Lakers fall to Westhill in Class B playoffs

Second-half goal ends Skaneateles sectional run

— Back in 2012, the Skaneateles girls soccer team saw its season end in a tough, hard-fought and heartbreaking defeat to Westhill in penalty kicks, the Section III Class B quarterfinals.

Exactly one year later, in the same round, against the same opponent, the Lakers met that same sad ending, this time in a 1-0 game decided late in regulation in a manner that neither side would soon forget.

Not only had these two sides played 0-0 in last year's sectional tournament, they had also played to a scoreless deadlock in their lone regular-season encounter this fall, on Oct. 1.

And both had made it through the opening round of the sectional playoffs without much trouble. Skaneateles, the no. 4 seed, rode Catie Woodruff's hat trick to a 3-1 victory over no. 13 seed Frankfort-Schuyler, while Westhill, the no. 5 seed, rolled past no. 12 seed Holland Patent 6-1 as five different players scored goals.

No one was getting multiple goals on this night, though. A cold wind, sustained at 20 miles per hours and gusting to 30, blew across the Hyatt Stadium turf, aiding the defenses and making it difficult for both offenses to get any sort of ball control.

Chances were sparse in the first half, but both teams had clear looks at go-ahead goals. In the 15th minute, Woodruff dribbled her way past Westhill goalie Sam Peebles and had a wide-open look, only to drill the ball over the net.

Later in the half, the Warriors' Tatiana Monds got open in front of the Skaneateles net, but Lakers keeper Sophie Kush managed a terrific save, and the two sides went to the break still 0-0.

The game turned physical early in the second half, as Westhill's Megan O'Reilly and Skanetaeles' Elizabeth Lane both left the game with injuries. Scoring chances increased, but again they were missed, and the specter of another overtime marathon loomed.

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