Johnson City scored the first goal of the night, but that was the highlight for the visiting Section 4 squad as the undefeated Homer Central boys’ lacrosse team romped to an 18-6 non-league victory on George Butts Field Friday.
Tucker O’Donnell led a balanced Trojan attack with five goals and five assists as Homer improved to 4-0 on the season. The defending Section 4 Class champion Wildcats drop to 4-2.
“We started out very strong, “ O’Donnell said, Homer having built a 9-2 first quarter lead. “We’re in a good spot right now and happy with the direction that we are heading. We knew these guys were good, but we looked at it like any other game and got the job done.”
Brandon Warren gave Johnson City a 1-0 lead 1:03 into the game, but O’Donnell assisted on a Lars Roos goal 48 seconds later that tied the game at 1-1 as Homer reeled off four straight goals. Vinny Basile put the Trojans ahead 2-1 with 9:05 left in the first quarter off another O’Donnell assist before the senior co-captain netted his first goal with Roos assisting with 7:33 left in the first quarter. Dylan Yacavone made it 4-1 Trojans with 6:42 to in the quarter as older brother Dante picked up the assist.
William Kozloski (3 goals) collected the second Wildcat goal at the 6:16 mark, but Homer closed out the quarter with a five-goal run for the 9-2 cushion. O’Donnell scored twice during the run with Dylan Yacavone, Dante Yacavone and Roos each scoring once. O’Donnell, Justin Wainwright, Basile and Dante Yacavone each assisted once.
“I was really happy with the way we started,” Homer coach Tom Cottrell said. “Even giving up the first goal, we won the first face-off and dominated play. They got a transition-type goal so we will have to clean those types of things up. Offensively, I thought we played great. John Denkenberger won the faceoffs with his helpers Justin Wainwright and Noah Goddard on the wings. The offense shared the ball well and we came out of the gate well.”
Denkenberger won nine of 11 faceoffs in the first quarter as Homer won 16-of-27 battles in the ‘X’ for the game.
Dante Yacavone and O’Donnell each scored twice in the second quarter. Dylan Yacavone and Basile added one goal each as Homer led 15-4 at halftime.
“It was a good night all the way around,” O’Donnell said. “Everybody was moving the ball and it was going in the net. It felt like whoever had it was confident tonight. I happened to put a few in tonight, other guys put a few in tonight. It was a good balanced night.”
“We have four kids who are as good as anybody out there,” Cottrell stated. “On any given night it could be Tucker, Dante, Vinny, Lars. Tucker was all over the place tonight. Dante did a good job of tacking on points. Dylan had a good night. Vinny is really the anchor out there.They all contribute, and the nice part is they are all unselfish enough for each other to have big nights. One guy isn’t worried about getting his points. Whoever has the hot hand, they keep going to him.”
Goddard scored a man-down goal for Homer with O’Donnell assisting with 8:27 left in the third quarter to give the Trojans a 16-4 cushion and trigger running time for the remainder of the game. Basile and Dante Yacavone gave the Trojans an 18-4 advantage after three quarters. Goddard assisted on Yacavone’s goal.
Dante Yacavone finished the game with four goals and two assists, giving him 22 points on the season and 199 for his career. Basile (1 assist) and Dylan Yacavone netted three goals whileRoos had two goals an one assist. Goddard had one goal and one assist.
Homer enjoyed a 39-22 advantage in shots and 41-23 edge in ground balls. Johnson City was one-for-six on the man-up offense while Homer only had one man-up opportunity and didn’t convert. Cody Chanthavong had seven saves of Johnson City and Juney Palmer none. Mike Turck recorded six saves for the Trojans and Lucas Sweeten none in his five minutes of action.
Along with returning starters Zach Barber and Dominick Natale, Zach Mallory was emerged as a force as the third defenseman for the Trojans.
“Mallory has earned that spot, he has worked his tail off and I am very proud of him,” Cottrell said. “Zach worked very hard in the off-season. He’s played very well and is very coachable. I expect him to keep getting better. He even gives Justin Wainwright a little break at long-stick middie.”
Wainwright picked up two more assists and continues to keep the offense flowing using a long stick.
“He’s good,” Cottrell chuckled. “The kid is good.”
With Honeoye Falls-Lima hosting the Trojans a week from today, O’Donnell knows that out-of-section games are key to this team’s success this season.
“We have a great schedule,” he said. “The coaches did a good job of setting it up this year. We had a great year last year, but we didn’t finish. That’s been our motto this year. The variety of opponents we will see will help us out.”
Homer will return to OHSL action Tuesday, hosting Tully at 7 p.m. in a site switch as the Black Knights’ field is currently not playable. The Trojan JVs will get things started against Tully at 5 p.m.