Oct 27, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
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.
They were 0-0 throughout the first 40 minutes. Skaneateles controlled the flow of play through long possessions and plenty of set pieces, yet could not get anything past Lowville goalie Darren Ortlieb, who was on his way to 17 saves for the night.
But the Lakers stayed patient, and early in the second half Tyler Strods broke through for the go-ahead goal off a feed from Bailey, who returned later in the half to tack on an insurance goal, unassisted.
This led Skaneateles to Clinton – and to its biggest win of the season so far. More importantly, the quest for a first sectional title since that undefeated state championship run in 2010 is still going.
In what is sure to be an intense Class B semifinal, Skaneateles (11-7) goes up against archrival Marcellus, who from a no. 6 seed staged its own playoff road upset, beating no. 3 seed Cazenovia 1-0 in overtime last Friday night on Geoff Golick’s goal just 45 seconds into the extra period.
The Lakers would be out to avenge two defeats to Marcellus (1-0 on Sept. 19 at Hyatt Stadium, 2-1 on Oct. 16 at the Mustangs’ home field), hoping to earn a trip to the sectional final against top seed Westhill or no. 4 seed Vernon-Verona-Sherrill.