December 1, 2021

Cortland boys score sectional win

Katie Vartanian/contributing photographer

Cortland’s Derek Myers (11, purple) leaps over Oswego’s Cody Vickery (7, white) and Joshua Chun (11, white) to score a goal in Tuesday’s NYSPHSAA Section III Class A boys soccer tournament first-round matchup

CORTLAND — In soccer, sometimes all it takes is one.

That was the case Tuesday evening as the No. 8 Cortland boys soccer team defeated the No. 9 Oswego Buccaneers, 1-0, in the first round of the NYSPHSAA Section III Class A tournament.

The lone goal came in the 17th minute for the Purple Tigers as a corner kick from Nick Yonta resulted in a great ball that connected with Derek Myers, who headed it in and gave Cortland the lead.

“It was our center back who was able to get through and get the header on his birthday too,” Purple Tigers head coach Luke Schweider said. “It was a great run; he went right through it so it was great to see that. The go-ahead goal, the game-winning goal and the first section win for us in a while so he’s feeling pretty good right now.”

The rest of the first half was back-and-forth between teams, with neither side having many good opportunities.

The action picked up in the second half. The Purple Tigers looked to add to their lead and the Buccaneers wanted to even the score up as both teams played with their seasons on the line.

Oswego constantly put pressure on Cortland as they hoped to create opportunities offensively and tie the game. The defense for the Purple Tigers was a wall, however, and any opportunity the Buccaneers had was pushed away by the defense.

“We talked about how Oswego’s strength is going over the top so we told our outside backs that we were winning 50-50s today,” Schweider said. “Anything up the middle, we are winning them. Play fearless and they did.”

There were a few instances late in the game when the Buccaneers broke through Cortland’s defensive wall. Oswego created very good looks, but Purple Tigers keeper Scott Hourigan was there to deny every opportunity the Buccaneers had.

“I’ve said it before; he’s been our rock the entire season,” Schweider said. “He keeps us in games. He had four or five amazing saves on top of all his routine saves.”

The Buccaneers outshot the Purple Tigers 15-12 and Hourigan had 10 saves on the night to help hold on and secure the victory.

Next up for the Purple Tigers is a road game against No. 1 East Syracuse-Minoa at 7 p.m. Friday. The matchup will be a challenge for Cortland, but they will welcome it and celebrate their first sectional win in years.

“It starts defensively; we know they are good, we’ve seen them and lost 7-1,” Schweider said. “As long as we can attack with speed while having support runs, we’ll have a chance to at least be dangerous when we know how talented they are. We’re celebrating now, it is our first sectional win in I don’t know how long. At least eight years.