Halted in the Section III Class B quarterfinal round a year ago, the Skaneateles girls soccer team aimed to go a bit further -- and had a favorable enough bracket to get it done.
The key moment would come Friday night, when the no. 9 seed Lakers went up against top seed Watertown IHC, whose 13-2-1 mark did not come against the type of competition that Skaneateles dealt with in the OHSL Liberty division.
Still, it would not matter, at least in the short term. The Cavaliers stepped up and, with a big first half, put an end to the Lakers' title dreams with a 3-1 decision.
To get to IHC, the Lakers first had to survive a serious road test in the first round last Tuesday against no. 8 seed Clinton -- which it did, putting together a fine all-around effort to eliminate the Warriors 2-0.
Skaneateles took twice as many shots as Clinton, and converted once in each half. Bridget Field and Grace VanderVen picked up the Lakers' goals, with Taylor Kerr adding an assist.
On defense, Skaneateles continued to play well, holding the Warriors to five shots, all of which Erica Tardiff managed to snag for the shutout.
What the Lakers hoped for was that this superb effort would repeat itself when it went to Watertown three nights later -- but that would not be the case.
Immediately, IHC put Skaneateles behind, relying on Brianna Guarino, who scored two of the Cavaliers' three goals, with Emily LaLone landing the other.
In response, the Lakers saw Amanda Gray convert to put her team on the board, but that would be all. Tardiff made 10 saves and fared better in the late going, but Skaneateles could not make it closer, and its season ended with a record of 11-7.