September 15, 2007


Purple Tigers pull away from Mexico


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland High’s Emily VanGorder (10) and Natalie Muka (4) get a scoring opportunity after the ball eludes Mexico goalkeeper Anika Perkins, but fail to convert.  Unbeaten CHS was a 4-1 winner.

After a bit of a stumble in the first half Friday and finding themselves in a tie game early in the second, the Cortland High girls’ soccer team came on strong to score a 4-1 OHSL Freedom Division victory over visiting Mexico.
“We had numerous scoring opportunities during the first half,” Purple Tigers coach Abbey Albright said, her team now 3-0 in league play and 5-0 overall. “Shot placement and finishing didn’t go our way in that half, despite the 28 shots we had. We were fortunate enough during the second half to be able to finish three goals on 14 shots in order to secure the win.
“Casey Marks and Caitlin Stevens played a solid game for us tonight. Both were very aggressive and stepped it up to show the other girls what needed to take place in order to come out of the game successful.”
CHS junior forward Katherine Hunsberger scored the game’s only first-half goal one minute in, intercepting a misplayed clear, getting by a defender to the left and putting the ball inside the far post.
Mexico tied the score just 1:31 into the second half as Chelsee Cleveland dribbled through the Purple Tiger defense and scored from the left side. Cortland junior forward-midfielder Casey Marks got the game-winner at 31:56, scoring to the far post from the left side after eluding a defender.
Senior forward Natalie Muka scored from the top of the 18 just 52 seconds later, dribbling a few times and finishing after a pass from Emily VanGorder on the left side. Muka finished the scoring out with 4:28 left, taking a pass from Hunsberger and dribbling up the middle past two Mexico players before hitting the back of the net.
Cortland had a total of 42 shots in the game to 8 for Mexico. Purple Tiger goalie Hannah Polanko-Baker made three saves in the game to 13 for Mexico’s Arika Perkins.
CHS visits Fulton on Tuesday.






Raiders roll past CHS

Second half surge tames Purple Tigers, 53-13

Staff Writer

FULTON — “Now we’ll see what we’re made of.”
With those few words, Cortland High football coach Dave Darrow summed up the state of his team, which had played two good games and was 1-1 heading into Friday night’s Section 3 Class A American test against a powerful Fulton squad. The CHS head man had just seen his charges dismantled 53-13 by a Red Raider outfit that was still smarting over a narrow 34-33 road loss a week earlier to defending league and sectional Class A champion East Syracuse-Minoa.
“We could play them a bunch of times and not beat them, not this year,” said Darrow said, shaking his head. “They took us apart. We were getting beat up on defense; we were maxed out. Fulton is very methodical, and when you get behind like we did there’s only so much you can do.”
The Purple Tigers were coming off the emotional high of having downed a highly-regarded Mexico squad 20-8 at Moiseichik Field one week before. Obviously, their hosts were not impressed.
Fulton (2-1) had 10 possessions in the game and scored on eight of them. The other two were stopped due to halftime and the end of the game. The Red Raiders didn’t punt once in the contest.
Cortland, on the other hand, trailed by only 18-13 at intermission but ran only 13 plays from scrimmage (for 17 yards of total offense) in the second half, punting after three downs on its first three possessions of the half and losing the ball via fumble and interception, respectively, on the last two.
Fullback D.J. Ingham, a 6-2, 215-pound sophomore, led the way for the hosts, picking up 168 yards on 16 carries with three rushing touchdowns and catching three passes for 52 yards and another TD, all in just three quarters of work. Junior tailback Edison Marsh, meanwhile, picked up 98 yards on 11 carries and ran for a pair of TDs, while senior quarterback Mike Clark lugged the ball eight times for 91 yards.
A pair of reserve running backs, senior Jeff Landers and junior Allen El Mare, had one touchdown each. Ingham also had a conversion run, and senior David Williams added three conversion kicks.
All told, Fulton out-gained Cortland 530-193 on the night, including 443-73 on the ground. Clark threw only four passes in the game and completed all four for a total of 82 yards and the TD to Ingham.
Junior tailback Brandon Fitzgerald was the top Purple Tiger rusher with 35 yards on six carries, while junior fullback Josh Morehouse scored a rushing TD. Cortland’s other TD came on a 50-yard pass play from quarterback A.J. Meldrim (6-for-11 in the air for 120 yards and the TD) to freshman tailback Dyquann Barlow, who cut in front of teammate Steve Wright at the Fulton 25 as a pair of Red Raider defenders crashed together and scored prior to Levi Walrath’s conversion kick.




Trojans can’t stop Mustangs QB

Staff Writer

MARCELLUS — Will Fiacchi is the real deal. Barring some sort of injury, the sophomore quarterback at Marcellus Central is going to be a name people will hear a lot about.
Fiacchi completed 14-of-24 passing attempts for 219 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Mustangs to a 19-14 Section 3 Class B West Division football win over visiting Homer Central Friday night. Of course, Fiacchi did most of his damage before the 40-minute delay for lightning that dragged this game well behind three hours.
The win improves Marcellus to 3-0 in division and overall play and leaves the Mustangs in a first-place tie with Westhill — the Warriors a 31-13 winner at Solvay last night.
The Trojans fall to 0-3, and have not lost their opening three contests since the 2002 season.
“Homer did a nice job of adjusting to our ground game,” said Marcellus head coach Joe Goss after his team snapped a five-game losing streak to the Trojans. “(Andy) Caster has a swollen knee and a small tear so he did not play tonight. Hopefully, he can go next week against Westhill.
“Homer bracketed (Jeff) Watson well,” Goss continued. “Will was able to adjust to that and found some other receivers. It really turned into a good game.”
Homer did rush for 265 yards, 101 coming from Brandon Simonetta, including a five-yard scoring dash in the third quarter to pull Homer to within 13-7. Mike Park added an 80-yard touchdown gallop with 7:27 left in the game as the Trojans got to within 19-14.
“That darn (Park) run turned things around, but we made some keys stops when we had to,” said Goss. “Caster is also our middle linebacker and, I will need to see the tape, but our kid in there did not make the play and the trap really worked well for them.”
“Our offense is coming around,” said Homer head coach Gary Podsiedlik. “Our guys prepared well. We did give up the quick touchdown, but our defense settled down. Overall, I thought we did a good job. We do need to score more points.
“Fiacchi did a nice job of recognizing where the open receiver was,” Podsiedlik added. “No. 88 (Dan Knickerbocker) made a couple of nice catches, one was when he had two guys around him. Athletically, their receivers did make some good catches in traffic, knowing that they were going to get hit.”