HOMER — The Port Byron Panthers were just too far out of the Homer Trojans’ reach Thursday evening as the Trojans fell to the visiting Panthers, 2-1, at Homer High.
The game was scoreless until the 9:34 mark of the third quarter, when Port Byron’s Sadie White had a pointblank chance on Trojans goalie Emily Daniels (11 saves). Daniels made the save, but the rebound went straight to Gabby Sennett, who tapped the ball home on the wide-open left side of the net to give the Panthers the lead.
The goal was the culmination of a plethora of offensive chances for the Panthers in the third quarter, which included seven shots on goal and three penalty corners. Even though there was still 23 minutes left in the game, Trojans coach Brooke Head said the goal sapped the energy from her squad.
“That happens sometimes, where they get down on themselves even though it’s not over,” Head said. “I explained that to them as soon as they came off for the beginning of the fourth quarter. The game isn’t over. We still have an opportunity, we still have a chance.”
A minute into the fourth quarter, the Panthers struck again on a transition play as Sadie White fed a cross to Abigail McKay, who beat Daniels’ kick save attempt for the goal.
The Trojans cut the lead to 2-1 less than two minutes later when Molly McMasters forced home a goal through a ton of traffic in front of Port Byron goalie Maria Burns (10 saves) after a penalty corner.
In the final minute, the Trojans had two opportunities to pull even, but a misfired cross went over the end line and an outlet pass from 30 yards away from net went wide left of goal just before the final horn sounded.
“It was incredibly frustrating right there at the end,” Head said. “Their goalie played really well…we just couldn’t get that ball in. We had the pressure, but it just didn’t cross that line. It was really close, but not quite there.”
The loss put the Trojans’ record at 2-2, but it’s still the best start to a season Homer field hockey has had in years.
“The girls knew what my expectations were coming into the season, and they really came in prepared and ready to run,” Head said. “It hasn’t always been like that, so they definitely came in ready to go…we’ve been having really good practices, and they’ve been working really hard in practice. Every time I tell them to do something, they’ve been doing it, which is really nice.”
Marathon 2, Union Springs 0
Bryce Howe and Brittan Keller each scored a goal in the second half, and Julian Spizzirri made two saves for the clean sheet as the Olympians improved to 3-1-1.
Dryden 4, Southern Cayuga 0
Paul Busby had a brace and Bryant DePaul and James Duncan each scored their first varsity goal as part of a 28-shot effort for the Lions in their win.
“We worked hard today,” Lions coach Laszlo Engel said. “They pressured us well, but we stood the tide and then found the net 20 minutes into the game…This was a very nice team effort and a couple changes during the game made the difference. I am very pleased with our efforts and our willingness to step up and improve our game.”
Marcellus 3, Homer 0
The Trojans did what they could to hang with one of the best teams in Section III, but ultimately were swept by scores of 25-11, 25-9 and 25-23.
Kloey Roos had the best all-around game for the Trojans with seven kills and 12 digs, while Mallory Douglass recorded 14 digs and Lilly Sorensen had four digs, two kills and three blocks.
Cortland 203, Syracuse City 242
The Purple Tigers picked up the win as Andrew Partigianoni shot a matchbest and 37 and was backed up by Kooper Knabe (40), Ethan Hay (41) and Carter Baum (41).
Homer 208, Jordan-Elbridge 269
The Trojans had the top five scores of the match – Mitch Riter (34), Jacob Ruebush (42), Lukas Quinn (43), Tanner Douglass (44) and Bethany Wineburg (45). Riter also earned an eagle on the first hole.
Chittenango 5, Homer 2
The Trojans fell back to .500 at 3-3, but not before Eila Spanbauer picked up a 10-7 singles win and Ginny Park and Emily Barber earned a 10-5 doubles win.
Cortland at New Hartford, 6:30 p.m.
Dryden at Chenango Forks, 7 p.m.
Lansing at Groton, 7 p.m.
Homer at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, 7 p.m.
Cincinnatus at DeRuyter, 4:30 p.m.
Dryden at Trumansburg, 4:30 p.m.
Chenango Forks at Homer, 6 p.m.
Tioga at Marathon, 5:30 p.m.
DeRuyter at Cincinnatus, 4:30 p.m.
Groton at Southern Cayuga, 4:30 p.m.
Homer at West Genesee, 6:30 p.m.
Moravia at Marathon, 4:30 p.m.
McGraw vs. Schenevus, 4:30 p.m. (game at Oxford)
Marathon at Cortland, 4:30 p.m.
Homer at Auburn, 6:30 p.m.
Auburn at Cortland, 6:30 p.m