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April 1, 2013

 

Porter sets school mark in opening Homer loss

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

While it was a mixed day emotionally for Homer Central girls, there were many positives to draw from after the Trojans’ 16-5 season-opening lacrosse loss to South Jefferson Saturday at George Butts Field.
Senior attack/midfielder Emma Porter became the school’s all-time points leader after her three-assist day. Porter’s younger sister, Olivia, celebrated her 15th birthday with a pair of goals. There was also improvement in team play as the game progressed.
“It was good to be out and running on the field,” Homer head coach Ed Porter said. “It was our first full-field day because all our scrimmages were canceled. We had our first four games canceled. It was a chance to run full field against a very good team in South Jefferson. It’s a tough way to start.
“We did turn the ball over too many times,” he added. “Overall, I am pretty happy. The girls never gave up. They worked hard and showed some flashes of what we are capable of. Our younger players did step up in their first game.”
South Jefferson (2-0 overall) scored its first goal 26 seconds into the non-league contest. Madesyn Alexander (2 goals-1 assist) netted an unassisted goal on the first shot of the game. Morgan Alexander (5-1) and Clarissa Perry (2-2) netted two goals while Maddie Knapp (3-0) tallied once as the Spartans built a 6-0 lead with 8:25 left in the first half.
Emma Gutchess got Homer’s first goal of the season with 6:58 left in the first half.
After a pair of South Jefferson goals, freshman Olivia Porter got her first varsity goal, off an assist from her older sister — who tied former teammate Katelyn Gray on the all-time scoring list. That goal with 1:43 left in the first half would make the halftime count 8-2 in favor of the visiting Spartans.
The second half saw South Jefferson maintain its superiority with eight more goals, but Homer saw some sparks of its offensive potential with three tallies of its own.
Olivia Porter netted her second goal off a free position restart with 16:51 left. Five minutes later, Nadine Downing got her first goal of the season with Emma Porter assisting. That helper with 11:52 to go gave her the all-time record with 184 points on 124 goals and 60 career assists, which is building on her school record for assists she broke last season.
“It is bittersweet because we lost the game so badly,” the senior Porter said after her record-setting day. “I could not have gotten the record without my teammates and there is no where to go but up for all of us after this game. There was a lot of nervousness out there today, but no one gave up and everyone worked really hard. That is encouraging for a young team like us.”
“I’m happy for Emma,” her coach and father said. “She has worked hard for it. This will be a tough season for her because she is a leading returning scorer so she is going to draw a lot of double teams. Teams will want to shut her down.”
Emma Porter picked up her third assist on a nice pass and shot by freshman Kimberly Dieroff with 23 seconds remaining. It was Dieroff’s first varsity goal.
While the Trojans did improve in the second half with more shots, draw controls won and ground balls scooped up, so did the play in goal of junior goalkeeper Libby Camp. She made seven saves in her varsity debut and settled into her starting role as the game wore on.
“Libby did make some nice saves and improved as the game went along,” Coach Porter said. “She was nervous making her first varsity start, but she made some nice stick saves and some nice saves by getting into the correct position. A lot of the goals she gave up were not her fault because of defensive breakdowns. Libby really improved and I told her how happy I was with her play today. It’s good to get a game under her belt.”
Overall, South Jefferson took won shots (24-12) and won more draws (12-10) while Homer actually had a 24-22 edge in ground balls. Courtney Zeigler made four saves in goal for the Spartans. Keagan Nowlin came in during the second half and recorded three saves.
Homer will face its first OHSL Freedom Division test Thursday. The Trojans travel to Cortland High for an 11 a.m. contest with only the varsity teams meeting this day.

 

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