October 23, 2021

Cruz’ two goals lead girls to victory

SCAC Empire Soccer

Tori Cruz scored both goals Tuesday night as the Cortland High girls’ soccer team scored a 2-1 SCAC Empire Division win over host East Syracuse-Minoa.

The Cortland boys, meanwhile, lost to visiting ES-M 2-0.


Cortland 2, ES-M 1: Cruz capped her two-goal night by netting the gamewinner with 2:43 left in regulation on a corner kick, sending a bending ball inside the near post that Spartans goalie Isabella Chavoustie couldn’t completely control and deflected into the side netting. The hosts then pressed for the equalizer but were thwarted when Purple Tigers goalie Marissa Gilmore scooped up a crossing pass as time wound down.

Cruz opened the scoring 7:45 into the game unassisted and Gianna Coccagnia equalized for the hosts at 28:10 off an assist from Francesca Polcaro.

“After halftime the girls knew they all had to pick it up if they wanted to win,” CHS coach Ilona Ryon said. “We had more possession in the second half, but struggled to get a clean shot off. ES-M was very good at getting the ball up the line on throw ins, but outside backs McKenna Snyder and Hannah Partigianoni were able to win back the ball and start a counterattack.

“Tori turned and attacked ES-M’s defense and sent many good through balls to our outside midfielders, Kaitlyn Pratt, Soleil Gutchess, Caleigh Chase, Margaret Starr, and Elyssa Yonta. Ella Quick was up top and dropped several passes back to Lillian Quick and Grace Call, who kept the ball moving across the field. Maia Quick played very well at center back with Jenicah Brown and Marissa helped keep us in the game by coming off her line to stop some long through balls.”

Gilmore made eight saves for Cortland (5-1 league, 6-2 overall), which had a narrow shot advantage and led 3-2 in corner kicks. Chavoustie made seven saves for the Spartans (3-4 league and overall).

The Purple Tigers host Fulton Thursday at 5 p.m. on Moiseichik Field.


ES-M 2, Cortland 0: The unbeaten Spartans did all of their scoring after halftime to improve to 6-0-1 in the league and overall. Kyle Scalzo opened the scoring six minutes into the second half off an assist from Todd Durantini, and Ty Mulcahy closed things out in the 65th minute, assisted by Casey McGlynn.

ES-M had a 25-6 shot advantage and Purple Tigers goalie made 13 saves to four for the visitors’ Ryan Cacase. The Spartans also had a 6-2 edge in corner kicks.

“Our defense held strong through the first half,” said CHS coach Luke Schweider, his team now 2-2-2 in league play and overall. “The boys played tough defense and stayed in defensive shape to keep ES-M from scoring early. Our defense was broken down through the middle for the goals. We had a few opportunities but they were good opportunities. We played great soccer against such a tough opponent.”

Cortland ghosts Fulton Thursday at 7 p.m., also on Moiseichik Field.