SKANEATELES — Against another winning team, Skaneateles boys soccer submitted perhaps its most complete game of the season, validating its first appearance in the Class B state rankings.
The Lakers shut out Chittenango 2-0 Tuesday at Skaneateles High School behind goals from sophomores Tylar Moss and Owen Cheney.
The victory improves Skaneateles' record to 11-3-0 on the season. The Lakers were recently listed at No. 13 in the NYSSWA Class B rankings, and justified that position with a strong performance against a Bears team that entered Tuesday's game with an 8-3-1 record.
"I thought we played pretty well as a whole. I think it might've been, without jinxing ourselves, our most complete 80 minutes of soccer," Skaneateles coach Aaron Moss said. "It wasn't a full 80 minutes, but it was the closest we've been all year. We're going in the right direction. We could've finished more, they could've finished more, but I'm not disappointed with our effort or the game we actually played. We were dangerous and the finishing is going to come."
Most importantly, the Lakers made life easy on goalkeeper Andrew Neumann. Chittenango did have some chances, mainly from Sean Larsson on direct kicks, but few resulted in a shot on goal.
Neumann was tested by Larsson on a direct from 30 yards that he was able to swallow up despite having a Bears forward in his face. Larsson later had a direct that drilled the crossbar but stayed out of the net.
"I thought Gavin Cheney, our right back, had one of his best games. In the first half he was on fire," Aaron Moss said. "Our defense has been playing pretty well. We're starting to communicate pretty well. About three or four weeks ago, we really did some work with those guys and explain some things. Sometimes a chalk talk helps, video or film session helps show gaps and shifting and moving together, and that was helpful for them."
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Tylar Moss opened the scoring 15 minutes in when he took a Chittenango defender one-on-one, made a move and then toe-poked a shot past Bears goalkeeper William Simmonds.
Skaneateles' Brendan Powers had a few chances to increase Skaneateles' lead, but he was denied on a pair of diving saves by Simmonds.
The Lakers did add some insurance five minutes into the second half when Cheney was left all lone inside the crease, and he lifted a shot under the crossbar to put the Lakers up 2-0.
Both Tylar Moss and Cheney are among Section III's top scorers this season, and both have the ability to make defenders look silly in one-on-one situations. That was no different against the Bears.
"We like our chances there," Aaron Moss said. "They're exciting to watch and they're fun."
Skaneateles has another tough match-up Thursday against Cazenovia in what could determine who wins the OHSL Liberty National division. The two clubs are the only teams with perfect records in the division.