September 14, 2012
Late scoring spree lifts Purple Tigers
Second-half outburst tops visiting Trojans, 5-1
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Homer Central’s Jekeytha Adkins (left) steals the ball from Cortland’s High’s Danae Becker in the second half of Thursday’s field hockey showdown. Host CHS won, 5-1.
A span of 6:50 in the second half told the story of the Cortland High field hockey team’s 5-1 OHSL Division II West win over visiting Homer Central Thursday afternoon on the Moiseichik Field turf.
The rivals were tied 1-1 at halftime, and it stayed that way until Purple Tigers sophomore forward Danae Becker proved what scored to be the game-winner 14 seconds past the midway point of the second half. From there the floodgates opened — as both coaches termed it — and the hosts scored three more goals in a span of 4:10 to win going away and even their league and overall records at 2-2 in the process.
The Trojans (0-3, 0-4) came in having scored just once this season but got on the board in quick fashion as senior forward Maria Urban scored her first goal of the season out of a scramble in front of CHS junior goalie Mikayla Cerio, the assist going to sophomore forward Morgan Hollenbeck.
“I think the girls were shockingly happy,” Homer coach Ellen Garrett said. “We’ve tried to focus on being more aggressive on the offensive end and it showed. We had some nice crossing passes and defense into corners, and hung in for a long time on a hot day. Our goalie, Lucia Ferro, is learning as she goes along.”
The visitors dominated play for about the first 10 minutes before things shifted. After a number of chances Cortland finally evened the score with 5:06 left until halftime as junior right wing Taylor Thomas put her team-leading third goal home past sophomore Ferro.
“It was a little disconcerting but I wasn’t worried because there was a lot of game left,’ Purple Tigers coach Jamie Brown said of the Trojans’ lightning strike. “The girls weren’t frustrated so much with not scoring as they were with some of the play at midfield, obstruction being called in us a number of times on 50-50 plays. I was concerned that we might get more physical because of that, which would have had more severe consequences.
“There wasn’t an assist given on our first goal, but Kelsey Block went to a pass from the top of the circle that was going out and forced their goalie to play it, which enabled Taylor to intercept it and score. I told the girls at halftime to keep the intensity up and try to set the pace of the game.”
“The ball came in, I got it and scored,” Thomas said. “It was a relief to tie the game and it definitely shifted the momentum. We came out in the second half with a lot more intensity after talking at halftime about not getting frustrated and keeping up the good work. We weren’t playing to our potential in the first half, and when we went ahead that gave us a lift.”
CHS largely carried the play in the second half but couldn’t get the go-ahead goal. Shortly after Brown called a timeout with 16:15 left, Becker put CHS ahead for good with her first varsity goal from close range just off the left-wing post, the assist going to junior forward-midfielder Bailey Potter.
“Bailey got the ball over to me on the post and I pushed it in,” Becker said. “It felt like that gave us a big lift, like it gave us with more intensity. We played a lot harder right after that, and scored more goals.”
Junior left wing Makayla Edwards got her first varsity goal , off an assist from Becker, with 12:06 left to make it 3-1. Junior center forward Ashley Carroll’s first varsity goal came at 9:49, junior forward Block with the assist, and junior left wing Emily Saracene, who also played midfield in the game, ended the onslaught, scoring her second goal of the season with 7:56 left after taking a pass from sophomore midfielder Erin Brown.
“We really didn’t let down until the third goal; then we deflated,” Garrett said. “We played for about 40 of the 60 minutes. We have a mix of veterans and new players, and are trying to get them to gel in the right positions.
“Jessica DeLine (sophomore) and (seniors) Deanna Levitskiy and Braeden Sharer played well at midfield — Jessica was played some at forward — and we also got good play from backs Kayla Cargen (senior) and Sophia Pizzola (freshman).”
Cortland had a 10-4 shot advantage in the game, Ferro with six saves while Cerio stopped three shots and freshman Aubrey Helchowski wasn’t called on to make any saves in the final 5:30.
Brown, whose team came in having scored three goals in three games this season, had no idea when she’d seen CHS score as many goals in such a rapid fashion, but said that “This gets the monkey off our back; it’s feast or famine. It feels like we struggle to score, then bang, bang, bang. I hope we commit this to memory.
“This was nice because some kids who are role players stepped up and got active. Potter did a good job off the bench at both midfield and forward, and Edwards played well at left wing, sealing off the post and getting herself in great position to score. We dropped (senior midfielder) Lydia Polley into a defensive spot because we held (junior right back) Kayli Holbrook out in the second half after she was injured in the first half.”
Brown noted that the fact that her team was facing its rival wasn’t a focus, but that “We wanted to get to .500 by getting the win and going from there.”
Cortland next plays on Monday, hosting Rome Free Academy in a non-leaguer at 5 p.m. at Moiseichik while the JV teams play at the same time on the grass field. Homer’s squads host Weedsport Wednesday at Butts Field, the varsity game starting at 6:30 p.m. with the JVs getting things started at 5 p.m.
There was no JV game Thursday due to a lack of available players for Cortland, which is now slated to host Homer Tuesday in a 4:30 p.m. start.
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