April 5, 2013
Trojans nip CHS
Late goal by Emma Porter topples Purple Tigers, 9-8
The Cortland High girls’ lacrosse team wouldn’t quit Thursday in its season-opener against visiting rival Homer Central at Moiseichik Field.
Emma Porter made sure it wouldn’t win, either.
The Trojans’ senior attack scored the game-winner with 1:03 left, capping a seven-point day with her fourth goal of the game (to go with three assists) to help power Homer to a 9-8 OHSL Freedom American Division victory.
“The pressure was on and we had to have a goal,” Porter, now with four goals and six assists on the season, said of her late-game heroics. “I figured I might as well go for it. My teammates did a nice job of opening up some space. Cortland brought the double but I was able to roll and hit the inside post, to sneak it in. Cortland was able to get some good pressure after that, but we held on.”
The Purple Tigers’ last chance came to an end with 30 seconds left, when senior defender Rachel Murray intercepted a CHS pass and was able to clear the ball downfield to a teammate. The visitors maintaining control until the final horn.
In addition to Porter’s big game, another key factor in the final outcome as freshman midfielder Kim Dieroff’s ability to win 16 of the game’s 19 draw controls. “That was huge,” Trojans coach Ed Porter (Emma’s father) said. “It helped us to be able to tale the ball down, relax and get in our offense. Cortland was never really able to get any fast breaks against us. We wanted to control that, and play seven-on-seven.
“Emma is certainly one of our team leaders. When the ball’s in her stick she can possess it, or score. Our players look to her to lead on the field. I was concerned when they tied it late, we lost quite a bit of experience at midfield. But Kim won the draw, like she did all day to give us more possession time. When that’s the case, good things are bound to happen.”
COACH PORTER ALSO cited the defensive play of midfielders Dieroff, sophomore Morgan Hollenbeck, junior Nadine Downing and senior Sara Yonta. He also praised the play of junior goalie Libby Camp, who was credited with six saves in only her second varsity start. At least half of those were point-blank, including a pair in the later stages of the game to help her team keep the momentum.
“We haven’t had any scrimmages and were on the full field for the first time today. It’s not an excuse, but the first two minutes of each half hurt is,” Purple Tigers coach Kim Pace said, Emma Porter with two goals in the first 2:26 of the game while Yonta and freshman attack Olivia Porter (Emma’s sister) — the latter on a free position shot — tallied in the first 1:33 of the second. “That turned out to be a game-changer; the rest was evenly-played.
“The girls didn’t quit when they were down. They continued to fight and played smart a lot of the game, but there were some first-game jitters. we had some bad passes and missed catches. Taylor Tabel and Taylor Thomas did a good job of leading the offense.”
Senior attack Tabel had four goals and junior attack Thomas two goals and two assists on the day. Homer had a slight 17-16 shot advantage, CHS junior goalie Mikayla Cerio with eight saves.
As noted, the visitors, in the person of Emma Porter, got the first two goals of the game before Tabel started her scoring spree 8:05 in. Senior attack Logan McEvoy made it 3-1 Homer off an assist from Emma Porter before free position goals by Tabel and Thomas, the latter 1:51 before halftime, pulled Cortland even for the first time at 3-3. Olivia Porter’s goal 22 seconds before intermission gave the Trojans a 4-3 halftime lead.
HOMER INCREASED THE advantage to three, at 6-3, with the two quick goals to start the second half, Olivia Porter’s her fourth of the season, before senior attack Alexis Caughey and then Tabel scored, both off Thomas assists, the latter making it 6-5 with 16:46 left in the game. Homer had a quick answer, as Dieroff tallied her second of the season off an assist from Emma Porter exactly a minute later to reestablish her team’s two-goal advantage.
Thomas scored with 14:02 left to make it 7-6 before Tabel tied it at 7-7 at 12:40 with her fourth of the game. Emma Porter scored her third of the game at 11:29, and two key saves by Camp — one on a free position — kept it that way until C HS junior midfielder Liza Ferro tied it at 8-8 with 1:39 left.
At all led to Emma Porter’s late-game heroics.
“One of our goals was not to give up a lot of free position shots,” Pace said. “They only had one in the first half and two in the second.”
“Kim’s teams are always well-coached and tough, and double the ball well,” Coach Porter said. “That’s why our experience at attack helped us in this one. There’s not quit in Cortland; for their first actual game they really did a remarkable job.”
“It definitely helped us to have already played a game,” Emma Porter said. “We’ll see where we go from here. It feels good to beat Cortland early in the season. It’s always a big game because a lot of the girls know each other. It’s always good competition.”
Both teams will next face league foe Mexico. Cortland hosts the Tigers at 11 a.m. Saturday back at Moiseichik Field after the 9 a.m. junior varsity contest. Mexico visits Homer Monday at Butts Field in a 6:30 p.m. game following a 5 p.m. JV start.
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