It took a few minutes to figure out the style of play Oswego was showing, but once it was figured out, Homer Central boys had little trouble remaining perfect early in this lacrosse season.
Dante Yacavone scored six goals and had one assist as the Trojans posted a 16-5 victory over the previously undefeated Buccaneers in a steady rain at George Butts Field. Homer is 1-0 after its OHSL Freedom National Division opener and 3-0 overall. Oswego drops to 0-1 in OHSL Freedom American Division actions and 2-1 overall.
“We saw some things we hadn’t seen so far,” Homer coach Tom Cottrell said. “Ethan Stiles went up against a physical bigger kid on faceoffs. It took a little time to figure what he needed to do to be successful. He bounced back and did a great job at the X.
“Oswego also had some big physical dodgers,” he continued. “They were a little unorthodox and they were able to get some goals of us. We settled in, figured out what we needed to do, settled in and pulled away.”
Vincent Basile gave Homer an early 1-0 lead off a nice pass from Jake Riley with 10:42 left in the first quarter as both guys set the stage for big points nights.
It took a little time, but Oswego tied the game when Dan Doviak found the cage on an unassisted goal with 6:55 left in the quarter. Doviak’s goal sparked a five-goal flurry by the two teams. Riley found Dante Yacavone open as the Trojans went back in front 2-1 with 5:35 showing, but the Buccaneers knotted the score at 2-2 37 seconds later on a Mark Schuffenecker goals.
Stiles won his first faceoff with the score tied and raced downfield with the ball. He hit a cutting Riley who fired the ball into the cage in just nine seconds to put Homer in front for good.
Basile got a man-up goal for Homer and Yacavone closed out the first quarter with a goal with 0.8 of the clock for the 5-2 advantage. Riley assisted on both goals to complete a five-point quarter.
“It’s a lot of fun playing with those guys,” Riley said. “I get a lot of help from Vincent and Dante. They both see the field very well and get the ball to me at times. We have really played well together for the last four years. We have a good connection. We know how we run so we can feed each other the ball for open shots.”
“I thought Jake really played well last year,” Cottrell said. “These three guys have been together two years now on attack. It’s a game of match-ups. If you spend too much time on Yacavone and Basile, then Riley is going to hurt you. Jake is a smart, heady player and he gives us a little different element on attack.”
The Trojans opened the game up in the second quarter. Yacavone completed his hat trick just 20 seconds into the second quarter, Oswego cut the deficit to 6-3 a minute later when Nick Chalifoux ripped a shot into the cage.
Homer would reel off six unanswered goals to build a 12-3 halftime cushion. Tucker O’Donnell scored twice while Basile, Lars Roos, Riley and Yacavone netted the goals. Ironically it was the brother combination on Riley’s second goal as Max Riley assisted on that goal.
The Trojan run extended to 10 straight as Homer scored all four third quarter goals to lead 16-3. Yacavone connected two more times to finish his solid night. Basile got one goal to finish with four goals and three assists. Riley had two goals and five assists for the evening, though he didn’t have a point in the second half. O’Donnell got one more goal in the third quarter to complete a three-goal game. Of the 16 goals scored, 12 of them were assisted. Justin Wainwright picked up an assist on Yacavone’s first goal of the third quarter.
“The kids are doing a great job sharing the ball.” Cottrell said. “They are keeping their eyes up and looking for their teammates. Those are the little things we will need to do against the better opponents. Our kids are learning that and getting better all the time.”
Oswego recorded two goals in the fourth quarter. Huck Fitzgerald and Trey Clark for the back of the cage.
Homer enjoyed a 29-19 edge in shots and 39-31 edge in groundballs. Stiles and Chalifoux for Oswego each won 12 faceoffs. Mike Turck recorded six saves in the Homer goal with Corey Stevens making eight saves for Oswego.
Homer will have a week to prepare for its next opponent. The Trojans will host Cortland Thursday at 7 p.m. in non-league action on George Butts Field.
HOMER JVs rolled to another easy win to improve to 3-0 on the season. The Trojans scored six goals in the first quarter and scored a 13-1 victory over Oswego.
Dylan Yacavone led the way with three goals and three assists while Nate Evans scored two goals and added an assist, Connor Mathews and Josh Lee scored twice each and four players — Gabe Cline, Draven Mulvaney, Josh Cargen and Joe Brady — scored one goal each. Goalie Eric Suits made three saves.