Long before the leaves were off the trees in Central New York, the Skaneateles boys soccer team would reach the end of its regular-season slate – 16 games, played in a span of just 36 days.
During that tough stretch, the Lakers had a six-game win streak, all by shutout, and then lost three of four after senior captain Christian Daley was lost due to a hip injury. But as the calendar turned to October, another turnaround was happening.
And the key to it was last Monday night’s tough 3-2 overtime victory over Chittenango, who arrived at Hyatt Stadium sporting a 7-3 record and a toughness that was on display even after goals by Jeff Palmer and Noah O’Connor gave the Lakers a 2-1 halftime lead.
The Bears blanked Skaneateles in the second half, and pulled even as Seth Spurgeon and Anthony Roberts scored and Noah Schnauffer was on his way to eight saves.
Thus, in the OT the Lakers had to keep attacking and won it when Palmer put a header past Schnauffer. Tommy Reed, Max Moss and Tylar Moss each got credit for assists on the Skaneateles scoring plays.
Against Jordan-Elbridge Wednesday night, the Lakers didn’t wait to resolve matters, riding an explosive first half to an easy 5-1 win over the Eagles.
In the first seven minutes, the Lakers seized a 2-0 lead on breakaway goals by O’Connor and Tylar Moss, with Reed, Max Moss and Jeremy Castle also finding the net before halftime as Andrew Moss joined his brothers and Castle in the assist column.
Trailing 5-0 at intermission, the Eagles, to its credit, did shut out Skaneateles the rest of the way, Keegan Ferris and Matt Frost making 14 saves between them as Nick Sherman’s second-half goal prevented a Lakers shutout.
Now the Lakers’ regular season would conclude Friday at Alibrandi Stadium against Christian Brothers Academy, and despite an early lead, Skaneateles could not hold on to it, falling to the Brothers 2-1 in overtime.
Palmer’s unassisted goal in the first half produced a 1-0 Lakers advantage. Yet it could not get anything else past CBA goalie Matt Buck, who made nine saves and watched his team pull even in the second half on Tommy Daviau’s goal and prevail in the extra period when Dan Polhemus converted.
So with its final regular-season mark at 10-6, Skaneateles would spend this full week practicing and recuperating before finding out on Sunday where, and when, it will start the Section III Class B playoffs.