October 19, 2012
Purple Tigers 'post' 1-0 win over Trojans
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Talia Cruz (5) of Cortland High, pushes the ball past Alexis Settineri (5) of Homer Thursday night at Moiseichik Field, where host CHS was a 1-0 soccer winner.
Converting its first real scoring opportunity of the night proved to be enough for the Cortland High girls’ soccer team on Thursday’s Senior Night game against rival Homer Central at Moiseichik Field.
Senior forward Rachel Prentice scored her team-high seventh goal of the season and classmate Amanda Edwards made two saves in goal as her Purple Tigers’ defense recorded their seventh shutout of the season, 1-0, over the Trojans.
“It definitely makes it extra special,” Prentice said with a smile of beating Homer on the night she, Edwards and the team’s other eight upperclassmen were honored. “It makes it a better win.”
“To win the game with our families and friends cheering on our night was great,” keeper Edwards said. “When the clock hit zero, a relief flooded through everyone on our team.”
Edwards had reason to relieved earlier as well. The Trojans increased the offensive pressure the last 20 minutes of the game in an attempt to get the tying goal, and with 17 minutes left their top scorer, freshman forward Kim Dieroff, got by Edwards and took a shot that hit the right post and caromed back to the left and out.
“As soon as she hit it I thought it was going in.” Edwards said. “I was relieved when it hit the post. I got back up and started talking to the defense.”
“Homer put two, three and four high trying to get possession,’ said Purple Tigers coach Brian Rogers, whose team finished the regular season at 6-7-1 in the OHSL Freedom National Division and 8-7-1 overall.
“That was a tough one that everyone thought was in. We were lucky that the post helped us instead of hurting us this time,” he added. “It was a shame that type of thing had to happen to make us wake up. But the girls played hard and well. The second half was much better for us.”
As noted, the only goal of the game came in the first as Prentice took a pass from junior forward Kennedy Cook on the near right-wing side and sent a hard roller from about eight yards out low to the far corner past Homer freshman goalkeeper Nadine Downing.
“Kennedy served the ball over the defense, it went off some feet to me and I took a right-footed shot to the far left,” Prentice said. “I crossed my fingers. You never know.”
“We knew we wanted to put a little more pressure on the ball,” Rogers said. “We pushed three forwards up the last game when Rachel scored (in a 2-1 loss to host Homer on Sept. 25). We came out in the first half and put good pressure on.”
“IT WAS FRUSTRATING,” said Trojans coach Jim Baranello, whose team is now 5-6-2 in the Freedom National and 6-7-2 overall. “I didn’t think the girls played as well as they’re capable of playing. Some of that was to Cortland’s credit. They won the 50-50 balls most of the time and that was the difference in the game.
“I thought that Kim Dieroff, who was double- and triple-teamed all night, did a great job creating chances for us. I thought she was fouled a lot, but she’s so strong that she didn’t get the calls. She was really unlucky to hit the post on her last breakaway in the second half. I thought she did everything perfectly in that situation and was just unlucky to hit the post.
“I also thought that Lisa Sharpe came off the bench and gave us a boost in the midfield,” Baranello added of his junior. “Her work rate was excellent and she pressured the ball very well. Lastly, I thought that (senior) Sara Yonta was solid in the back line. She won ball after ball and really took away any real threat by Cortland in the second half.”
One call that was made, that Baranello disagreed with, came just 2:46 into the game. Dieroff looked to have scored from just outside the 10-yard line, but she was called offside and the goal was disallowed.
“The goal that was called back was a good goal,” Baranello said. “Kim played it perfectly. She took two steps along the back line and went through as the ball was played. She is so fast I think the referee was fooled.”
“We were concerned about marking,” Rogers said. “We worked on that for a couple of hours last night. Luckily the girls did a better job of it after the offside call. They were nervous because it was senior night; I wanted them to play with intelligent intensity.
“We had to play Kim hard or she was going to get loose on us. She’s a very, very good player. I told the girls at halftime that our backs had to mark better and that we had to come back better, give a little extra defensive help and communicate.”
“WE DEFINITELY HAD to mark players in the back and communicate,” Edwards said. “Emma Porter (senior midfielder) and Kim have good long shots.”
Prentice noted that “We needed to pressure the ball a lot more in midfield.”
“I told them to settle their game, keep the ball on the ground and play the way they usually play,” Baranello said in describing his halftime talk. “We were allowing Cortland to dictate the way we played. We played better in the second half, but it wasn’t enough.”
The Purple Tigers almost made it 2-0 late, as the ball bounced around after a corner kick from the left side by sophomore midfielder Talia Cruz before junior midfielder Marissa Rabusin controlled it and let go with a low point-blank shot that Downing quickly smothered right on the goal line with 6:45 left.
Downing finished with four saves to two for Edwards as the winners had a 13-11 shot advantage.
Cortland will now wait until Sunday to find out its seeding for Class A sectionals; Homer first hosts Mexico Saturday in a 6 p.m. start at Butts Field before the next day’s seeding meeting.
HOMER JVs blanked Cortland 6-0 as Taryn Waligurski and Madison Dimorier scored two goals each, Hannah Casey and Mollie Ferrito notched a goal and an assist apiece and Gillian McEvoy had an assist. Goalkeeper Jordan Laundry made four saves as she and her defense recorded their fourth shutout this season and second of the week, having blanked Fowler 8-0 in Tuesday.
Quinn Doubet made 12 saves for the Purple Tigers, who were outshot 18-4 and finished the season at 6-8-1.
The Trojans are now 7-5-1 and finish the season by hosting Mexico Saturday at Butts Field starting at 4 p.m.
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