After Saturday’s 0-0 tie at Mexico, Cortland coach Luke Schweider said his team needed to find the back of the net on the scoring opportunities it created. His players got the message and did just that Monday night against neighboring rival Homer on George Butts Field.
Nick Litzenberger scored three goals in the first 17 minutes as the Purple Tigers cruised to a 5-1 non-league win over the Trojans. Cortland improves to 2-3-1 overall. Homer falls to 0-5.
“Cortland came out quick and put pressure on our defense from the start of the game,” Homer coach Kevin Douglass said. “We made a few mistakes. They got behind our defense and scored a couple quick goals. We did not play good coverage on their crosses and as a result they finished.”
Litzenberger scored his first goal 4:11 into the game off an assist from Martin Monroe. Six minutes later, Litzenberger made it 2-0 with an unassisted goal. After six more minutes had elapsed, Litzenberger completed his hat trick by scoring his third goal with an assist from Caleb Marsh as Cortland took a 3-0 lead with 23:16 left in the first half.
The Purple Tigers weren’t done. Alex Musci found the back of the net with 12:04 remaining in the first half. Matt Meagley assisted on the play as Cortland took a 4-0 lead into halftime.
“We talked about our defensive shape and marking players better,” Douglass said. “We needed to press when we got the chance and try to move the ball to the corners.”
The Trojans appeared to respond. Dan Sokolik took a crossing pass from Elias J. and
stuck the ball in the back of the net to get Homer on the board with 32:16 left in the game.
Cortland made it 5-1 with 29 minutes remaining when Monroe scored off a feed from Musci to complete the scoring.
Cortland enjoyed an 18-11 advantage in shots. Homer had a narrow 4-3 edge in corner kicks. Zander Johnson made 10 saves for the Trojans. Donovan Hartnett did not make a save during his time in the Cortland goal while Cody Wilk recorded four saves during his time in goal for the Purple Tigers.
“We continued to work hard and overall I think we found out a few things about where certain players fit,” Douglass said. “I hope that will help us out as continue to look for our first win.”
It will be a short turnaround for both teams. Cortland will return to SCAC Empire Division action this afternoon as the Purple Tigers host Fulton at 6:30 p.m. on Moiseichik Field. Homer will be on the road this afternoon as the Trojans travel to Cazenovia for an OHSL Liberty Division match at 6:30 p.m.