HOMER — While Thursday’s game was a great one to watch from a fan’s perspective, it was a bitter pill to swallow for the Homer girls soccer team as the Mexico Tigers won, 2-1, on a goal in the 79th minute by Lily Duschen.
Duschen scored the goal after receiving a throw-in from behind midfield and beating Elena Barrett one-on-one en route to a near-post shot past Trojans goalie Catherine Apker.
“Elena was right on her,” Trojans coach Ben Bowers said. “(Duschen) gets a great foot in, and the angle just finds it.”
The goal broke a stalemate between Apker and Tigers goalie Briana Urquhart, who traded highlight reel saves throughout the match. Apker made 12 saves and Urquhart made six, but Urquhart’s saves were crucial in swinging the game in favor of the Tigers.
The Tigers tied the game at 1-1 in the 66th minute when Grace O’Gorman fought off some tight defense forcing her away from goal and fired a desperation shot that trickled towards the far post and into the goal.
Shortly afterward, the Trojans had two chances to reclaim the lead just barely slip through their fingers. Gracie Patriarco had Urquhart beat in the 68th minute, but she pushed her shot just wide right of the goal.
One minute later, Sarah Sovocool, who gave the Trojans the lead in the 24th minute by beating Urquhart after drawing her way off her line, forced the ball towards net on the ground, but Urquhart stuck out her hand at the very last moment with the ball right on the goal line to keep the game level.
Apker had her share of fantastic saves, including two tough ones shortly after Sovocool’s goal.
The Trojans finished the regular season with three consecutive losses in which they were outscored 10-1, one win in their final six games and a record of 6-9-1. They are currently projected as the No. 15 seed in the Section III Class B tournament and would host Holland Patent in the first round. But with arguably the best goalie in Central New York in Apker, Bowers and the Trojans will enter the tournament with all the confidence in the world.
“We obviously don’t like the outcome, but it shows the capability of what we can actually do and what we can actually play,” Bowers said. “We end not on a great note, but on a high note where we want to be playing, and we’ll take that momentum into sectionals.”
Dryden 3, Spencer-Van Etten 1
Corey Matesanz had a brace and Nolan Weik had a goal and two assists as the Lions improved to 11-4.
“We played very well defensively today blocking shots and disrupting play,” Lions coach Laszlo Engel said. “We worked on the little things such as man marking in appropriate places. That was our focus and it paid off for us… This game became quite physical, but we maintained our focus and did our jobs. I am very pleased with our efforts to stay focused, especially in the second half.”
Jamesville-Dewitt 2, Cortland 0
J-D outshot Cortland 24-2, but Scott Hourigan made 12 saves to ensure the Purple Tigers (7-8) stayed in contention.
Max MacCaull and Kyan Barbuto had the goals for the Red Rams.
Cortland 3, Fowler 0
The Purple Tigers dominated Fowler with wins of 25-12, 25-15 and 25-10 to even their record at 6-6.
Molly Steve led the way for Cortland with eight aces, eight assists, two kills and two digs, while Aliza McCormick added three aces, two kills and two digs.
Westhill 3, Homer 0
Westhill swept the match by scores of 25-14, 25-8 and 25-17.
Mallory Douglass had 12 digs and Kloey Roos had eight kills and six digs to lead the Trojans.
Cortland at Homer, 7 p.m.
Dryden at Johnson City, 7 p.m.
Cincinnatus at Madison, 4:30 p.m.
DeRuyter at Stockbridge Valley, 8 p.m.
Madison at Cincinnatus, 4:30 p.m.
McGraw at Otselic Valley, 4:30 p.m.
DeRuyter at Stockbridge Valley, 6 p.m.
Groton at Union Springs, 6:30 p.m.
Dryden at Trumansburg, 7 p.m.
Marathon at Walton, 4:30 p.m.
Cortland at Port Byron, 6 p.m