October 6 , 2006


Heated rivalry ends in tie
CHS plays host Homer to 2-2 draw

Field Hockey

Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Homer’s Jenae Griffith (center) hits the turf as Janelle Stegeland (7) of Cortland brings the ball upfield while Ashley Brown of Homer closes in. In background is CHS goalie Chelsea Snyder. The two field hockey rivals played to 2-2 OT tie.

Staff Writer

The only people who were cold were the fans huddled in heavy coats and under blankets at George W, Butts Field as Homer Central girls hosted neighboring rival Cortland High in OHSL West Division field hockey action.
The two teams enjoyed a heated renewal of their rivalry that ended in a 2-2 overtime tie where both teams had chances to win Thursday night.
For Homer, it was nearly as good as a win as the Trojans did fold not under the pressure and were without two key players. Vickie Smith is out with an illness and Sarah Redfield missed the game because of fluid on her knee.
“The girls were walking off the field slowly with their heads down and I was really excited,” Homer coach Kate Smith said. “The girls gave it their all. They really hustled and it was an even game overall. It was an awesome game and I do consider it a win for us. I was pleased by the effort our girls gave.”
“I have had to juggle things around lately. Shannon Davis stepped in at sweeper tonight for Sarah and did a nice job. Our defense did play well tonight.”
“It was an exciting game. I though there might be a little déjà vu at the end,” said Cortland coach Jamie Brown, whose team had rallied to beat Homer 3-2 back on Sept. 12. “Unfortunately, we could not pull it out tonight. Both teams had an outstanding effort. I cannot complain about the effort our girls gave.”
Homer (1-3-1 division, 4-6-1 overall) started quickly earning its only penalty corner just 2:20 into the match after Jenae Griffith applied pressure in the circle. While nothing came off the set play, the Trojans did score 67 seconds later when Bailey O’Donnell threaded a nice pass through one Cortland defender to Ashley Brown. The junior stopped, pulled the ball back and then fired a shot past Purple Tiger goalkeeper Chelsea Snyder for a 1-0 lead. It was the seventh goal of the season for Brown.
Cortland tried to build some momentum, but Homer effectively counterattacked to maintain its advantage. The best Cortland scoring attack came with 23:03 left in the half as a shot out of the pack went wide of the cage.
Cortland continued to control play more as play stayed in the Trojan defensive half of the field. Cortland got the ball in the circle repeatedly earning seven of its nine first-half penalty corners during that stretch, but the Homer defense responded and never gave up a shot. The halftime score remained 1-0.
The Purple Tigers continued to apply pressure as second half play began. After two penalty corners in the first minute, Cortland got the equalizer as Molly SanJule got her seventh goal of the season on a deflection shot from Melanie delRosario with 28:51 left.
“Molly SanJule did put on quite an exhibition,” Brown said. “It was a good exhibition of dribbling and control with the ball.”
Play went back and forth as Homer retook the lead with 21:17 left Elaina Jones banged home a shot that deflected off the pads of Snyder for a 2-1 lead. The goal was the third of the season for Jones.
SanJule immediately got a great breakaway chance on the next restart, but Trojan goalkeeper Stef Lewis came out and made a great kick save to clear the ball away.
With 12:12 left in regulation time, Cortland tied the game at 2-2 when Jen White got her second goal of the season on a deflection of a Janelle Stegeland pass.
Though Homer began to mount some pressure in the final 10 minutes of the second half, the best two scoring chances were created by SanJule for Cortland. The first chance came with 6:48 left as Lewis again denied SanJule with a kick save. The second chance with 3:06 on the clock when White tipped a pass wide of the cage.
In the 10-minute overtime, Cortland had a penalty corner in the first minute, but SanJule fanned on the shot after a nice pass from Stegeland. It would be the best scoring chance the Purple Tigers would get as Cally Weddle shut down any more good rushes by SanJule and her teammates. Weddle used good foot movement and stick-work to repeatedly take the ball away.
“Cally has an awesome game, offensively and defensively,” Smith said. “She is a solid midfielder and plays on the dominant strong-stick side Cally works her butt off and really hustles all the time. She has great stamina and endurance. She knows the game so well and that is what I had her back on defense in overtime. I knew she was the one player who could push the ball up on offense and still be the first person back on defense.”
Griffith, O’Donnell and Lindsay Wilson all had hard drives go wide in the final six minutes for Homer and Snyder stopped another shot by O’Donnell during that stretch.
The Trojans got one last chance with 50 seconds left, but the free hit by Weddle as went wide and the clock would run out.
Other than penalty corners, which Cortland enjoyed a 13-1 advantage, shot and saves were close. The Purple Tigers had eight shots to seven by Homer. Lewis made four saves and Snyder two.
“We did have a lot of advantage time with the penalty corners,” Brown said. “We had some good looks, but we just did not get the extra touch or tip that we needed to get the ball by the keeper.”
Cortland High will return to action Tuesday as the Tigers host Liverpool in non-league action at 4 p.m. Homer Central will hit the road Tuesday for a 4:30 p.m. division clash at Port Byron.
HOMER JVs picked up a big win Thursday as the Trojans (3-5-3 overall) posted a 3-1 victory over Cortland High.
Mckenzie Sullivan for Homer and Paige Reynolds of Cortland (1-6-2) exchanged goals in the first half as the teams were deadlocked at 1-1.
Abbey Phelps scored the game-winner 1:47 into second-half play as the Trojans took a 2-1 lead. Michele Soule added an insurance goal to give Homer a two-goal margin.
Lindsay VanLiew made two saves for Homer in the first half with Rachel Ryan one save during second half action. Amanda Nauseef had four saves for Cortland in the first half with Maggie Brown stopping 10 shots in the second half.




Kean QB knows all about the Dragons

Sports Editor

The last time dangerous Kean University quarterback A.J. Roque visited town it proved to be a harrowing experience.
That’s because an ornery SUNY Cortland defense set a school record with a dozen sacks during that 2004 match-up of New Jersey Athletic Conference football foes, Kean suffering a 49-17 loss.
“A.J.’s pretty familiar with their defensive linemen and linebackers. I’m sure it is something that has to be in the back of his mind,” said Kean coach Dan Garrett with a bit of a chuckle prior to Saturday’s return trip to the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex.
Garrett points out Roque now has 23 games as a starter under his belt. And under this first-year head coach the Cougars are a different team that does more than depend upon the vast athletic talents of the 6-foot, 180-pound Roque.
Still, in last week’s 50-30 win over Buffalo State in the Cougars home and NJAC opener, Roque passed for 271 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two other score two touchdowns and ran for two more That is why this showdown, Kean (3-1) and Cortland (4-0) scheduled to kick things off at 1 p.m., is so intriguing.
“They’re totally different than they have been in the past. They’ve totally rearranged their offensive philosophy,” said Cortland head coach Dan MacNeill. “I think they’ve thrown out the pass first and run second philosophy, and now they run first and pass second.”
Of course running against the Red Dragons, who should have senior inside linebacker and team captain Matt Montpetit back in the lineup after missing last Saturday’s 30-14 win over William Paterson with a shoulder injury, is never easy. And that’s where Garrett sees Cortland with an edge in this game, as the Cougars look for their first win in a series that has seen the Red Dragons win all 10 games.
“Both offensives have a ton of weapons and you have two outstanding quarterbacks who are both playmakers,” said Garrett, comparing Roque to Cortland junior signal called Alex Smith. In last week’s win over William Paterson, Smith threw for two touchdowns and run for another.
“I think Cortland’s defense is a little better than we are right now. They return all those people in the line and then they have Stef sitting there on the hash mark,” said Garrett, thinking of All-America Red Dragon defenders like tackle Adam Haas and safety Stef Sair. “It’s a matter of our defense stepping up, and we haven’t done that yet.”
GARRETT WAS THE defensive coordinator at Kean for the past three seasons prior to his promotion to the head job. He was a former defensive end and linebacker at Montclair State who understands the defensive task facing his Cougars.
Quarterback Smith has completed 61 percent of his passes this season, covering 776 yards. He has seven touchdown passes through four games, with senior Drew Lascari leading a deep Red Dragon receiving corps with 15 catches. It was Lascari’s 64-yard touchdown pass play that broke a 14-14 tie and ignited Cortland’s win last Saturday.
The play of the offensive line has helped the offense go. Cortland’s new set of starting guards — 325-pound junior James Mignone and 280-pound junior Steven Longinott  — have fit right in. It was a crushing Mignone block leading Smith on a first down run that helped finish off last week’s win.
“They did a heck of a job,” said MacNeill of his offensive line, which according to this week’s depth chart will have sophomore Sean James opening up at tackle for the Kean game. “The offense is playing well and helping Alex do a great job. He’s running when he has to run and pulling the trigger when has to.”
And senior tailback Matt Rickert is averaging 81 yards per game before those sturdy blockers.
That is what the Kean defense will be up against. Sophomore strong safety Guy Ulmer-Santos leads the Cougars with 32 tackles, while free safety Ryan Staton has 23 solo stops among his 31 tackles. Staton picked off a pass in the win over Buffalo State.
KEAN WEAPONS were on display in the 50-point outburst against Buffalo State.
“That’s something we haven’t done here in a while, so that’s a confidence builder,” said Garrett, those the most points scored by a Cougars team since a 57-0 win over Mt. Ida six seasons ago.
Kean spreads its offense and spreads the football around. Freshman tailback Jared Chunn (33x160) and back-up Anthony Stewart (21x156) handle the ground game, while wide receivers like senior Jarred Crowley and junior Brian Williams have been productive.
In the win over Buffalo State, sophomore wide receiver Darreel Dukes caught three passes for 61 yards and had a 71-yard touchdown run for the Cougars.
MacNeill admits it is hard to assimilate the unique things Kean does offensively during a practice session, but has a veteran team he hopes can adjust. He raved about how the starting front four of defensive ends Rich Coyne and Brad Robison along with tackles Haas and Mike Connelly have performed. MacNeill also praised how well Kyle Pierce played subbing for Montpetit last weekend at linebacker.
Inside linebacker Bill Hauser had a team high seven tackles against William Paterson leads the team with 28 stops on the year. Defensive end Rich DeJesus, used in passing situations, has a team-high five sacks.
The Red Dragon defense will have to be at its best to hold Kean in check.
Saturday’s game will also feature a halftime ceremony where the Cortland men s lacrosse teams will receive their championship rings after winning the NCAA Division III national title last spring. The Red Dragons have two gridders, defensive back Greg Steward and wide receiver Keith Greene, who were part of that title team.



Purple Tigers pull out close call over Trojans

Staff Writer

In typical Cortland-Homer fashion, the latest clash of the OHSL Freedom Division tennis rivals was not decided until the final match was complete.
When the Purple Tiger third doubles duo of Liz Chappell and Taylor Warren completed a thrilling 6-3, 6-4 sweep of Mariah Hubbard and Michele Pfleuger, Cortland High girls were able to win a 4-3 decision to close out their 2006 season with a 5-7 league and overall record. It was the second straight big win for the Chappell-Warren duo, who also took the deciding fourth point at Fulton Monday night.
Homer Central had won four of its last five matches prior to Cortland and now stands at 5-4 in league and overall play. The Trojans will host Clinton Tuesday in the first round of Section 3 team tournament competition.
For veteran Cortland coach Bob Walrath, it was a fitting end to_the season.
“We have stayed true to the course as a team all season long,” Walrath said. “We do not talk about what the other player does. We talk about what we can do and what we can control. We try to set up our best shots and see what happens from there.”
The swing match was the three-set marathon at first singles where Cortland sophomore Jaimee Robertson dropped the first set to Homer senior Kelly Noble 4-6 before winning 6-2 in the second set and 6-4 in the third set. That win knotted the team score at 3-3.
“We made a few changes on the fly during Jaimee’s match, but, overall, I am really pleased with the development of our team this season,” Walrath said. “I am very proud of this team and what that have accomplished this year. We will end the season on a high note for most of the team. We are not going to team sectionals, but Jaimee and Lauren Shirley (8-3 in singles) will play in individual sectionals.”
“Bob did a nice job of coaching Jaimee in a crucial match,” Homer coach Nancy Cavellier said. “That was a big turning point when she came back to beat Kelly, because we really did need to win all three singles matches. We lost, but it is not the end of the world. We always know it will be a close match against Cortland.”
Robertson looked tentative in the first set and Noble used her experience and power to keep Robertson running side-to-side with a powerful serve and solid forehands which went to Robertson’s back-hand or down the sidelines were winners. Robertson began to settle down, gained some confidence and started turning the tide in the middle of the second set. Her strokes should more confidence and she kept Noble on the baseline. When Noble tried to charge the net, Robertson would lob a shot over her to force Noble back behind the baseline.
“I did not get off to a very good start, but Coach Walrath talked to me and really helped me out throughout the match,” Robertson said “I was not hitting the ball well early. It takes me some time to get settle down. Once I did settle down, I started serving better and making better shot.”
Robertson posted an 8-4 record and is the first singles players for the Purple Tigers in five year. Tirzah Walrath held that spot until she graduated in June. Was there a lot of pressure on the sophomore?
“Coach told me not to worry about being in the first singles spot,” Robertson said. “He told me to just go out and play my game. He just wanted me to do my best.”
Cortland took the lead when Eva Rosenthal and Lauren Shirley posted a 6-3, 6-1 won over Lindsay Richards and Natalie Sutton at first doubles while Courtney Tennant and Molly Bramschreiber were winning second doubles 6-3, 6-2 over Laura Major and Emily Martin.
Homer tied the match after senior Molly Warren ran her record to 9-0 with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Robyn Hesse at second singles and freshman Jean Martinez (9-1) took a 6-2, 6-2 straight sets win over Alexandra Tucker at third singles.
For Warren, it has been a great senior season and a big transition for doubles play to singles competition.
“I have enjoyed every minute of my senior year,” Warren said. “I have worked hard for myself and I worked hard over the summer for the team. I love the girls and I am so proud of our team this year, because everyone was been working so hard. That shows in our record.
“I have never played singles before so it was an eye-opener for me in my first match. I worked on improving my serve and I worked with coach a lot. I guess practice makes perfect. You are much more independent in singles. I really had to step-up my own game. I have gotten to where I really love playing singles now.”
“Molly has really stepped up to the plate and is a leader on and off the court,” Cavellier said. “The girls love her top death. She is graceful on the court and can also technically placed a shot where she wants. She really makes it look easy. What is there not to love about Molly Warren.”
Homer also got a huge win at fourth doubles when Cady Spencer and Hope Chambrone pulled off a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Rozlyn Hesse and Lisa Martin.