Strictly on its overall record, the Skaneateles boys soccer team got saddled with the no. 5 seed for the Section III Class B playoffs -- but still took the field as a favorite to repeat, given that it had won the regular-season title in the hyper-competitive OHSL Liberty division.
Getting that second straight title, though, would require one straight road win -- which would come in Friday's Class B quarterfinal against no. 4 seed Mount Markham.
And though it proved tough, the Lakers still came through, edging the Mustangs 2-1 to set up a highly-anticipated semifinal showdown with top seed Clinton.
Unafraid of the hostile setting (or the wet and windy conditions), Skaneateles attacked from the start, its long set of shots paying off with a 1-0 advantage going into halftime.
Mount Markham stayed in it through the work of goalie Jared Drymond, who finished with 21 saves. The Mustangs also scored in the second half, Tyler Curtin getting the goal, but another Skaneateles tally helped the visitors advance.
Kelly Donigan and Kyle Baier scored for the Lakers, with Spencer Parker picking up an assist. Each of Jake Bird's eight saves proved to be important, too.
Skaneateles had one more turn at home this fall in last Wednesday's opening round, as it methodically took apart no. 12 seed Adirondack 3-0.
Aggressive all the way through, the Lakers kept possession most of the night and put on a continual barrage, eventually finishing with 28 shots to the Wildcats' total of two.
Only the brilliant work of Adirondack goalie Marty Candee, who had 25 saves, kept it close into the second half at 1-0. Still, the Lakers got away as A.J. Richichi earned one goal and one assist, with Baier and Trevor Hinman also scoring. Parker and Mark Cannucciari joined Richichi in the assist column.
In the Class B semifinal, Skaneateles would get Clinton (17-1), who barely survived Manlius-Pebble Hill 1-0 in its own quarterfinal. Marcellus and Westhill, two of the Lakers' biggest OHSL Liberty division rivals, meet in the other semifinal.