It was a good start for the Homer Central girls’ lacrosse team Tuesday night at George Butts Field, but things quickly turned in favor of Jordan-Elbridge.
Nina Armideo converted a pass from Molly Burhans to give the Trojans a 1-0 lead 3:08 into the match, but the Eagles would respond with a flurry and rolled to a 19-5 non-league win in the season opener for both teams.
“We have a lot of things to work on, but we’ll keep going from here,” new Homer head coach Heather Casey said. “We have a new group of kids out there. It is going to be a team effort this year. Our strength is going to be the team not the individuals this year.”
Trojan goalkeeper Katie Lawrence stopped the first four shots she faced and had 10 for the game, but the constant pressure was just too much.
Antonia Malvaso (4 goals-1 assist) got J-E on the board 18 seconds after Armideo to Homer in front. The Eagles would score a total of four goals in one minute and 20 seconds for a 4-1 lead. It was really all Eagles from that point on as the advantage grew 9-4 by halftime.
Jordan-Elbridge scored 10 second-half goals and Eagles goalkeeper Allie Derby made her only save of the game with 11:05 left in the game. Marissa Malvaso led J-E with five goals and three assists. Miranda Malvaso added four goals and one assist with Katie Goodrich netting three goals on two assists.
Armideo paced the Trojans with two goals. Deede Partigianoni and Gillian McEvoy each had one goal and one assist. Marissa Urban added one goal.
HOMER JVs got off to a good start with a 12-9 victory over Jordan-Elbridge. Annika Ross led the Trojans with four goals. Maddy Sciera chipped in three goals.
Samantha Button started in goal, recording six saves before Mikayla Miller entered the game for the final 21:55 and made seven saves.
Chelsea Curtis topped the J-E scorers with four goals and two assists.
CASEY TAKES OVER the Trojans as Ed Porter stepped down after a six-year run. Homer went 11-7 overall in 2016 and 7-3 in OHSL Freedom National Division action. Porter posted a 46-55 record in his tenure, the second-most wins ever by a Homer girls lacrosse coach.
Homer lost its top two scorers, Olivia Porter (71 goals and 14 assists) and Carolyne Yonta (32-7), and three of its top four scorers, but returns a solid nucleus with 12 of the team’s 20 players on the varsity one year ago. Olivia Porter is the team’s all-time leading scorer with 214 goals and 50 assists for 264 points.
“This season is looking promising for the Homer girls,” Casey said. “We return our entire starting defense as well as a good amount of our starting attack. Adjustments are being made in the midfield with some promising newcomers.
“With a high pressure defense and a disciplined attack,” Casey continued. “We are excited about the challenges and opportunity for success this season.”
Leading the veteran defense is third-year junior goalkeeper Kate Lawrence. She played every minute last season and recorded 121 saves in 18 games.
Lawrence with be joined in the defensive third by fourth-year senior Gillian McEvoy, third-year senior Mollie Ferrito, second-year seniors Mia Tesoriero and McKenzie Humphrey and second-year junior Tessa Yonta. Rounding out the defense is junior Gretta Stockwin who moves up for the junior varsity ranks.
While Homer did lose some offensive firepower, there are some very capable players coming back who can put the ball in the cage. Heading the attack will be junior Nina Armideo who begins her fourth season on varsity. Armideo netted 17 goals and added six assists in 2016 to finish as the team’s third leading scorer.
Back for their second year on attack are freshman Mattie Riter (8-6), senior Haley Cough and senior Marissa Urban (1-1).
Moving up from the JV ranks are junior Kristie Adams and junior Molly Burhans with senior Laura Allemann being new to the program this season.
The biggest change in faces comes at midfield. Second-year junior Deede Partigianoni (6-1) and sophomore Karly Roos are the only two players returning with varsity experience.
Moving up from the junior varsity are junior Jodi Maus, sophomore Catarina Kruman and freshman Allyson Natale. Eighth-grader Katlyn Sovocool will make the leap from modifieds to varsity this spring.
Homer will be in the OHSL Freedom National Division with Cortland, East Syracuse-Minoa, Jamesville-DeWitt, Mexico and Syracuse. The Freedom American Division will house Auburn, Central Square, Christian Brothers Academy, Fulton and Oswego. The league schedule will consist on one game with each National and American Division foe for a total of 10 games to crown a champion in each division. The Trojans will play non-league contests against Jordan-Elbridge, LaFayette, Whitesboro and Marcellus as well as a second game with Cortland and Jamesville-DeWitt for a total of 16 games.
Morgan Osborne will be the varsity assistant for Casey. Geoff Sorenson returns as JV coach with Martha Riley his assistant. Gina Kinsella is the modified coach and her assistant will be Kris Wakula.
Next up for Homer will be LaFayette Friday at 5 p.m. on Butts Field. The Trojans open their league season April 5 when Mexico comes to town for a 6:30 p.m. game.