SKANEATELES — Skaneateles turned up the offensive pressure midway through the first half and finally broke through.
The Lakers netted a goal with nine minutes left in the first half and added two insurance markers in the second, as the No. 5 Skaneateles boys soccer team beat No. 12 Homer, 3-0, in the first round of the Section III, Class B tournament at Skaneateles High School Wednesday.
Lakers coach Aaron Moss used the first part of the first half to get a feel for how some players coming back from injury fit into the lineup.
“We settled in a bit, put a formation in of guys that started to click real well in the second half of the first half, and we really started to put the pressure on,” Moss said.
Skaneateles advances to play No. 4 South Jefferson in the sectional quarterfinals Saturday.
The Lakers’ Jeremy Castle, Tommy Reed and Maximillion Moss each scored once, while Tylar Moss had one assist.
Skaneateles goalie Luke Peterson was tested with a few shots late and finished with five saves.
“For Luke, I think it’s great because it’s real difficult to be in a game and not get a ton of action and then get called upon and have to make the saves later,” Aaron Moss said. “They’re in it, but they’re not in it.”
The teams traded chances early, but Skaneateles made a couple substitutions and the offense started to find its rhythm around the 25 minute mark.
“We thought the first half of the first half was OK,” Aaron Moss said. “We were settling in, we had a guy coming back from an injury and we were throwing a couple guys who were rehabbing in and getting looks at different guys in the flow of the game. It worked out nicely. We got a look at a few guys.”
The Lakers finally opened the scoring with 9:01 left in the first half when Castle chipped in a rebound off a shot from Tylar Moss, and Skaneateles led 1-0 at the break. For Moss, there was some concern after there was no score by the midway point of the first half.
“You can’t overlook anybody,” Aaron Moss said. “We were mounting pressure, but as we kept creating chances and they don’t go in, you start to think ‘We’ve got to get one soon.’ Finally we did, and at halftime we talked about that it could have been more than one (goal) and how we have to close the door.”
The Lakers added to their lead 13:33 into the second half when Reed’s long throw-in near the end line bounced off a Trojans defender and into the back of the net.
Maximillian Moss added to the Skaneateles lead with a 20-yard shot with 17:30 remaining, and Peterson made a couple saves on quality shots in the final 13 minutes.
“We continued the pressure in the first 20 minutes of the second half and built it to three, and we were able to get some valuable time in for the reserves and see them get some game action,” Aaron Moss said. “It’s always great to get a win in sectionals. It doesn’t matter whether it’s 1-0 or 3-0.”
Now Skaneateles shifts its focus to South Jefferson in the section quarterfinals.
“Whoever it is, we’re glad to play,” Moss said.