Is was a very successful opening night for Homer Central boys lacrosse Thursday night on George Butts Field.
Dante Yacavone netted six goals and added three assists while Vincent Basile scored five goals and had two assists as the Trojans routed visiting South Jefferson 18-2 in the non-league season opener for both schools.
Much of the offensive success went to senior Ethan Stiles who won 17-of-23 face-off opportunities to help the Homer offense move into attack mode.
“Ryan (Gabriel) taught me the trade very well,” Stiles said of the Trojans’ face-off specialist one year ago. “I worked real hard in the off-season. I put in a lot of work and had a athletic trainer work with me to get my conditioning better so I could run the midfield. It is a big switch from attack to midfield, playing all offense to playing both ways and at the X. It’s good that all the work paid off.”
“Ethan did a great job,” Homer coach Tom Cottrell said. “It was nice to see him have that kind of success because he really did work real hard in the off-season. He’s been an attackman all his life and he knew we needed a face-off guy. Ethan took it upon himself to turn himself into one. One game doesn’t make a season, but he certainly got himself off to a great start.
“We played South Jeff in the first round of sectionals a year ago,” he continued. “It was a one goal game. I think this speaks volumes of how hard our kids have worked in the off-season. We both lost kids to graduation, but we left no doubt tonight who was the better team.”
Homer got off to a quick start as a pair of Yacavone goals sandwiched a Tucker O’Donnell tally for a 3-0 lead in the first four minutes. After a Spartan goal, the Trojans got the hat trick goal from Yacavone and two Basile goals made it 6-1 by the end of the first quarter.
Ethan Geurtsen scored his second goal for South Jefferson on a man-up situation with 11:42 left in the the first half before Basile scored two man-down goals to increase the Trojan advantage to 8-2 with 10:32 left in the half. Those two goals were part of an 8-0 run by Homer as the Trojans led 14-2 by halftime.
With running time the entire second half, Homer scored three times in the third quarter and once in the fourth quarter for the 18-2 final.
Lars Roos finished with three goals for Homer. O’Donnell netted two goals while Alex Recor (one assist) and Max Riley (two assists) each had one goal. Jake Riley handed out two assists and Stiles had one.
“There was a lot of unselfishness with eight guys being involved in the scoring,” Cottrell said. “The guys did the things we were asking them to do on offense. We ran several different sets and got goals out of all of them. We also converted on some unsettled situations.”
Mike Turck made his varsity debut and the junior goalkeeper made two saves as South Jefferson was limited to five shots by the tenacious Homer defense.
“Mike did a nice job in his first start,” Cottrell said. “We did play solid defense.”
Homer will return to action Tuesday against LaFayette in another non-league contest. There is a site switch as the game has been moved from LaFayette to Butts Field with a 7 p.m. start.
HOMER JVS got off to a solid start with a 15-1 victory over South Jefferson.
Dylan Yacavone scored five goals and had two assists to lead the Trojans. Nate Evans added three goals with two assists and John Denkenberger found the cage twice. Connior matthews had a goal and two assists while scoring one goal each were Dante Patriarco, Patrick Ponticello, Zach Mallory and Josh Cargen.
Eric Suits made two saves for Homer while Tim Williams recorded 15 saves for South Jefferson.
“The guys came out with lots of energy.” Homer coach Nick Patriarco said. “We moved the ball and created lots of very good scoring chances. I thought we played a consistent game and played well on both ends of the field as well as between the boxes. Everyone saw the field and gained some good game experience.”