CORTLAND — Many of the same players and coaches on the Homer football team who were part of the Trojans’ dominant season-ending win over the Cortland Purple Tigers on April 13, returned to Moiseichik Field Tuesday night to earn another decisive victory over the Purple Tigers, this time in boys’ lacrosse, by the score of 12-4 in the season opener for both teams.
Jake Calabro led the Trojans with four goals, all unassisted. Jared Matthews added two goals and two assists, Logan Goodman, Logan Swartz and Ben Morenus each had a goal and an assist and Chris Kiernan, Reid Partis and Andrew Van Patten each had a goal.
“I think that, offensively, the kids were very unselfish, Trojans head coach Tom Cottrell said. “They had their eyes up, they shared the ball really well. I thought that we distributed the ball to the open guy very well offensively.”
Owen Riley had a hat trick for Cortland and Kaleb Thorhauer had two goals.
In the first half, the game could have easily been closer. The Purple Tigers won six faceoffs to the Trojans’ five, and the Trojans only had a 9-8 edge in ground balls. But the halftime score was 7-2 in favor of the Trojans.
That was due in large part to the stout goal-tending of Colin Perks and the Trojans’ ability to capitalize in transition on ground balls where the Purple Tigers could not.
Perks made 17 consecutive saves in a 32-minute span between the second and fourth quarters, during which time the Trojans outscored the Purple Tigers 9-0. Thorhauer’s first goal came at 2:55 of the second quarter, and that was the last time the Purple Tigers would see the back of the net until Riley completed his hat trick with 1:05 left in the game.
The Trojans were able to extend their lead to 11-2 in the third quarter by winning 10 ground balls and converting four of them into goals, two by Calabro.
“A few more turnovers than I would like, especially in the clearing game, but I also thought we rode hard, which gave us some extra possessions,” Cottrell said. “I do think our kids capitalized, particularly in the first three quarters, in transition situations or odd-man situations and found a way to get a good shot on cage.”
With only one week of practice under their belts before this game, Cottrell believes there is room for improvement, but he was happy with the performance all things considered.
“We all started last Monday, so we practiced Monday through Saturday and had a pregame practice yesterday. The kids played fall sports, a lot of football players on the team, so we didn’t have
a lot of time to get any extra practice or work in, so we’ve got a lot of growth to do and a lot of room to improve, but it’s a nice start.”
Homer (1-0) is back in action at 7 p.m. Thursday when they host Jordan-Elbridge. Cortland (0-1) is off until Tuesday when they visit East Syracuse-Minoa, also at 7 p.m.