September 30, 2006


Homer remains unbeaten playing CBA to OT draw


Rich Barnes/contributing photographer
Homer Central’s Kindrah Kohne, left, is in a foot race with Syracuse CBA defender Mary Catanzarita for possession of the ball during Friday’s soccer showdown at Butts Field. The two teams played to a 1-1 overtime tie.

Sports Editor

Homer Central girls are still unbeaten in soccer.
That’s a nice consolation prize for the Trojans to embrace after going up against their nemesis of recent seasons on Friday evening, after playing talented Christian Brothers Academy to a 1-1 overtime standoff on a chilly Friday evening at Butts Field.
Sure the first-place, state-ranked Trojans would have enjoyed sweeping the regular season series against the defending OHSL Freedom Division and Section 3 Class A champions. Homer had opened the season with a 1-0 victory over this same foe.
But in this rematch of the division’s top two teams, the Trojans were unable to repeat that accomplishment.
First place Homer, which came into the game ranked fourth in this week’s Class A state poll and now stands 9-0-1, had the better of the opening 40 minutes. And the Trojans went up 1-0 when junior Kaylee Benz headed home a corner kick taken by senior midfielder Laura Buerkle with 5:22 left in that first half.
Second place Syracuse CBA, which had won four straight games coming into the game including a 1-0 victory over Cortland High a week ago, took over after intermission. The Brothers held Homer without a second half shot and scored an equalizer when junior midfielder Amanda Koval pounced on a rebound midway through that stanza.
A couple of 10-minute ‘sudden death’ overtime periods were relatively uneventful, except for the final seconds. Off a throw-in, the ball rolled untouched though the box in front of the Homer goal to unmarked CBA standout M.E. Lapham. The junior did not strike the ball solidly, however, and Trojans senior goalie Hillary Simon had no trouble gobbling up the game’s final dangerous scoring chance.
“We should have had two or three goals in the first half,” said Homer coach Jim Baranello afterwards. He also admitted The Brothers had the better of play in the latter stages of the second half.
“I think up to that point it was our game to win,” he added. “But they are a very good team. If we were going to tie them, now’s the time to do it.”
The Brothers have gotten better, too, since stumbling into the season with three consecutive losses.
 “The soccer is 10 times better. It has just been a matter of putting it all together,” said Coach Mike McQuatters after this encouraging effort, CBA 5-2-1 in league play and 5-4-1 overall. “Jim (Baranello) and I have a good relationship and we’re both excited. These are the kind games you want to play.”
HOMER DID MISS an opportunity to put CBA into even deeper first half trouble.
The Trojans best early scoring chance came 15 minutes into the game off a long free kick delivered by Buerkle from midfield. Meghan Finn caught up to that long ball and broke free, only to see her shot thud off the crossbar. And the Trojans failed to covert on an ensuing corner kick in front, too.
CBA had some early chances, especially a hard Lapham shot handled by Simon. But the Trojans were out-shooting The Brothers 8-3 in the half including shots curled on goal by Buerkle and Finn from the top of the box. Those shots offered little trouble for CBA keeper and Cortland native Grace Barnard.
Finally, on the fifth corner kick taken by Buerkle in the half, Homer converted. Benz was in perfect position to head that delivery inside left post for a 1-0 lead.
“It’s been our problem all year, we struggle early and shoot ourselves in the foot,” said CBA’s McQuatters. “Our first halves haven’t been what they should be, then we come on strong in the second half. We haven’t put 90 minutes together yet.”
The Brothers would pick things up, would put a lot of pressure on senior defenders Meghan Marchetti, Molly Siwula and their Trojan cohorts. And a bad break came when Homer lost sophomore Kazzondrah Kohne to a knee injury eight minutes into the second half.
Still, Homer had a chance to go up 2-0 in the second half only to have Barnard come out to smother a potential Finn breakaway off another long free kick delivered by Buerkle.
CBA WOULD FINALLY pull even with 21:31 left in regulation.
Though Simon came up with a shot struck from the left wing, the rebound was then to be taken. Koval pounced on that opportunity and the visitors were even at 1-1.
There were more scoring chances for CBA thwarted by the Trojans, including Simon saving a Sarah Paulus shot with 30 seconds left to play. The Homer goalie finished with seven saves in all.
“We had some midfield-defense problems in the second half. They changed their formation and we didn’t adjust to it very well,” said Baranello. “The trouble was, we didn’t take care of the ball at midfield. And when we did win it, we didn’ t do much with it.”
“But this was good for us,” he added, pleased to be 1-0-1 against a CBA team that defeated the Trojans in last year’s Class A title game.
  Homer can carry Friday’s lessons into the second half of the regular season, which resumes Monday with a 4:30 visit to Mexico for a Freedom Division game.
 HOMER JVs were 1-0 winners over Syracuse CBA to begin the evening, getting the decisive goal from Rayne Perry.



Westhill hands Homer first loss

Staff Writer

SYRACUSE — Mistakes, costly penalties and a strong right arm led to the first defeat of the 2006 season for Homer Central football.
Two Trojan turnovers, three key penalties and a strong 9-for-16, 193-yard passing performance by senior Dan Fetter helped the hometown Warriors post a 24-14 victory and sole possession of first-place in the Section 3 Class B West Division standings. Westhill is 4-0 in division play and 5-0 overall while Homer fall to 3-1, 4-1. It is also the only win by the Warriors, other than a 13-6 triumph in 1980, in 13 outings against the Trojans.
“We knew we had them out-gunned at the wideout spots and we took advantage of it,” Westhill coach Gary Griffo said. “A couple of times our wideouts opened up their defense, but Homer adjusted. We could then come back with the run. That made a big difference, because Dale (Ross) was able to pop the long one.”
“You have to commend their quarterback and wide receivers,” Homer coach Gary Podsiedlik said. “They made some big league plays tonight. The post pass was covered well, but the quarterback made a great throw. Both receivers made some great catches down the sideline.”
The long one that Griffo referred to was a 52-yard dash by Ross on the first play from scrimmage after Homer took a 14-7 lead in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Ross finished with 130 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns. Carter Cywilko kicked the extra point to knot the game at 14-14 with 7:57 left in the quarter.
After holding Westhill on the opening drive of the game, Homer marched 82 yards on eight plays to take a 7-0 lead with 3:23 left in the quarter. A roughing-the-passer penalty helped get the ball near midfield for the Trojans and a crucial 27-yard pass from Tristan Hartnett to Job Galeotti moved the ball to the Warrior 24-yard line. Three plays later, Brenchley (131 yards on 23 carries) dashed 12 yards for the touchdown. Talon Sprouse added the extra point for a 7-0 Trojan lead.
Ross gave Westhill good field position with a 21-yard kickoff return to the Westhill 41. Fetter completed two consecutive passes to Jim Ross for a total of 45 yards to the Trojan 14. After an encroachment penalty on Homer, three handoffs to Dale Ross, the final a one-yard blast, pulled Westhill even. Cywilko kicked the extra point to knot the score at 7-7 with 1:15 left in the quarter.



Beaten Purple pleased

Staff Writer

EAST SYRACUSE — The reactions of the two head football coaches involved in Friday night’s 35-0 victory by host East Syracuse-Minoa over Cortland High seemed to be reversed.
“I thought this was the best we’ve played all year,” Purple Tigers coach Jin Brown said as his team left the field after falling to 0-3 in the Section 3 Class A American Division and 0-5 overall. “The kids played with a lot of desire and heart, and if they keep playing like that we’re going to win a game, possibly next week’s game with Chittenango.”
“We’re playing so inconsistent,” ES-M coach Kevin DeParde said quietly, sitting in a chair in his office. He saw his Spartans (now 4-0 league and 4-1 overall) clinch at least a tie for the A American title and, more importantly, wrap up the league’s top seed for the sectional playoffs.
“Sloppy play allows people to stick around with you, and things can happen. The kids knew what they were going for, which is why I’m not happy,” he continued. “We’ve got to get better. It was Homecoming, with all the distractions, but if we don’t play better we could get slapped in the face early in sectionals. We have to get ready for the stretch run.
“We didn’t have the ball a lot in the first half tonight, but knew that we could move it if we could get it. Cortland came out in a 5-3 defense, which we didn’t think they would. It threw us off and it took us awhile to adjust.”
Cortland had the ball almost twice as long as ES-M in the first half, 15:29 to 8:31, but still trailed 21-0 at halftime.