October 25, 2007


Trojans capture first tourney test


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Homer Central’s Paul Zimmerman (9) and Fulton Andrew Kush (11) vie for possession on the sidelines during Wednesday’s Section 3 first round game at Butts Field. Trojans were 3-0 winners.

Staff Writer

It is all about teamwork and coming together as a group for Homer Central soccer boys.
“It really feels great,” said Homer senior Brett Capps. “We have done a lot of team bonding. I think that it is really showing on the field, like it did tonight.”
Capps had one goal and one assist to help the Trojans win its first Section 3, Class A Tournament match in four years as Homer posted a 3-0 win over Fulton Wednesday at George Butts Field. The fifth-seeded Trojans improve to 10-6-3 overall, the first 10-win season for Homer since 2003.
“We tried real hard the last two years,” Capps stated. “But it just did not come together as well. It does not get any better than winning your last game as a senior on your home field.
“We have a great defense in back,” he continued. “Now, our combinations up front are coming through. We have a lot of younger underclassmen who are really pulling through for us. Guys like Brett Stokoe, Luke Pedersen, Paul Armideo have really stepped up this season and now we have Carl Zimmerman and Aaron Darr that have been brought up (from the JVs).”
Capps gave Homer early momentum scoring his goal on great second-effort just 3:21 into the match. Capps hit the crossbar seconds earlier. The ball caromed to Paul Armideo, who got the ball back to Capps, who finished the play with a shot just under the crossbar.
“I sensed that the kids were going to play well because we really had two good days of practice,” said Homer coach Dave Shiffman. “The energy was high, spirits were high and we had a good time-work rate. I knew that we were going to play well.”
“The team is really coming together,” Shiffman continued. “Even the kids mentioned that to me. They are all friends. They are getting along well. They are working well together.”
The Trojans kept play in the Fulton defensive third much of the first half and all that pressure played off with 15:32 showing on the first-half clock as Armideo notched his eighth goal of the season. After a pass from Jack Kissel, the Trojan junior struck the ball well from 35 yards away and it sailed into the top corner of the goal.
“We have been working hard,” said Armideo. “We have been taking things one game at a time. You don’t want to look to far into the future. We try to concentrate on the present game at hand.”
“Each goal came at a perfect time,” said Shiffman. “The first goal came early in the game. We followed up well on the first goal, because the initial shot was off the crossbar, but we stayed with it and got the next shot in. We had a little lull, but we got the intensity back when Paul scored. He has really found his confidence and is just shooting the ball.”
Derrick McCall was tested once in his return from an ankle injury and made the save in the first 40 minutes as the Trojan defense kept 12th-seed Fulton (5-13) in check.
Homer kept the pressure on in the second half and earned a total of six corner-kicks during the second 40-minutes. The Trojans finally got an insurance goal with 9:38 remaining. From near the end line, Capps made a beautiful low centering pass that Stokoe redirected inside the left post for a 3-0 cushion.
“Our strikers were all over them all night,” said Shiffman. “We ran of free kicks well and we were dangerous on corners all night. Our defense played well. Shawn Cleary, Brad Clark and Dan DiGiovonna did nice jobs in back. Our midfielders, like Paul, Sammy Watrous and Avery Young played Fulton evenly.
“On that last goal, Brett Capps made a great pass,” Shiffman added. “That finish by Brett Stokoe was clinical. That was a left-footed one-timer into the back of the net. That was beautiful. That iced the game for us.”
Fulton showed more pressure in the second half, but Kissel only needed to stop two serious threats and he did that cleanly. Johannes Helgren was third JV players brought up for sectionals and he played the final three minutes in goal, but did not make a save.
Homer will return to Class A Soccer Tournament at fourth-seed Vernon-Verona-Sherrill (9-5-4) either Friday or at 3 p.m..


Beating Comets old Purple habit

WATERTOWN — A couple of patterns involving the Cortland High and Carthage boys’ soccer teams were extended Wednesday evening, and the Purple Tigers couldn’t be happier.
CHS, the 10th seed in this fall’s Section 3 Class A tournament, beat the No. 7 Comets 1-0 at Watertown High.
Cortland won last year’s game between the two teams 9-1 at the same site. The Purple Tigers have now beaten Carthage three times in the last four years, having scored a 4-0 win in a first-round home game in 2004.
“It was a great win after traveling that far for the second year in a row,” said Purple Tigers coach Dan Law, his team now 7-10-2 heading into a quarterfinal matchup at New Hartford (Perry Junior High) starting at 3 p.m. Friday.
“We’ve won twice now in upsets, and it’s a pretty good feeling. This makes seven years in a row that we’ve won at least one playoff game.”
The winning goal came with 10:35 left in the first half.
After a Carthage foul just outside the 18, senior midfielder Luka Starmer served the ball in from the right side on a free kick with CHS players overloading the far post. Junior midfielder Kyle Cute got position on his defender and headed the ball back across inside the near post past Comets goalie Jordan Booher, who had come out to cut down the angle.
While each team had a couple more opportunities to score, according to Law, the shots for the game were just 8-4 for Carthage. Cortland keeper Brian Clifford made five saves in recording his eighth shutout of the season, saving the best for last as he tipped a shot from 18 yards out on a breakaway just enough so that it hit the crossbar and went over.
“That was a huge play to turn the momentum,” Law said. “Overall we played very well defensively, especially in the second half, and did enough offensively to loosen them up a little.
Three senior outside midfielders — Jeremy Prentice, Greg Mital and Mike Hartnett — all did good jobs of hustling defensively and passing on offense. At various times in the game, as well, various players made plays on the ball when we needed them.”




Defending champion Marathon impressive

MARATHON — Marathon Central boys began the march toward defense of their Section 4 Class C soccer crown with a dominating 11-0 win over Union Springs in first round action Wednesday.
The fourth-seeded Olympians improve to 13-3-2 overall at will host fifth-seed Southern Cayuga (13-3-1), a 2-0 winner over 12-seed Walton, Saturday at 1 p.m.
In other Class C tournament play, six-seed Oxford nipped 11-seed Groton 1-0; eight-seed Odessa-Montour pounded nine-seed Sidney 5-0 and seven-seed Elmira Notre Dame topped 10-seed Unadilla Valley 6-1.
Marathon 11, Union Springs 0: “We played our best first half of soccer all season,” said Marathon coach Chip Stewart. “Union Springs allowed us to do things that we could not do all season.”
Despite the strong effort, it took 12 minutes for the Olympians to get on the board. Jason Luce broke the ice by scoring on a penalty kick and that triggered a six-goal run before the half ended. Marathon added five more goals in the second half.
“Jason scored his second goal in the second half,” said Stewart. “Eric Gofgosky sent a great crossing pass into the box and Luce headed the ball into the left corner from fifteen yards out.”
Luce finished the game with two goals, as did Doug Whitney, who also had one assist. Gofgosky (two assists), Matt Doran (one assist), Adam Lantry (two assists), David McDonald (two assists), Vinnie Powierski, Brian Gurewich and John Robinson each netted one goal. Aubrey Brown and Shane Koenig each had one assist as the Olympians outshot Union Springs (3-13-2) 34-7.
Robert Ferro play well in goal recorded 17 saves for the Wolves while Derek Root made four saves for the shutout.
Oxford 1, Groton 0: Scott Seiler scored the only goal of the match in the 25th minute with an assist from Kilean Maynard as the Blackhawks (14-4-1) won this hard-fought contest.
“It was a defensive breakdown that gave Oxford the fast-break opportunity,” said Groton coach John D’Antonio. “There was nothing Kyle (Yunger) could do in goal against the one-on-one chance. We really did outplay them.
“We had our chances,” D’Antonio continued. “We missed a chance right in front of the goal and we hit the crossbar twice. I really feel bad for the seniors, but I am very proud of the kids and the effort that they gave all season long.”
Groton (6-9-2) did hold a 16-7 advantage in shots. Yunger finished with four saves while Tom Gould made nine saves for Oxford.