Immediately ahead of its entry into the Section III Class B playoffs, the Skaneateles girls soccer team had a pair of important road tests that would provide a good indication of what was working – and what still needed work.
First, the Lakers went to Bishop Ludden last Monday afternoon and got off to a terrible start, only to completely turn it around in the second half and beat the Gaelic Knights 5-2.
Ludden, who had tied both Cazenovia (4-4) and Marcellus (1-1) the week before, had no intention of settling for another draw here, twice getting shots past Mary Buck in the first half.
Trailing 2-0 at the break, the Lakers adjusted its attack and proceeded to smash through the Gaelic Knights’ defenses, leading to an offensive onslaught of five unanswered goals.
And those goals came from five different players – Catie Woodruff, Molly Wood, Tate Green, Rachel Hurley and Lauren Goodchild. Buck, after those early struggles, stopped everything in the late going and finished with eight saves overall.
On Friday afternoon, Skaneateles went to Cazenovia to close out the regular season. The two Lakers sides, both playoff contenders, were supposed to play under the new lights at the Sean Googin Sports Complex, but a generator blew out two nights earlier during Cazenovia’s game against Solvay, and it wasn’t fixed yet.
Skaneateles would add to Cazenovia’s unpleasant mood by winning the Laker battle 1-0. For a half, neither side could break through, despite an equal amount of opportunities to do so.
Finally, in the second half Hurley notched an unassisted goal. Getting nothing more, that left it to Skaneateles’ defense, who proceeded to clamp down and contain Cazenovia as Buck finished with nine saves, the same total as Cazenovia counterpart Jamie Enders.
This late-season surge pushed Skaneateles up to the no. 4 seed for the Class B sectional tournament, where it would play no. 13 seed Vernon-Verona-Sherrill in the opening round. A win there, and the Lakers would get Westhill or Chittenango in the quarterfinals later this week.