October 23, 2009
Fantastic finish for CHS
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
ESM’s Refik Vranjkovina (13) battles with Cortland High’s Brandon Prosser in the first half of Thursday’s OHSL soccer match. CHS rolled to a 6-1 victory in its season finale.
The Cortland High boys’ soccer team went out on a high note Thursday evening.
Playing their last game of the season — barring unforeseen circumstances, they won’t be a part of sectionals — the Purple Tigers rolled to a 6-1 Senior Night victory over visiting East Syracuse-Minoa in their regular-season finale.
“We went in ready to play and dominated. It was the seniors’ last time playing in front of the home crowd, so they were extra pumped, and they all got to start,” CHS coach Nick Kline said, the non-league triumph leaving his team’s overall record at 5-11.
“The last time we played ES-M the game was evenly matched. We had something extra this time,” he added, Cortland winning 2-1 on the road back on Oct. 6. “ I don’t know what it was. If I did, I’d bottle and sell it. If we’d played like that all year, we would have had at least twice as many wins.”
It only took the hosts 1:30 to open the scoring, as senior midfielder Adam Bushnell got his first goal of the season off an assist by classmate and fellow midfielder Dan Miller, who also assisted on the eventual game-winner by Josh Tomko, yet another senior midfielder, 15 minutes into the game.
Tomko scored twice and has seven goals on the season, while junior forward Colby Reagan, the team scoring leader, had a goal, his season-high ninth of the year, and an assist. Kline noted that senior backup goaltender Kachi Anumonwo played center midfielder and scored his first goal of the season 15 minutes into the second half before going into the goal for the last 15 minutes in place of starter Ben Darby, also a senior. P.J. Mahar had the other Purple Tigers goal, his second of the season.
Darby was called on to make just one save and Anumonwo didn’t need to make any as the winners had an 18-8 shot advantage. Mark Sacco and Casey Sullivan made two saves each for the Spartans (4-12).
“It’s sad the season had to end with us playing like that,” Kline said. “We did a good job of passing and winning 50-50 balls, and our communication was excellent. Our seniors are a tremendous group of players and, more importantly, an all-around great group of guys. They’ll be missed next year.”
CORTLAND JVs completed a 7-6-1 season by beating ES-M 3-0, Alex Clark converting an assist from Pat McMahon midway through the first half while Mike VanDonsel and Vinnie Bellardini had unassisted second-half goals. Goalkeeper Chad Timmons made seven saves in recording his fifth shutout of the season as CHS took 12 shots to the Spartans’ 10.
“Everyone played with great hustle today,” Purple Tigers coach Tom Dovi said. “The guys wanted to finish with a winning record and close out the season on a high note. It was nice to see them achieve that goal.”
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