August 30, 2014
Not bad for openers.
Junior forward Shea Swartwout scored three goals, senior center midfielder Talia Cruz scored twice and sophomore goalkeeper Maddie Zimmer made three saves for the shutout in her varsity debut Friday afternoon as the Cortland High girls’ soccer team opened its season with a 5-0 non-league win over Oneida on Moiseichik Field in Ryan Bilodeau’s first game as head coach of the Purple Tigers.
Swartwout scored in the 18th minute and Cruz tallied five minutes later, both unassisted, as CHS moved to a 2-0 halftime lead. Swartwout scored in the 11th and 14th minutes of the second half, with junior left midfielder Becca Alteri assisting on the first one, before Swartwout closed out the scoring with a penalty kick later in the half after a hand ball in the box.
The winners had a 20-3 shot advantage, all three of J-E’s shots coming in the second half. One of Zimmer’s saves came on a one-on-one for J-E. Lea Wright made 11 saves and Maya Aims stopped two shots in the Eagle nets.
“I was proud of my girls,” Bilodeau said. “They are putting forth a great team effort at not surrendering goals in the back while attacking hard up front. They have worked hard for me all pre-season to learn a different system of play and they have really tried to improve upon their individual technical ball skills, our team passing and possession. I look forward to their continued hard work and am thankful for the good coaching many of them received as developing players leading into our season together.”
Cortland visits Chittenango Tuesday in a 7 p.m. start.
Bilodeau takes over as Purple Tigers coach from Abbey Albright, who in her six seasons at the helm raised the squad to another level. Albright’s teams won two Section 3 Class A championships (in 2007 and 2008) — the first in the program’s history and the 2008 team was a state semifinalist. CHS also made the sectional title game in 2006, Albright’s first year as head coach.
She resigned the position due to expandedacademic responsibilities at CHS and cited the same philosophy she imparted to her players — “Family first, then school, then athletics” — as the explanation for the decision.
Bilodeau played for the McGraw boys’ soccer team in high school and for the last four seasons was the assistant girls’ varsity coach at Homer Central under Jim Baranello. He has also coached club soccer with Empire USA and the Syracuse Development Academy, and credits his coaching style to Baranello as well as Dryden varsity girls’ coach Janine Bennett, SUNY Morrisville women’s coach Chris Perkins and Andy Caruso, the co-founder of Kwik Goal.
Last year’s team went 2-10-2 in the OHSL Freedom National Division and 2-11-3 overall, scoring just 18 goals along the way. Players who scored 16 of those return, headed up by sophomore midfielder/forward Logan Chase, who led the team in scoring with six goals and four assists and was CHS’s Rookie of the Year. Swartwout scored four goals, Cruz (an all-league honorable mention) had three goals and two assists and senior midfielder Adrianna Rabusin had a goal and an assist.
Also back from a year ago are seniors Ali Bustamante (back/forward; one goal) and Molly Herting (midfielder; one goal) and juniors Hannah Whelan (back; team’s Most Improved Player), Ally DeGraff (back), Molly Doubet (back) and Charisse Farley (back/midfielder).
Cruz and Herting are the captains.
Graduation claimed the majority of Cortland’s award winners from last fall. Midfielder Liza Ferro (one goal) was a first-team all-leaguer and team MVP, while defender Sarah Endress was a second-team all-leaguer and CHS’s defensive MVP. Senior defender Raeanna Dunn was an all-league honorable mention, and also won the team’s Coach’s Award.
In addition, Quinn Doubet (Molly’s sister) was the only goalkeeper to see action last year, making 104 saves with a goals-against average of 2.19 in 16 games.
The newcomers this fall are juniors Alteri (midfielder/forward), Taylor Ludwig (back), Kimberlee Conway (back) and Emily Edwards (forward/midfielder), sophomore Zimmer and freshmen Alaina Rabusin (midfielder/forward/goalkeeper; Adrianna’s sister) and Shayla Marsh (back/forward).
“As a coach, I am trying to teach the team to be organized and disciplined with their defense and patient in their attack, Bilodeau said. “A lack of discipline in the back can create holes that, if left open for even an instant, can be exploited by our opponents and result in our giving up goals. By being patient in the attack, our aim is to maintain possession for as long as possible and keep our opponents shifting defensively.”
In discussing goals for this season, Bilodeau noted that “We want to perform and finish well in all we do, on and off the field). It’s easy to start well or to highlight periodically but maintaining focus and intensity and consistently performing at a high level for the full game — or whatever other activity they’re involved with— is something to strive for.
“We also want to never allow a goal in the first or last five minutes of any half; to open the scoring of any contest so that we don’t have to adjust play to be a ‘come from behind’ team and to earn a place in the sectionals tournament by the end of our season.”
The Japanese ‘Kaizen’ philosophy will also be adopted and applied by the Purple Tigers this season, Bilodeau said. “It means to continuously improve to the following four areas of play:Technical, Tactical, Psychological & Fitness — the four pillars of a sport.”
Kristy Tartaglia will once again coach the JV team and Brandy Thompson returns as the Modified coach.
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