October 26, 2021

Cortland coach proud despite narrow loss

SCAC Empire Girls’ Lacrosse

Katie Vartanian/contributing photographer

Cortland’s Elizabeth Decker heads upfield while Fulton’s Kylie Jones (10) and Cary Isabella (1) apply defensive pressure.

Despite the final outcome in the Cortland High girls’ lacrosse team’s 16-15 loss to visiting Fulton Friday night, Purple Tigers coach Kindra Catalano was upbeat afterwards.

“Proud,” she said. “The one word that describes my feeling about tonight’s game. The girls playing a full 50 minutes with poise and control was exciting to watch in our home opener. Clearly the scoring efforts by Lauren Swartz, Tora Edwards, Tsai Lewis, Grace Call, Hannah Partigianoni and Liz Decker kept us in the game right down to the final second. With six seconds left on the clock Auburn had a caused turnover on our defensive end and Lauren picked it up and was on the move upfield when the buzzer sounded.

“Hannah did a phenomenal job of working with her teammates on the draw circle. She had a team high of seven draw controls while also being a leader in assists tonight. Lauren found the net easily tonight on transition and free position shots.”

Swartz led CHS, now 0-2 league and overall, with seven goals and an assist while Partigianoni had a goal and six assists. Call scored three goals, Tsai Lewis had two goals, Liz Decker contributed a goal and an assist and Tora Edwards scored once. Goalie Bella Smith made five saves, her teammates with a 27-25 shot advantage.

Cortland also won 16 of the 27 draw controls while each team controlled 14 ground balls.

Emma Weaver was the game’s high goal-scorer with nine for Fulton in its season opener. Keara Patterson had four goals and nine assists, Maddie Baum two goals and an assist and Carleigh Patterson one goal. Maile Follett stopped eight shots in the visitors’ goal.

“Tsai and Shyanne Lewis add so much speed, game sense and vision to our field,” Catalano said “It’s incredible what they have produced in just two seasons. It’s unfortunate to fall to Fulton by one goal, but the effort was incredible tonight. Playing down two on defense due to yellow cards and being able to turn that into a goal by Liz Decker just two minutes after that was necessary.

“Grace and Abby Ricottilli continue to cause turnovers and create transition opportunities. A tighter defensive unit will be necessary as we move through the remainder of the season.”

The Cortland JVs opened their season with a 17-3 win over Fulton, led by Gabby Cranfield with seven goals and two assists. Kayla Swartwood and Margaret Starr had three goals and an assist apiece, Lilly Call two goals, Megan Harrington a goal and an assist and Olivia Magin one goal. Goalie Hayden Bulger made 11 saves.

“I honestly couldn’t be more proud of my team tonight,” Purple Tigers coach Jennifer Larkin said. “We have a few brand new players and only three subs on the sideline. Fulton, on the other hand, had enough to sub two full teams. It was a little intimidating, but my girls never gave up and gave 100 percent from start to finish.

“Our passing and transition was constantly moving and smooth. Our defense was strong and did their job of keeping the offense away from shooting opportunities. Attack moved the ball up the field and made it difficult for Fulton to keep up.”

Both Cortland teams visit Oswego Tuesday, with the JV game starting at 4:30 p.m. and the varsity contest slated to get underway at 6:30 p.m.