By getting two wins -- one difficult, the other a breeze -- the Skaneateles boys soccer team claimed a share of the OHSL Liberty division regular-season title, plus momentum for this week's start of its Section III Class B title defense.
The tough part came first, in last Tuesday's match against Manlius-Pebble Hill, who made the Lakers work all 80 minutes to squeeze out a 1-0 victory.
Right from the start, the Trojans displayed strength on the defensive side, minimizing the Skaneateles attack and keeping it 0-0, which would linger until the second half.
Once again, Kelly Donigan would come to the rescue. Already the Lakers' leader in assists, Donigan's pass set up Paulo Alvardo for the game's only goal as Alvardo beat Jordan Gentile, the MPH goalie who finished with eight saves. Jake Bird had six saves for the shutout.
Then came the easy part -- namely, Thursday's match against Phoenix, where the Lakers nearly reached double figures on the board in a 9-0 romp of the Firebirds.
It was 6-0 by halftime, as Jeff Baldetti and Kyle Baier proved the main catalysts. Baldetti had a three-goal hat trick, with Baier adding two goals and one assist.
Behind them, Alvardo, A.J. Richichi and Jared Amory each earned one goal and one assist, with Dan Zollner also converting. Zach Brownlee earned two assists, while Donigan, Kevin Rice and Trevor Hinman got one assist apiece.
As this went on, Marcellus beat Westhill 2-0. Both the Mustangs and Lakers finished with 10-1-1 league marks, but Skaneateles got the tie-breaker because it went 1-0-1 head-to-head against Marcellus.