September 20, 2006


Purple escape in OT

MEXICO — The Cortland High boys’ soccer team met a fired-up host in Mexico Tuesday evening, found itself behind early and didn’t pull even until late.
It then cut things close to claim a 3-2 OHSL Freedom Division victory, as Dan Leonard scored with three seconds left in the first sudden-death overtime period.
“Give Mexico a lot of credit,” said Purple Tigers coach Dan Law, whose team improved to 3-2 in league play and 4-2 overall with the win. “They played very hard, with a lot of tenacity — actually, they outplayed us for much of the game — and we came out gun-shy. We couldn’t seem to get our legs about us in the first half.
“I hope we learn a lesson from this, that you have to go into every game like it’s a playoff game,” added Law. “If we played as hard as Mexico did in every game, there are very few teams we’d lose to with our athleticism and talent.”
It didn’t take long for Mexico (1-3 league, 2-5 overall) to score, as Andy Horn found the net out of a scramble in front just 2:09 into the game. Cortland stepped its game up in the second half, Law noted, but still found itself down 2-0 when Dylan Vaughn scored on a breakaway down the left side 13:53 in.
It took Cortland just 27 seconds to answer that goal, as Theo Bishop scored from 18 yards out off an assist from Luka Starmer. Shortly thereafter Vaughn earned his second yellow card, which meant a red card and his ejection from the game, putting the hosts down a man the rest of the way.
Matt Marks, just having come back on after getting his first yellow card, sent a shot goal-ward from 40 yards out with 11 minutes left that went over the head of Mexico keeper Zac Hudgins.
Cortland had two near-misses in the remaining regulation time, including a miscommunication between two players in front of an open goal. Late in the first extra session Joel White came in on Hudgins, who lunged and deflected his shot to the right. Leonard then pounced on the loose ball and put it into the open net with three seconds left in the period to win the game.
“I’m proud of our resilience in being able to come back,” Law said. “It was nice to come away with a win, and hopefully a lesson was learned so we don’t find ourselves in that situation again.”
Cortland was out-shot 21-14 in the contest. Judd Arnold made seven saves in the first half in the winners’ nets, while Ryan Wiehl totaled five saves in the second half and overtime.
Cortland will host non-league opponent Marcellus at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the high school.
CORTLAND JVs beat Mexico 5-1 as David O’Neil led the way with three goals, two of them in the second half after the teams wee tied 1-1 at intermission.
Kyle Cute scored off an 18-yard direct kick to break the tie, and Andrew Hotchkiss had the other goal for the Purple Tigers (2-4-1). Logan Marks and Kachi Anumonwo shared goaltender duties in the first half, while Ben Darby was in the nets and shut the hosts out in the second half. The CHS trio combined for three saves as their team had a 19-5 shot advantage in the contest.

The Cortland JVs host Marcellus at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Barry School.



Trojans skid halted in overtime

Homer Central sophomore striker Paul Armideo was overdue.
Or as Trojans boy’s soccer coach Dave Shiffman put it: “I know Paul was chomping at the bit to put one in the back of the net.”
Armideo would get his first goal of the season in timely fashion Tuesday night at Butts Field, scoring with just 19.7 seconds left in the second overtime stanza as host Homer pulled out a_1-0 OHSL Liberty Division victory over_Bishop Ludden.
The victory also snapped a four-game losing skid for the Trojans, who has not tasted victory since a season-opening 1-0 triumph over Phoenix.
That Phoenix game was decided on a goal by freshman Luke Pedersen. This victory also featured Pedersen in vital role leading up to the Armideo game-winner.
Chesting a ball of the left flank, Pedersen turned towards goal and sent a dangerous ball in front of the Gaelic Knights’ goal. In the ensuing scramble, Armideo converted to end the proceedings. Pedersen picked up an assist on the play.
“There was much improvement, a lot better play from all of the players,” said Shiffman, Homer now 2-3 in the Liberty Division and 2-4 overall. “The passing and the sharing of the ball was much better today. We’ve been working on letting the ball do the work.”
Armideo, who did have three assists coming into the game, almost hooked up with senior Tim Mable making a run from the back to end the game early — just misconnecting on that chance. And Brett Capps also misfired on a scoring chance, one of several the Trojans had while enjoying a 29-8 shot advantage against Bishop Ludden.
Nothing clicked until the end of a second 10-minute extra session, sending the Gaelic Knights home with a 1-4 Liberty Division and 2-4-1 overall record.
Senior Joe May had a handful of saves to earn the shutout, Coach Shiffman feeling junior Shawn Cleary had his best game of the season at the defensive end. Paul Zimmerman’s hustle, beating his man to the ball again and again, was part of a solid defensive effort that included Mable and Dan DiGiovonna. Jack Kissel and Brent Quinlan also played well at midfield for the Trojans.
And Homer was without senior Pat Cleary and junior Forrest Young to foot problems, which made things tougher in a game that nearly stretched to 100 minutes.
The Trojans are at Skaneateles for a 5:30 p.m. Liberty Division outing Thursday, and will play at 11 a.m. Saturday morning at Cortland High.
HOMER JVs were 4-0 winners over Bishop Ludden behind a three-goal performance from Brett Stokoe, though the Trojans did lose Shane Davis with a broken tibia as result of a collision late in the first half.
Jason Rogers also scored for Homer, while goalie Johanne Helgren earned the shutout with two saves.