Skaneateles It took 74 minutes, but Austin Amory the Skaneateles boys’ soccer team finally broke through.
Facing South Jefferson in Saturday night's Section III Class B quarterfinal, the Lakers thoroughly outpossessed and outshot the visiting Spartans throughout the duration of the match. In the second half, Skaneateles racked up eight corner kicks, two indirect free kicks within 20 yards of the net and a dozen shots.
Yet the Lakers struggled to reach that breakthrough as South Jefferson packed as many as nine players on the defensive end through the game, which almost got the Spartans to overtime.
But after a corner attempt bounced around in that jam-packed box with six minutes left in regulation, Amory, a senior captain, cranked a right-footed volley from 10 yards out into the left side of the net. Arms held high in the air, he ran back upfield as he was mauled by teammates Ryan Higman and Tyler Strods.
“We could feel it coming, for sure,” Amory said. “It’s great because we were just trying the whole time. It was just great to put it away.”
Skaneateles, the no. 3 seed, held on for the 1-0 victory and advances to face No. 2 seed Cazenovia in a semifinal matchup scheduled for Tuesday. The two Lakers sides played twice in the regular season. After tying 1-1 on Sept. 17, Cazenovia came back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to steal a 3-2 overtime victory from Skaneateles on Oct. 11.
“We have a little unsettled business we have to take care of,” Skaneateles head coach Kirk Atwater said. “We’re excited to see Caz. We want to play them. We want a rematch from last time we played and it’s a big game for us.”
The Lakers will enter that semifinal with chemistry and confidence. Skaneateles moved the ball fluidly against South Jefferson, especially in the second half. The Lakers switched fields and made passes toward the net with regular accuracy.