October 31, 2007


Shootout carries Dragons to semis


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Ayinde George (right) of SUNY Cortland leaps to keep the ball away from Buffalo State’s Steve Fox in Tuesday’s quarterfinal round playoff game. George had a second half goal as the host Red Dragons advanced to the SUNYAC Final Four in a shootout victory.

When visiting Buffalo State scored late in regulation to send this playoff game into overtime, the soccer fate of SUNY Cortland men was in serious jeopardy Tuesday afternoon.
But the Red Dragons survived through two scoreless 10-minute overtime periods to keep matters all tied up at 3-3 and then captured a penalty kick shootout to advance into the SUNY Athletic Conference semifinals.
Junior goalie Jack Carillo made two big saves in the shootout and the Red Dragons converted their first four penalty shot chances, capped by senior Bryan Patterson’s clinching goal in this quarterfinal round challenge.
The fourth seeded Red Dragons (11-6-1) will now take on top-seeded Fredonia (11-6-1) at 1:30 p.m. Friday when the Final Four portion of the tournament is held at the Hall of Fame Fields in Oneonta.
Sixth seed Geneseo (11-6-2) and second seed Plattsburgh (14-3-1) are in the other semifinalists with the same Friday starting time, Geneseo coming up with a 4-1 upset of third seed Brockport in yesterday’s other quarterfinal contest. The title game is Saturday in Oneonta at a time to be determined.
At the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex, senior Eric Reinhardt and junior Ayinde George scored second half goals as the Red Dragons battled back from a 1-0 halftime deficit. Cortland took the lead 3-2 thanks to a Buffalo State own goal in the 87th minute.
The fifth seeded Bengals (8-6-4) sent the game into overtime when Gary Luniewski scored his second goal of the game in the final minute of regulation. Tony Shiappa sent a corner kick to the far right post, where Liniewski tapped in a shot for his fourth goal of the season for the Bengals.
Senior Joshua Mitchell also scored for the Bengals, with Schiappa picking up a pair of assists.
Buffalo State grabbed the lead in the 11th minute on Luniewski’s first score of the game. Luniewski received a pass from Mitchell on the right side of the box, turned and sent a low shot through traffic inside the left post.
Cortland struck for two goals in a two-minute span early in the second half to take the lead, started when Reinhardt netted his third goal of the season in the 50th minute when he deposited a 35-yard free kick from the left side inside the right post on a bounce.
George then gave Cortland a 2-1 lead in the 52nd minute. Freshman Corey DeVille drove a free kick into the box that Buffalo State goalie Dan Corti (4 saves) punched away. The ball bounced away from Bengal player and to George, who one-timed a 23-yard shot into the net for his fourth goal of the season.
The Bengals answered in the 71st minute. Schiappa crossed the ball into the box from the left side, and keeper Carillo got a glancing punch on the ball, but it went straight to Mitchell who blasted a one-timer into the upper part of the goal for his fourth score of the year.
Cortland took a 3-2 lead in the 87th minute on an own goal. DeVille sent a free kick into the box that a Buffalo State defender mistakenly knocked into the goal.
The Bengals pressed for the tying goal and came up with a score in the 89th minute from Luniewski.
Buffalo State had the best chance in the opening overtime stanza but Luniewski’s low shot from the top of the box in the 96th minute just went wide right. Moments later, George nearly sent Patterson in alone with a neat through ball, but Corti charged off his line and reached the ball moments before Patterson could get a touch.
In the second extra session, Schiappa almost scored the game-winner on an attempted cross as the ball was headed toward the upper right corner but was stopped by Carillo.
After the game concluded in a tie, the teams went to a penalty-kick shootout to determine which school would advance.
Buffalo State began with junior Zack Wood, but Carillo denied his shot to the right side. Junior Peter Degere was up first for Cortland and put a clean shot into the upper left.
Buffalo State junior Aaron Gollegly put his shot into the upper right, and Reinhardt followed with a shot to the lower right to give Cortland a 2-1 lead. Carillo then stopped Mitchell’s bid at the left post, and senior Dan Dunn gave Cortland a 3-1 advantage with a shot to the upper right.
After Luniewski made his high shot to cut the margin to 3-2, Patterson clinched the shootout with a shot to the upper right.
Cortland will now try to avenge a 2-1 regular season loss to Fredonia and earn a trip to the title game. That setback was part of a weekend trip that saw the Red Dragons lose 2-1 at Buffalo State the previous day.
Geneseo 4, Brockport 1: Kurt Jameson had two goals and Mike
Madarasz made six saves in goal as Geneseo pulled off the upset on Brockport’s pitch.
CORTLAND WOMEN will be in semifinal play Friday, the second seeded Red Dragons (11-5-2) to face third seed Brockport (15-2-1) in an 11:30 a.m. match-up in Oneonta.
Plattsburgh advanced on Tuesday, beating Plattsburgh on penalty kicks after a 1-1 standoff in regulation and overtime. The Cardinals (14-3-2) won the shootout 4-3 and will take on defending champion Oneonta (15-3-1) in the other semifinal at 11:30 a.m.
The title game is scheduled for Saturday, the starting time to be announced.




OT tally upends Trojans

Staff Writer

SYRACUSE — Faith and trust.
Those were the words Whitesboro Central soccer coach Art Brown used to describe his girls after their 4-3 upset win over Homer Central Tuesday at Corcoran Stadium.
Just 1:32 into the second five-minute sudden death overtime, Andrea Zabek lifted a shot into the upper right corner of the goal to complete the Warriors (13-5-2) rally from a 3-1 deficit and propels the fourth-seed into a Section 3 Class A championship match with second-seed Cortland (15-5) — the Purple Tigers a 2-0 winner over sixth-seed Carthage (9-6-4) earlier in the day at Corcoran.
“Our girls showed a lot of poise,” said Brown after knocking off the defending Class A champions. “I know that having 11 seniors does serve us well. The girls really trust each other a lot and they have a lot of faith in each other.
“Homer is a very good team,” Brown continued. “They played very well.”
The winning shot was set-up by Colleen Moran, who had tied the game at 3-3 with 22:56 left in regulation time. Moran pushed the ball to her left where Zabek settled it and drove home the winning shot.
“Andrea made a great shot,” said Brown. “We have been trying to get her to take the shot more often from the top of the box. She has a good left foot.”
“We have had a very good season overall,” said Homer coach Jim Baranello of his team’s 14-6 finish. “This is a tough way to lose. We did better than a lot of people thought we would this season. I am proud of the girls for all the hard work and the effort that they put into this season.
“We really controlled the play more in the first half,” Baranello added. “In the second half, Whitesboro may have had more control. I know they really picked it up after they scored their second goal. We created chances that we just did not finish.”
There were two other keys to the Whitesboro win — the stellar play of freshman goalkeeper Rachel Edgin (12 saves) and the marking job by defender Meghan Barry on Trojan striker Erika Trivisonno. Edgin made some spectacular stops on quality Trojan shots while Barry rarely let Trivisonno get away for an open look at the goal. Trivisonno did get some crossing passes through, but there was no one on the receiving end.
“Meghan is so quick and she knew about the speed of number two (Trivisonno),” said Brown. “She did a great job marking her.




Stingy Purple Tigers off to finals

Staff Writer

SYRACUSE — The Cortland High girls’ soccer team’s defense has gone one better on the bend-but-not-break philosophy so far this post-season. In two shutout wins in the Section 3 Class A tournament, the Purple Tigers haven’t even bent much.
In the wake of a 4-0 victory over No. 7 East Syracuse-Minoa last Thursday, CHS blanked No. 6 Carthage 2-0 Tuesday in the semifinals at Corcoran. The Comets managed just two shots in the contest, giving Cortland as grand total of nine shots allowed in its two sectional wins.
The victory propelled the Purple Tigers into Friday’s Class A championship game at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex, with the starting time to be determined by sectional officials Thursday morning. CHS’s opponent will be No. 4 Whitesboro (13-5-2), which shaded top seed and defending champion Homer Central 4-3 in the second sudden-death overtime — that game also at Corcoran later on Tuesday.
The tone of the Cortland-Carthage game was set early on, as CHS sophomore midfielder Elle DePerno hit the crossbar with a shot from 20 yards out just 25 seconds into the game.
Cortland, now 15-5 and ranked 17th in the state among Class A teams, had at least five good chances in the first 10 minutes of the game, and ended up out-shooting the Comets 18-1 in the first half and 25-2 for the contest. It wasn’t until 16:31 remained until halftime, however, that they finally got on the scoreboard, as senior midfielder Jackie Jacob delivered a cross from the right side that senior forward Katherine Hunsberger took on the near left wing, some 12 yards out, before putting a low shot to the far side past a diving Comet goalkeeper Sarah Johnson.
  “Jackie made a good pass to me, and I turned and shot it,” said Hunsberger of her 19th goal of the season. “I felt good about it when I shot it, because I went to the opposite side. We were getting a little frustrated. We knew we had to score so have some room in case they put one in. We kept taking shots that their goalie was able to save.”
Despite having decided territorial and shot advantages in the first half, CHS clung to the narrow 1-0 lead at intermission.
“That’s soccer for you,” Purple Tigers coach Abbey Albright said afterwards with a smile that said it all about the final outcome. “We got a lot of shots, especially in the first half, but Carthage did a nice job, once we got the ball inside, of putting three defenders on it. They didn’t give us much time to think about placement, high or low, and a lot of our shots weren’t good ones. We talked at the half about how anything could still happen, and about how, while an offensive mistake won’t show up on the scoreboard, a defensive one often will, for the other team.
  “Defensively, this was one of our better games of the season,” she added of Cortland’s eighth shutout this fall. “Most of the time they played two girls high, and our backs did a nice job of passing them off and stepping to them, and of communicating. It was such a narrow field that it didn’t help our game, because we’re so fast. That’s why it was important to stay wide and make runs when we could, taking advantage of the fact that their sweeper was playing so deep.”
“We knew coming in that we’d probably have to play a little more defensively since they’re so big and strong,” said Comets coach Marty Weaver, whose team finished the season at 9-6-4. “We were looking to see if we could get a run, knock one in and then play defense. We didn’t come to do that (play defense) specifically, but Cortland is a good team. If we could have made a run and scored it would have been different.
“I thought that as the game went on and they weren’t able to score that it was to our advantage. After the first few minutes we played solid defense and, though we allowed them some shots, they weren’t easy ones,” added Weaver. “We knew we had to work hard because we’re a small team. We’re also young and feisty and DO work hard. I think we’ll be here again.”