CORTLAND, N.Y. — The Cortland Tigers defeated the Oswego Buccaneers 26-13 and improved to a 4-5 overall and conference record.
Right after the first draw, Cortland junior midfielder Grace Call scored the first goal of the game. One minute later, Oswego senior McKinley Thompson scored off an assist from fellow senior attacker Jordan Hare. After this early series of events, the crowd knew the game was going to heat up.
With 12:09 left in the first half, the Tigers had a 7-1 lead in which Cortland sophomore midfielder Hannah Partigianoni assisted in 4 of those goals and scored one from a free position shot. Partigianoni ended up with a total share of five goals and five assists throughout the game.
Down by six with plenty of time on the clock, the Buccaneers started to press offensively into Cortland’s defense. Only precise passes were able to get through Cortland’s outstanding defense.
“We work really hard at creating a very solid defense that is supported by all seven players back there, so that they are never doing it by themselves,” said Cortland head coach Kindra Catalano. “It is a very intense and committed team defense approach.”
By the end of the first half, Cortland had a five goal lead, 12-7. With Partigianoni scoring a goal off an assist from senior midfielder Lauren Swartz with 17 seconds left on the clock, giving the Tigers a much-needed boost going into the second half.
Swartz led the Tigers in scoring with a total of seven goals. Four of them came in the first half and three of them in the second, while she also recorded a total of two assists.
As the rain started to pour down heading into the second half, Oswego tried to make a quick comeback, but Cortland’s offense and defense were on point.
“I gave the girls a goal coming into the second half,” said coach Catalano. “We needed to focus on having our full energy and our high tempo game all game long. And I said that it started to drop a little by the end of that first half and there is no reason to put the breaks on. You need to go full gas into the second half with no let down so that we can carry that into future games this season.”
Cortland dominated the second half, outscoring Oswego 14-6.
Every time Oswego was able to get themselves a goal, the Tigers answered right back with a goal of their own.
“We were very motivated coming into this game,” said coach Catalano. “We played a rough couple of games last season and I think that our girls have been making sure that they do good work against them. We also came off a pretty tough game against Fulton on Tuesday. So coming into this game our girls really wanted to do some work, get our transition moving again and find the cage.”