October 08, 2007


Storm shortens scoreless Homer-CHS soccer battle


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Homer Central’s Luke Pedersen (6) heads the ball downfield toward teammate Brett Capps (7) over Cortland High’s Derek Allen (10) and Jeremy Prentice (9) in the second half of Saturday’s soccer match-up. Rivals played to scoreless tie at CHS.

Staff Writer

It was indoor post-game handshake lines for the Cortland High and Homer Central boys’ soccer teams Saturday afternoon at CHS.
The two squads were engaged in a non-league scoreless tie, with 14:25 on the clock, when officials Gary Contri and Ken Harvey suspended play. With the skies darkening they wanted to talk to the coaches Cortland’s Dan Law and Homer’s Dave Shiffman.
A clap of thunder during the discussion sent everyone into the school to ride out the upcoming storm.
Just over an hour later, at 4:25 p.m., with the rain having let up, Contri and Harvey walked the field, called the coaches together again and informed them that, because of standing water, the game was over.
“It’s the second time in a week and a half that we haven’t gotten a full game in,” said Shiffman, his team, now 8-2-3 overall. The Trojans dropped an important 1-0 decision to visiting Westhill on Sept. 28 in a game that was called with 10:38 remaining.
“I have no problem with the decision,” Shiffman added. “They’re looking out for the safety of the kids. On the flip side, you restart the game to try to decide it, then someone slips and gets hurt.”
Law, his team now 4-7-2 overall agreed with that assessment. “It’s disappointing, but it is what it is,” he said. “It’s not a crushing blow. It doesn’t knock us out of the playoffs. Everyone would feel 1,000 times worse if someone got hurt. But I feel bad for our seniors, especially. They would have liked to finish, win, lose or tie, because it’s the last hurrah for them in the rivalry.
“It’s a big game, and a good, spirited game. The guys know each other, through friendships and other sports,” he added.
As for the game itself, Shiffman noted:  “Who knows how it would have gone? We’re a strong second-half team and were playing well. I felt we carried the play.”
Again, Law agreed. “I didn’t feel there was an incredible amount of pressure, but they put more on us. It wasn’t a dominating force, but they came out strong in the second half and had more possessions in and around the box.”
FOR THE RECORD, Cortland’s stats had Homer with 4-3 advantages in both shots and corner kicks. Trojan senior goalkeeper Derrick McCall didn’t have to make any saves in the first half, and junior Jack Kissel stopped one shot as Shiffman played each of them a half, as has been the case in all but one game this season, a 3-2 overtime loss at Westhill in the season-opener. Brian Clifford stopped three shots for Cortland.
The visitors had the best chance in the contest. Off a corner kick from the right side by junior striker Paul Armideo, classmate Sam Watrous banged a shot from near the top of the box off the crossbar with 3:30 left in the first half.
Homer has now allowed seven goals in 13 games this season, including just one first-half tally, in the home loss to Westhill.
“One, our kids are a year older and stronger,” Shiffman said in talking about the factors involved in his club’s sterling defensive play this fall. (Senior) Vic Marchetti is back after taking a year off, (senior) Dan DiGiovanna moved back from midfield, where he was last year, and (junior) Bennett Quinlan and (senior) Shawn Cleary have switched off at sweeper; the last few games I’ve split them.
“The other piece is that we’re playing better team defense. The midfielders are doing a much better job of hustling and getting back, understanding where they are in the system. Everyone knows where they are in the total defense.”
“We didn’t play as well as we did earlier in the week,” said Law, whose team nonetheless shut out its third opponent in a row, on the heels of a 0-0 tie at Jamesville-DeWitt on Tuesday and a 4-0 win over visiting Mexico on Thursday, upping its OHSL Freedom Division record to 3-6-1.
“But this week, and this game, were confidence-builders for sure, and I have a good feeling with the chips on the table. Right now we need to get two wins or a win and a tie in our remaining (four) Class A games to qualify for sectionals, or else three wins, or two wins and a tie, in either our (four) league games or our (five) games overall.”
Shiffman, meanwhile, preferred to concentrate on Tuesday’s game at Marcellus, a team the Trojans beat 1-0 in overtime on Sept. 12.
“Every game the rest of the season   we have five left  will be tough and close,” he said. “Marcellus will be gunning for us. We got a great result in the first game and will look to do it again.”  
CORTLAND JVs nipped visiting Homer 2-1 at Barry School, as Eric Burch got the second-half game-winner off a long pass from Andrew Hotchkiss. Homer (8-4) had opened the scoring in the first half, Tae-ho Ryu getting the goal from assist by Tyler Camp and Aaron Darr.  The Purple Tigers’ Justin Hogan tied the score later in the half on a breakaway.
Cortland goalkeeper Ben Darby made 11 saves as CHS (9-2-1) was out-shot 14-8.
“Adam Bushnell played a strong second half from his midfield position, controlling and distributing the ball well,” said Cortland coach Tom Dovi.
Both Cortland teams visit Fulton Tuesday, and that same day the Homer JVs are also at Marcellus, along with the varsity.




Records fall in Cortland romp

UNION, N.J. — Setting three school records provided a nice added touch to this most recent SUNY Cortland football success.
A 21-point outburst in the third quarter sent the Red Dragons headed towards a 35-14 victory over Kean University on Saturday, giving first place Cortland its third straight New Jersey Athletic Conference triumph in as many weeks.
That decisive third quarter surge was capped by an 85-yard Keith Greene touchdown reception of a pass from junior quarterback Ray Miles. Senior Greene set a school record for the longest TD reception, surpassing the 81-yard touchdown pass play Earl Rogers had in 1970.
After Greene’s long-distance strike, the successful point after kick by Matthew Mintz broke another school record. That gave senior Mintz his 68th consecutive PAT conversion, breaking the record 67 set by George Oostmeyer from 2000-02.
Mintz would be named the NJAC Special Teams Player of the Week for his accomplishment.
And in the fourth quarter, while the Red Dragons were making life hard on Kean quarterback A.J. Roque, senior cornerback Jeff Beck picked off his 14th career pass. That Beck interception snapped the Cortland record of 13 he had shared with All-America safety Stef Sair, his teammate from a year ago.
Those record performances, the 277 passing yards of Miles and a staunch defensive effort that held Kean scoreless until the fourth quarter helped the Red Dragons improve to 3-0 in the NJAC and 4-1 overall.
Kean falls to 0-2 in conference play, with a 2-3 overall mark.
The dangerous Roque, a first team All-NJAC performer a year ago, was sacked five times and picked off twice. Defensive end Ben Nagle was in on three of those sacks, while safety Ricky Case came up with his team high fourth interception of the season.
Kean was limited to 239 total yards, scoring on pair of late Roque touchdown tosses to Shane Myer and Durell Dukes. Junior safety Matt Berman and freshman Brian Haas had nine tackles apiece for Cortland, linebacker Haas earning NJAC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors for the third straight week.
Miles completed 16-of-24 passes for 277 yards, ran for one touchdown and threw for two more directing a Cortland offense that went without a turnover.




First place clincher for Dragon stickers

The SUNY Cortland field hockey team secured first place in the conference standings with a 3-0 victory at Geneseo on Saturday.
The Red Dragons, ranked 12th nationally in Division III, clinched their eighth straight SUNY Athletic Conference title with the victory. In the victory, Kayla Chambers reached a goal-scoring milestone, too.
Chambers, the junior and former Taconic Hills High School performer, became the eighth player in school history to surpass 100 career points while getting a goal and an assist. She currently stands at 102 career points on 43 goals and 16 assists.
Cortland is a perfect 5-0 in conference play with a long game against New Paltz remaining, but has a two-game lead over second place teams Geneseo and Oneonta in the standings. The Red Dragons are 11-2 overall.
In the win over Geneseo, sophomore Jackie Plunkett also had a goal and an assist while freshman Courtney Stevens added a goal. Junior goalie and Marathon grad Stacy Billings made three saves to earn her sixth solo shutout of the season.
IN WOMEN’S SOCCER: Katie Trivisonno scored with just over three minutes left in regulation to give the Red Dragons a come-from-behind2-1 win over Fredonia Saturday at Holloway Field.
Cortland is 5-1-1 in SUNYAC play with the win, and 6-5-1 overall. Fredonia fell to 2-3-2 on the conference, 4-6-2 overall.
Fredonia led when Lisa Curtis scored five minutes into the game. The equalized arrived in the 80th minute, when Mandy Womelsdorf settled a Kayla Sweet crossing pass and blasted a shot that Fredonia goalie Molly Borjanek got a piece off before it found its way in the back of the net.
The game appeared headed to overtime until Trivisonno took a pass from Andrea Marino on the left side of the box, beat two defenders and tucked a shot into the upper right hand corner of the goal. It was her team-high sixth tally of the season.
IN MEN’S SOCCER, Cortland was clipped 2-1 at Fredonia Saturday night, falling to 4-3 in conference play and 8-4 overall.