September 16, 2009
Trojans trim feisty Purple Tigers
Pedersen’s first half goal the difference
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Eric Burch (23) of Cortland High and Keefe Garrett of Homer chase after a loose ball, along with Kyle Davis in the background, Tuesday night at Butts Field. Homer nipped its soccer rival, 1-0.
It was a well-played OHSL Freedom Division boys’ soccer game. Much of the play took place between the 18s and both Cortland High and Homer Central mounted few dangerous scoring chances.
In the end, however, one set play by the Trojans was the difference as Homer captured the 1-0 win under the lights at George Butts Field over the visiting Purple Tigers Tuesday.
Both teams are now 1-1 in league play, Homer 3-2 overall while Cortland falls to 1-3.
It was the same set play that Homer has netted two other goals with this season, though the combination was slightly different. This time Brett Stokoe and Carl Zimmerman began with the touch and stop. Luke Pedersen followed with a strong shot from 25 yards out. the ball deflected off the right post and into the goal with 28:51 left in the first half.
It was Pedersen’s first goal this season to go with three assists.
“We’ve been working on the play a lot in practice,” said Pedersen. “We actually have been kidding Carl that he was giving away secrets, but, knock on wood, the play is still working.
“We have been playing well because of all the hard work,” the senior continued. “It all begins with Carl and the guys in the back. They work to get the ball to us up front.”
Statistically, the game was as close as the score. Each team had eight shots, but few were on goal. Keeper Johannes Helgren made three saves to record his first shutout of the season for Homer. Ben Darby was equally tough in goal for Cortland as he made two saves.
“Cortland is much improved over last year,” said Homer coach Dave Shiffman. “They played really, really well. To that end, I am really proud of my guys for keeping them off the scoreboard.
“I thought Johannes played really well,” Shiffman continued. “He got a clean sheet with his first shutout. There weren’t a lot of saves, but he came out (of the goal) well and got to the ball. This was the most energetic he has been in a game. Johannes has had three good games in a row with this being the best.”
Homer missed a chance at a 2-0 lead when Stokoe had a 20-yard chip shot sail just over the cross bar with 16:55 to play in the first half.
CORTLAND HAD two great chances after. Josh Tomko chipped a ball off a throw-in that Helgren jumped high and grabbed with 13:05 left in the half. Three minutes later, another crossing ball from the right flank entered the box. Helgren went high for the ball and had his hands on it when he collided with Eric Burch. The ball bounced free and Tomko rifled the rebound off the crossbar.
That would be the best scoring threats in the first half.
Two minutes into the second half, Cortland lofted the ball into the box, but Helgren punched this one out while in a crowd, but the best scoring chance for the Purple Tigers came with 24 minutes remaining. Adam Bushnell sent a through ball to P.J. Mahar who tracked the ball down near the end line. Mahar crossed the ball. It got by Helgren and Tomko was by the back post. Tomko had a open net, but banged another shot off the post and away from the goal.
There were few chances after that by either team as the Trojans finished their fifth one-goal game in five outings.
“It seemed like the stats would be in our favor,” said Cortland coach Nick Kline. “All but the goals. That’s the heartbreaker, to lose a game where the guys busted their butts off. We played big much of the game. I really have nothing negative to say.
“It’s easier to lose a game when you make a lot of mistakes or the guys don’t do what they are suppose to do. Tonight, the guys things you wanted and you like to see them rewarded for their hard work. It will come and we will get the wins. We have the ability and the talent. I know it will start happening,”
WHO DID THE coaches think played well?
“Tyler Camp had his best game of the year,” said Shiffman. “He played the entire second half on the outside and never came off the field. He played strong and didn’t feel tired after the game. Kyle Clark played well at sweeper.”
“I thought Adam Burch did well,” said Kline. “He tried him at a couple different positions tonight. He played in back and he played in the midfield.”
Cortland will look for the elusive second victory Thursday as the Purple Tigers host Chittenango at 4:30 p.m. in OHSL Freedom Division action. Homer will return to Freedom Division play Thursday as the Trojans host Mexico at 6:30 p.m. on George Butts Field.
CORTLAND JVs used first-half goals from Vinnie Bellardini and Mike Van Donsel to edge Homer 2-1.
Bellardini gave the Purple Tigers (2-1 overall) with 30:41 left in the half with Van Donsel tallying 17 minutes later. Eamonn Mahar assisted on Van Donsel’s goal.
“We played an awesome first half,” said Cortland coach Tom Dovi. “We controlled the ball. We set up good scoring opportunities.
“It was just the opposite in the second half,” Dovi continued. “Homer had the momentum. Chad Timmons made some great saves and we came away with the win.”
Midway through the second half, Homer (1-4) got a rebound goal by Nate McLyman. The play began with a save by Timmons (nine saves) on a penalty kick. The rebound came loose and McLyman got the third shot off in the scramble and netted the Trojan goal. Homer kept the pressure on, but could not score the equalizer.
“We were a little flat in the first half,” said Homer coach Chad Totman. “We made a couple of defensive mistakes and it cost us.
“We played a much better second half,” he continued. “We had better intensity and that led to more scoring opportunities. We just missed a couple times.”
Ian Heath made eight saves in goal for Homer.
Cortland will return to action Thursday as the JV Tigers host Chittenango at 4:30 p.m. at Barry Elementary. Homer JVs will host Mexico Thursday at 4:30 p.m. on George Butts Field.
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