October 29, 2010
Tigers trip Trojans in OT
Advance to semis on pair of Prentice goals
Though Cortland High girls didn’t get off a lot of shots in Thursday’s typically tense Section 3 Class A quarterfinal round soccer match-up against rival Homer Central, they made the ones they did get off count.
Sophomore forward Rachel Prentice took advantage of two small openings and lofted a pair of floating shots just under the crossbar — the second goal coming with 3:04 left in the first 10-minute overtime period — to lift the fifth-seeded Purple Tigers to a 2-1 triumph over their fourth-seeded hosts at Butts Field.
Cortland (12-4-1 overall) advances to a semifinal round match against top-seed Jamesville-DeWitt (15-2), whose Red Rams were a 8-0 winner over ninth-seed Fulton Thursday. The time and site for that game will be determined over the weekend.
“Our team played real well together,” Prentice said after nipping the Trojans in OT. “That’s how I got my goals. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have gotten my chances.
“Homer is a good team and we are really equal with them,” she added, the Trojans having won at Cortland 2-1 before the two neighbors played to a scoreless tie in OHSL Freedom Division regular season contests this season. “You just have to take a chance when you have one. It’s tough to get shots off against them, but I was able to and they both went in.”
“We’ve worked hard on finishing during practice,” Cortland coach Abbey Albright said. “Homer has a very solid defense. We had a tough time getting shots the last time we played them, so we were working on getting the ball up and over the defenders. We got a few through and a few fortunate shots. That was really good.
“Our defense wasn’t as tight as I would have liked at times,” she continued. “I told the girls a few times about that and to pay better attention. Homer has some good attackers and we had to not give them the space they needed. We did a better job most of the night with a our in-close defense and not giving them space.”
For Homer (9-3-5), this game was really a look at how the season went. It came down to having trouble putting the ball in the goal.
“My kids played a great game of soccer tonight,” Homer coach Jim Baranello said. “I thought we played better in every phase of the game. We had the advantage in shots, in corners, we just did not score. That’s what counts at the end of the day.
“Give Rachel a lot of credit,” he added. “She got two chances and converted them. Cortland did what they had to do and took care of business.”
HOMER HAD THE first good scoring chance when Jessica Walter got behind her defender 40 seconds into the match. The sophomore broke towards the goal, but only got a soft left-footed shot off that Amanda Shelley (four saves) stopped easily. Three minutes later, Kindrah Kohne got a look at the goal, but the senior sailed her shot over the crossbar.
Cortland jumped on top in the seventh minute of play after a scramble near the top of the box. Taylor Reynolds got control and made a pass to Prentice as Trojan goalkeeper Jessica Mitchell started coming out to cover the ball. Prentice chipped the ball over Mitchell and into the goal for the 1-0 lead.
It was the 11th assist for Reynolds this season, as Prentice and Reynolds now have 25 and 23 points respectively to lead the Purple Tigers scorers.
The Trojans got the ball back into the Cortland defensive third of the field and earned two corner kicks, but the Purple Tigers got into the air first and cleared both chances away. Homer kept the pressure up as Jessica Parmiter brought the ball to the right wing, roughly 25 yards from the Cortland goal. The junior drilled a low shot towards the far post. The ball scooted past Shelley and into the goal to knot the score at 1-1 with 29:57 left in the first half. It was her fifth goal of the season.
“Jessica had a great finish on her goal,” Baranello said. “It showed a lot of character for the entire team to come back quickly after giving up that first goal. I really thought we were going to break through.”
The Trojans had one more good chance 10 minutes later, but again Kohne shot the ball just over the cross bar. The remainder of the half saw play remain in the midfield area.
A majority of the second half saw Homer possessing the ball in the Cortland defensive end of the field. There was good passing and nice crossing attempts, but the Trojans could not put the ball in the back of the net. Shelley grabbed a couple of through balls and she got bumped during one scramble near the right post and went down. Shelley got up slowly, but stayed in the game.
Rayne Perry was hampered by a sore quad muscle according to Baranello. She got one loose ball, but pushed the scoring attempt wide. Emma Porter tracked down another ball, spun and shot wide and Hannah McEvoy rifled another longer shot just wide. That was one of the better attempts by the Trojans to break the deadlock.
HOMER GOT ONE more solid chance as play moved inside 10 minutes to go in regulation time, but Shelley deflected the ball wide on a shot out of a pack of players.
Cortland slowly began to turn the momentum. One nice lob pass cleared the Trojan defense, but Trojan keeper Mitchell grabbed the ball before a serious threat could be mounted.
Prentice got a breakthrough attempt with 6:25 on the clock, but she was ridden off the ball by senior back Kourtenee Kohne. Regualtion time ended with little fanfare.
Cortland fired one last shot in the two 10-minute mandatory overtime periods and it paid off.
Liza Ferro sent a through ball that Prentice took between two Homer defenders. She pushed the ball forward to get a little space and then lifted the game-winning shot. The ball floated, as in slow motion, over the finger tips of Mitchell before it dropped down under the cross bar and into the netting for a 2-1 cushion. It was the her team-leading 11th goal of the season. For Ferro, it was her first point this season.
Neither team got another threat during the remainder of the first overtime or the second overtime segment.
“I feel bad because I have four great seniors,” said Homer’s Baranello. “I am really going to miss them. I wish the season could end differently for Kindrah, Kourtenee, Rayne and Katelyn (Buchanan).”
As for facing Jamesville-Dewitt in the next round, both Prentice and Albright offered these thoughts.
“J-D is going to be a huge challenge,” Prentice said. “We lost to them 2-0. If we step up our game, I really think we can beat them.”
“It will be a tough match-up,” Albright stated. “They are a solid team and tough to match-up against. We have a lot to work on to get ready for that game.”
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