, Morgan Hollenbeck) started because they didn’t know about Maggie Brown so they weren’t afraid of her and went right to the goal with the ball. Chelsea Beard was also aggressive and attacked with the ball well.”
Three games into the season and still no goals. The Trojans came close and Coach Garrett knows its just a matter of time.
“We’ll break through soon,” she predicted. “We got the ball in the circle better tonight and we got some shots because of it. I was happy we stayed with Cortland. The stats were pretty even. I’m happy with the way we played.”
Cortland will return to action Thursday as the Purple Tigers host Fayetteville-Manlius in a 4:30 crossover game. Homer will host East Syracuse-Minoa Thursday on Butts Field at 6:30 p.m.
HOMER JVs and Cortland High battled to a 0-0 draw in the opening game of the field hockey card Tuesday night. Freshman goalkeeper Mackenzie Brown played a solid game with three saves, Purple Tigers sophomore keeper Mikayla Cerio recorded two saves. Cortland is 0-1-1 this season. Homer now stands at 0-1-2.
“I was happy with the way we played,” Cortland coach Maureen White said. “We get better each game and are progressing well. The defense was much improved. We knew where the ball was and reacted well. Offensively, we passed the ball better. I think the turf helped with that. We just need to finish scoring opportunities.”
“The girls did an amazing job and really wanted that first win,” Homer coach Kori Buhr said. “ We got a number of breakaways chances from forwards Erin Corsi, Jessica Deline and Jessica Cargen. They communicated well and called for the ball.”
Buhr also praised the play of Brittney McCorduck, Dani Angell, Erica Barhite, Hannah Stoddard and Lindsay VanDeusen. White praised the play of center-midfielder Kayli Holbrook for her hustle at both ends of the field.
Homer JVs will host ES-M JVs Thursday at 5 p.m. on Butts Field. Cortland High will host Fayetteville-Manlius JVs at 6 p.m.


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