September 15, 2010
Special Trojans rally
Coach Baranello earns 100th victory nipping rival CHS 2-1
Jim Baranello reached a milestone as the Homer Central girls’ soccer coach Tuesday afternoon.
The circumstances made it even more special.
Senior forward Rayne Perry scored once in each half as the Trojans rallied past host Cortland High 2-1 in an early-season clash of unbeatens, giving Baranello his 100th victory since he began coaching the team in 2003.
“It’s nice, I guess,” Baranello, now 100-35-6 early in his eighth season as coach, said with a smile when asked his thoughts about hitting the century mark in wins. “If you’re around long enough, you’ll win enough games. I enjoy coaching the Homer girls. Every game is a lot of fun. And any time you get a win against Cortland it’s a good win. They’re an excellent team, and always play us tough. I knew it would be a close game.”
“Good for him,” Purple Tigers coach Abbey Albright said after giving Baranello a congratulatory hug upon learning of his accomplishment. “He deserves it. He puts a lot of time into coaching those girls, and he and his team should be very proud.”
Cortland, which lost for the first time in three OHSL Freedom American Division games and four contests overall this fall, took the lead 4:13 into the game with what turned out to be its only goal. Sophomore forward Rachel Prentice came down the middle, took a pass from senior midfielder Taylor Reynolds on the left side and beat Homer junior goalkeeper Jessica Mitchell to the ball, running through it and putting it into the net.
Prentice just missed making it 2-0 three minutes later, shooting just wide to the right from the top of the box off a nice feed from junior forward Erika Faberzak. Purple Tiger senior goalkeeper Amanda Shelley kept the lead for her team, turning aside a shot from Trojan senior midfielder Kindra Kohne, who came in alone on her down the near left side.
Perry tied the game for Homer (2-0 league, 3-0 overall) 19:31 before halftime, bringing the ball in from the left side, maintaining possession after Shelley slid out and deflected it and finding the back of the net past sliding Cortland senior defender Kaylee Gebhardt.
“I just made a run, got a good pass and shot when the keeper went down,” Perry said.
“At the half (the teams tied 1-1) we talked about doing what we do well,” Baranello said, “which is keeping possession of the ball and keeping it on the ground. Cortland is good at keeping the ball in the air, and made us scramble, but when it’s on the ground we able to control it and settle things, which helped us in the second half.”
Cortland was able to carry the play for a good part of the second half, though Perry had the first good chance from the left side 9:05 in. Mitchell and her defense were up to the task, however, and Perry got what proved to be the game-winner off a short corner kick. Sophomore midfielder Emma Porter nudged the corner kick to Kindrah Kohne, took a return pass and got it into the middle to Perry, who headed it over Shelley and under the bar with 15:28 left.
“On a play like that I try to stay outside until the ball comes in,” Perry said of her second goal of the game and fourth of the season. “We try to mix it up between long and short corner kicks. We were able to hold them off in the second half, I think, because we’re just really fit, so we used that as well as our skill.”
“We don’t use the short kick very often,” Baranello said. “We use it when we think things are unsettled enough that it can create a little havoc. I thought Cortland was on their heels, and using it would be a good thing.”
Mitchell wasn’t severely tested once her team had the lead, a leaping grab of a high cross from the left side with 11:15 left her only tough test down the stretch.
“We had some great opportunities in the second half but weren’t shooting on target,” Albright said. “It just wasn’t there to get the goal we needed. We knew Homer is strong up the middle and talked about getting the ball outside, especially at the beginning of the second half. We just had a few too many mistakes in the back. We gave up six corner kicks to Homer (while taking just one), and when you do that you know they’re going to finish one — and they did.
“Being down we knew what we needed, and at about the seven-minute mark it started to be a nervous game for the girls. When Homer gets the ball up top they’re a very dangerous team, with speed on the outside. Kindrah is able to deliver the ball or dribble in on her own; she’s an outstanding player. She directs her teammates on where to go and will tell the goalie when to slow down her punts. And she does it with class.”
“I got great play from my four seniors — Rayne and Kindrah up top, and Kourtenee Kohne (senior center back, Kindrah’s sister) and Katelyn Buchanan (senior outside back) in back,” Baranello said. “Abbey made some changes in the second half that helped them; one was to put (sophomore defender) Amanda DeGraff on Rayne, which was a smart move. Rayne is tough to contain, and Amanda did a good job.”
“I’m very proud of the girls,” Albright said. “We knew it would be a close game, and they fought the whole time. It was evenly fought throughout.”
Baranello hadn’t mentioned to his team that he was nearing the 100-win mark, and Perry was surprised when she found out after the game. “It’s cool,” she said with a smile. “I don’t think anyone knew; it’s cool to be a part of that.”
Cortland had a 16-13 shot advantage in the contest, Mitchell making 10 saves to five for Shelley.
Both teams next play on Thursday, the Trojans hosting Mexico at 7 p.m. and the Purple Tigers visiting Phoenix in a 4:30 p.m. start.
CORTLAND JVs beat Homer 4-2 to stay undefeated through four games this season. Ciara Tallman scored in the first minute, Kennedy Cook in the 23rd and Talia Cruz in the 39th, all unassisted, as CHS took a 3-0 halftime lead.
Homer’s Jekeytha Adkins scored unassisted in the 44th and 76th minutes of the second half, sandwiched around an own goal by the Trojans (0-3). Purple Tigers goalie Amanda Edwards made two saves while Homer’s Lindsay Sears stopped 10 shots, the winners with an 14-4 shot advantage.
“I was encouraged that we were able to put together some offensive opportunities today that we have not been successful with thus far,” Homer coach Allison Cook said. “Lindsay had a strong performance for us as well.”
The Cortland JVs host Tully at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Barry School, while Homer hosts Mexico at 5 p.m. the same day.
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