The Cortland-Homer girls lacrosse rivalry match did not disappoint

Homer’s Annika Roos and Cortland’s Hannah Partigianoni start the game off with the first draw (Ross Cohen/Cortland Voice)

HOMER, N.Y. — In a head-to-head game in the snow at Homer High school, the Homer Trojans came away with a 12-10 win over the Cortland Tigers.

As soon as the horn blew to start the game, the intensity of this rivalry became palpable. The Tigers started things off by scoring the first goal with 22:46 left in the first half as sophomore midfielder Hannah Partigianoni went straight at Homer junior goalkeeper Tasie Fox.

The Trojans answered right back a minute later with junior attacker Caroline Riley scoring off an assist from sophomore midfielder Katlyn Sovocool.

Each team seemed to have an answer for the other, but Homer maintained a two-goal lead, 9-7, heading into the second half.

Cortland’s defense was nearly impenetrable in the second half, and scoring declined significantly for both teams for the remainder of the game.

“We work hard during practice to make sure our plays are on point,” said Homer coach Martha Nye. “So our team really practices and plays as a team and we have shooters everywhere, which is really good.

“It’s not just one or two people. We are really proud of them and they do what we practiced. They are really growing with great lacrosse IQ.”  

The Tigers’ defense led to fast break chances a that caught the Trojans’ defense off-guard, which is how they formed many of their key plays and goals.

“We are continuing to work on defense,” said Cortland head coach Kindra Catalano. “I think the last game we had against Oswego was kind of a guarantee for us, but today we definitely knew that we had to find a way to stop the ball and we struggled with the second and third slide approach defense coming in. So I think it is being able to react a little faster.”

Despite their success at creating key plays coming off defensive ball clears, the Tigers’ were met by stifling defense.

Homer came out and scored two goals in the first seven minutes of the second half, one from junior attacker Madison Sciera ten seconds into the second half followed by Sovocool, giving the Trojans a four-goal lead.

The Tigers then came in and scored three consecutive goals from seniors Tsai Lewis, Morgan Tabel and Lauren Swartz, making it a one goal game with nine minutes left. Two of these goals came from fast break opportunities.

“It comes down to telling them to dig deep,” said Cortland coach Catalano. “They have to do the things that we practice. I think we had a really good game. Elizabeth Decker, as she is traditionally a defender, but she did some good work for us in the midfield and attack. Also consistent play from Elyssa Yonta, Lauren Swartz, Hannah Partigianoni and Grace Call. Isabella Smith, our goalie, stepped up with some big shots today.”

Homer called a timeout late in the second half, which would lead to Homer junior, Mattie Riterscoring off an assist from Kloey Roos to close out the game.

“In that time out, we talked about taking care of the ball,” said Homer coach Morgan Seibel. “We were up one, so we didn’t need to do anything drastic or dramatic to score goals. What we needed to do was get the ball on our attacking half and pass it around and take care of it and not make any mistakes that could result in them getting the ball back and taking it down, possibly tying the game up.”

Homer goalkeeper Foxcame in clutch with several key saves at the end of the game.

Riter led the Trojans with a share of three goals and three assists. Following Riter, Sciera also scored a total of three goals.

Partigianoni led the Tigers with a hat trick and two assists. Following Partigianoni, Tabel also recordeda hat trick for the Tigers.

Homer has improved to a 4-5 overall record while Cortland stands now with a 4-6 overall record.