A long run for the Skaneateles boys soccer team in the Section III Class B playoffs would require a long road trip and a successful conquest of a long-established power.
That is what faced the no. 7 seed Lakers as it took on no. 2 seed Clinton in Saturday’s Class B quarterfinals. And as it turned out, Skaneateles was up to the challenge.
Up against a Warrior side that had won 37 consecutive road games, Skaneateles roared out to a fast start, and then held on down the stretch to knock off Clinton 2-1.
Unlike some instances where foes from different leagues might not know each other, the Lakers had played Clinton Sept. 21 during the Finger Lakes Cup at Hyatt Stadium and prevailed that time, too, 1-0 in double overtime on Jack Dawley’s game-winner, assisted by Sam Clymer.
Here, Skaneateles did not wait to go out in front. Aggressive and confident, the Lakers took a 1-0 lead at the four-minute mark with Jack Bailey’s goal, assisted by Ryan Danaher.
Before Clinton could recover, Skaneateles doubled the margin midway through the half, Clymer getting credit for the goal and Andrew Weiss earning the assist. And it would stay 2-0 for a while as a tough Laker defense turned away everything the Warriors threw at them.
Still, things got nervous when Skaneateles was whistled for a foul inside the 18-yard box and Gavin Gleasman converted a penalty kick with 8:30 left. Forced into all-out defensive mode, the Lakers hung on, again protecting Billy Patrick, who only had to make two saves.
Of course, just making it out of last Wednesday’s opening round was stressful enough for the Lakers, who saw no. 10 seed Lowville come into Hyatt Stadium and keep it scoreless for more than a half before Skaneateles, with a late surge, knocked out the Red Raiders 2-0.