Homer Central boys continue to turn things around.
After a frustrating start to this soccer season, the Trojans have now captured wins in five of their last six outings after Monday night’s 1-0 overtime victory over visiting Central Square at Butts Field.
Riley McEvoy’s goal in the opening overtime session was the lone offensive success in this match-up of OHSL Freedom Division teams, this a rematch of a 2-2 overtime standoff when Homer visited Central Square back on Sept. 6 in a non-league game.
The dramatic victory also secured a post-season sectional spot as Homer climbs above .500, now 5-4 in the Freedom Division and 6-5-1 overall.
All five victories for the Trojans in this recent stretch of success have been shutouts, as junior keeper Cody Wagner came up with a half-dozen saves to keep Central Square off the scoreboard on this occasion. The best save of the bunch came with 10 minutes left in the opening half, when Wagner turned away a point-blank bullet.
“His aggressive play kept those kind of chances to a minimum, earning another shutout,” noted Coach Dick O’Shea of his goalie, who kept dangerous Central Square (4-7-1) scoreless.
“Across the field Central Square was faster, bigger and deep with athleticism. We were fortunate to earn an early-season tie,” added O’Shea. “This time the defense of Max Riley, Ben Herman, Dylan Casterline, Jackson Brazo and Alex Cottrell were able to negate their speed by denying passing lanes and keeping their forwards contained.”
Jake Riley was also moved to the back line to help mark dangerous Central Square forward Victor Lasserre, who was beginning to find some second half space against the Trojans defense.
Though Scott Maus and Marcus Karam where having trouble shaking from from defenders up front, the Trojans did get off 14 shots but were scoreless until two minutes has passed in the first overtime session.
That’s when, after an extended possession, senior Casterline provided a pass to classmate McEvoy’s feet. After settling the ball, McEvoy’s well-struck and low 16-yard shot beat Central Square goalie Robby Hawley to the near post for his fifth goal of the season.
“For good stretches of the game, Riley McEvoy, Joey Esposito and Marton Tozser effectively worked the ball to create scoring opportunities,” said Coach O’Shea. “Marton had a number of scoring chances rejected by Hawley, who was having an exceptional day.”
Hawley finished with nine saves in the loss.
Homer is now off until Saturday’s 2 p.m. visit to take on rival Cortland High.
HOMER JVs were beaten 4-1 by Central Square despite scoring first, Sean Powers getting that early goal for the Trojans (2-10) when he beat the opposing keeper to the ball on a clearing attempt and scored.
“We were unable to hold them off as we gave up too many missed mark situations that allowed them to build offensively and capitalize in front of our net,” said Homer coach Chad Totman.
Central Square held a 24-12 shot edge, as Ethan Lunas had eight first half saves and Dominic Tutino seven saves the rest of the way for the Trojans.
“We had a bunch of good opportunities, some one-on-one with the keeper from Sean Powers and Daniel Sokolik, but were unable to get it past their keeper,” noted Coach Totman. “We also took too many fouls and were off-sides a number of times. If we stayed on-sides by another foot or two we could have created many more great scoring opportunities.”
Homer JVs visit Dryden on Thursday, a 4:30 p.m. start.