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Skaneateles girls soccer ousted by Westhill

0-0 deadlock requires penalty kicks as Lakers end 13-3-2

— With a no. 4 seed in a 13-team Section III Class B playoff bracket, the Skaneateles girls soccer team got few real breaks.

For one thing, the Lakers were the highest seed that to play an opening-round game. Worse yet, it was in a half of the bracket that included top seed Marcellus, plus no. 5 seed Westhill, long considered the other favorites for the sectional title.

So it wouldn’t be long before Skaneateles faced a major test, as it would welcome Westhill to Hyatt Stadium in Friday night’s quarterfinal round.

What followed was, in essence, a continuation of the conflict that unfolded in their only regular-season encounter on Sept. 18, the sides not resolving anything until a penalty-kick shoot-out, where the Warriors ended the Lakers’ title dream.

That first game had gone 80 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of overtime without either side scoring a goal. Incredibly, the rematch would follow the exact same pattern.

Once more, the first and second half went by, and it stayed 0-0. So did a pair of standard 10-minute overtime periods. So did a pair of five-minute sudden-victory periods where a single goal, by anyone, would end it.

With absolutely nothing resolved after 3 ½ hours of soccer between the two, it would need penalty kicks. With its season on the line, the Lakers were unable to convert, while the Warriors calmly put the ball in the net past Mary Buck and moved on to face Marcellus in the semifinals.

Just to get there, Skaneateles first had to work its way past no. 13 seed Vernon-Verona-Sherrill in last Tuesday night’s opening round. Thanks to a superb first-half effort, the Lakers did so, eliminating the Red Devils 3-1.

During those first 40 minutes, the Lakers bolted out to a 3-0 advantage. Molly Wood, Ali Pietropoli and Lauren Goodchild each scored, while Rachel Hurley and Elizabeth Lane earned one assist apiece.

Though Skaneateles cooled off in the second half, and VVS got on the board with Amanda Pawlikowski’s goal, it stayed out in front. A steady defensive effort was important, as goalkeeper Mary Buck finished with seven saves, just one less than Red Devils counterpart Melinda Stanton.

That was the Lakers’ 13th win of the season – and the last, as it would turn out.

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