September 29, 2011


Trojans heart broken with overtime setback

SoccerBob Ellis/staff photographer
Drew Christopher (5) of Homer Central heads the ball over Admir Osmanovic of Solvay Wednesday at Butts Field. Solvay won 2-1 in overtime.

Staff Writer

It was there for the taking, but it was a game of missed opportunities as Homer Central boys lost a soccer heartbreaker Wednesday night.
After the Trojans controlled most of the play, it was Yurly Zdebskyy converting a breakaway pass from Nathan Antonacci with 47 seconds left in the second overtime that lifted visiting Solvay to a 2-1 OHSL Liberty Division win over the Trojans at George Butts Field.
The Trojans drop to 2-4 in league play and 3-5 overall. Solvay improves to 4-5.
“The kids played hard,” Homer coach Dave Shiffman said. “We lacked a little intensity in the first half and it cost us, but with the urging of the coaching staff the guys responded with a higher work rate. The intensity picked up and we had our chances to win this game.
“To work so hard to tie the game like we did late in the game,” he added. “To control so much of the play, this is a very tough loss.”
Solvay capitalized early on the home team’s sluggish start. The Bearcats scored just 3:36 into the match when David Matsyuk ripped a shot from 40 yards out. Matsyuk perfectly place rocket found the lower left corner, just inside the post as the ball eluding a diving Taylor Withiam (four saves) for the 1-0 lead.
Twice more well-placed through balls by Solvay forced Withiam to hustle out from the goal to grab the ball.
Shiffman turned to the bench with 29 minutes left in the half as Zach Randall and Travis Curatolo entered the game. The moves sparked the Trojan offense. A quick shot out of a crowd of people banged off the crossbar and the rebound came right back to Homer for a second chance. The shot again hit the crossbar and bounced away.
On two other ocasions, Homer’s Drew Christopher was turned away — the first on a header and later a rocket smacked off the crossbar with 1:55 left in the half.
From the 12 minutes remaining mark of the first half, Solvay did get some good looks at the goal. All five chances resulted in shot going wide.
Homer started the second half much quicker. Isak Nilsson tried a right-wing shot towards the near post that Bearcat goalkeeper Christian Salvagni (five saves) stopped. Andras Toszer got a great look with 2:09 into the half, but missed the wide open net. The Trojans had 11 corner kicks in the half and did not generate a shot, but kept the ball in the attacking zone. With 8:45, Homer had a great scoring chance when Christopher took a pass he blasted a shot for 12 yards out. Unfortunately, the ball was right into Salvagni’s chest.
With 3:55 remaining in regulation time, Homer finally broke through. Christopher launched a direct kick from 35 years out. Toszer leaped and headed the ball into the near corner to tie the game at 1-1.
The Trojans continued to attack. Toszer chipped a ball over the cross bar from 10 yards out with two minutes remaining in regulation Solvay also got one last chance, but Antonacci fanned on an open-net shot with 25 seconds to go and the game moved into overtime.
Homer had two chances in the first overtime to win the game. Zac Moore headed a ball over the cross bar in the first minute and Spence Hartnett sent a 40-yard floater just over Salvagni and the cross bar.
The Trojans got three more chances in the second overtime. Toszer rushed a shot in the second minute and shot wide, Hartnett sent a corner kick on goal, but the ball was deflected out of bounds and Moore ripped a hard cross that Salvagni grabbed with 2:44 to play.
Solvay got only one chance in either overtime and converted. Antonacci reached a ball near the middle of the field some 45 yards from the goal and sent a perfect pass behind a Trojan defender. Zdebskyy got to the ball with a wide open look and ripped the shot into the far left corner for the game winner.
Homer returns to non-league action Saturday hosting Cincinnatus at 2 p.m. on Butts Field.
HOMER JVs evened its record at 4-4 with a dominating 5-0 shutout of visiting Solvay.
Bradley Sovocool got Homer on the scoreboard in the fifth minute of play, Sovocool converted a a nice pass from Kyle Hirschfield. Four minutes later, the Trojans led 2-0 when John Ousterhoudt used to speed to reach a through ball from Anthony Levitskiy and beat the goalkeeper.
Homer tallied three more times during second half play. It was the same Hirschfield to Sovocool combination for the 3-0 lead with 25:13 remaining in the match. The fourth and fifth goals came with 12:23 and 6:25 left. Both goals were finishes by Mark Harris off direct kicks from Drew Potter.
“The second goal by Mark was just outside the box and we executed a set play to the tee,” Homer coach Chad Totman said of the Harris goal. “Mark had a great shot on net. It was the perfect way to finish the game.”
Jake Gray made nine saves for the Trojans to earn the shutout. Homer hosts Cincinnatus Saturday at noon on Butts Field.


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