Skaneateles boys soccer begins title defense

From a no. 9 seed, the Skaneateles boys soccer team, with youth and vigor on its side, ignored recent history and earned its first Section III Class B championship since 1990.

Now comes the next chapter, and the Lakers are quite prepared to defend its crown, as shown by the way it played in last Friday's opener, a 2-0 victory over traditional Class A power Jamesville-DeWitt.

Just three seniors -- Brae Kriever, Austin Parker and Mike Tonzi -- departed from last year's championship squad, giving the Lakers an experienced lineup that, as a bonus, knows the path to the top.

Thus, the presence of J-D as a season-opening opponent did not faze them one bit, and the Lakers wasted little time taking control.

Twice in the first half, Skaneateles put shots past Red Rams goalkeeper Zack Tanner, as Kyle Baier and Jeff Baldetti converted. Spencer Parker and A.J. Richichi both landed assists.

From there, Skaneateles took over on the defensive side. Mike Richards, Ryan Farrell and Zach Brownlee, all returning starters from 2008, took turns frustrating every J-D attempt to get past them, and protected goalkeeper Jake Bird, who had to make just two saves.

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