It took until October, but the Skaneateles boys soccer team has put some distance between itself and the rest of the OHSL Liberty division.
Up against Westhill last Tuesday afternoon, the Lakers may have put together its best all-around performance of the season, pushing the Warriors around in every direction and getting a hat trick from Greg Stucker as it recorded a 4-0 victory.
Just 10 days earlier, at Westhill, the two sides had played to a 2-2 draw, a game where Adam Gadra was forced into the net after Scott Castle was injured.
Now with some game experience, Gadra was more confident, and it showed. He stopped all six shots he faced, and got great help as the Lakers' defense, anchored by Tim Hosie, Erich Pingel, Nick Trapani and Jeff Donigan, immobilized the quick Westhill attack.
Meanwhile, the Lakers made plenty of its own charges, and midway through the first half, that started to pay off.
In the 23rd minute, Devin Lynch got free for one of his patented sprints down the left side. At just the right moment, he passed it through the middle and found Stucker on the far post, and Stucker crushed the shot home.
Barely three minutes later, it got to 2-0 when, on a free kick from 30 yards out, Jesse Carr hit a screaming shot just inside the top right corner of the net.
Stucker returned for some more damage in the second half, getting both of his team's goals to complete his hat trick. Brian Nicholson would be credited with two assists as Jeff Mayo got one assist.
Down the stretch, another big test awaits, as the rained-out Sept. 28 game with archrival Marcellus will be made up Oct. 16 at Lawrence Road.