Sep 07, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Bent on moving up the Class A ladder again, the Chittenango girls soccer team got off to the right start in 2008, winning its first three games.
Even though seven seniors departed from the Bears’ 2007 squad, a lot of talent returns, including junior Brittney Tirabassi and sophomore Jenna Barber, who wasted little time showing what they were capable of doing.
Back on Labor Day weekend, the Bears played in the Watertown IHC Tournament and won both times in high-scoring affairs.
Chittenango began on Aug. 29 with a big first half against the host team from IHC, then held on at the end to beat the Cavaliers 3-2.
Barber tore though the IHC defense in the first half as the Bears built a 3-1 edge, scoring twice as Tirabassi got the other goal. Eileen Smith, Kelsey Pudney and Eileen Heenan each picked up assists. They cooled off in the second half, but Chittenango still prevailed.
A day later, against another top Frontier League foe in Carthage, the Bears this time saved its best stuff for the second half, rallying for a 4-2 win over the Comets.
Behind 2-1 at halftime, Chittenango went on an all-out attack down the stretch and went ahead, as Tirabassi and Smith each came up with two goals. Barber helped out with two assists, with Bridget Willey adding an assist. Bridget St. Ledger, who split time in goal with Shannon Willey in the opener, went all 80 minutes this time around and earned five saves.
The Bears began OHSL Freedom division play last Wednesday night, toying with Mexico and producing even more offense in a 7-1 romp of the Tigers.
On its way to a 5-0 halftime edge, Chittenango again turned to its stars, as Barber and Tirabassi each got two goals. Heenan had a goal and two assists, with Smith and Carlie Roman also scoring. Pudney and Jamie Elderbroom earned assists.
All this led to the climax of the opening sequence — Friday’s game with defending Class A champion Cortland, who was off to its own 3-0 start with wins over Homer and Fulton along the way.
With early control in the OHSL Freedom division on the line, the Bears were quite good, yet still took a 1-0 loss to the Purple Tigers.
For the most part, Chittenango’s defense proved quite stout. Among other things, they kept Cortland’s star forwards, Emily VanGorder and Katherine Hunsberger, from finding much open space, and when the shots did place, Allison Willey was picking up 11 saves.
The lone exception came in the first half, when Alexis Keeney got open and, from 30 yards out, ripped a shot past Willey into the net, a single goal that would hold up the rest of the night. Chittenango never could get a consistent attack going, held to just four shots by a stout, underrated Purple Tigers defense.
Staying on the road this week, the Bears take its 3-1 record to Jamesville-DeWitt Tuesday and will challenge CBA Thursday night at Alibrandi Stadium.