SKANEATELES — It's still early in the season, and that's why the Lakers think they can learn and improve from a physical contest.
Skaneateles boys soccer was scored on four times in the second half by Christian Brothers Academy for a 4-0 loss Tuesday at Skaneateles High School. The Brothers, who like the Lakers entered the contest at 4-1-1, converted three goals in a 7:12 span to put the game away.
For Skaneateles, facing the Brothers was an opportunity to play against a team that will force quick decisions, make you fight against physical play, and as coach Aaron Moss said, make you "uncomfortable."
"It takes a game like this where there's a higher level of intensity against a really good opponent to show you where your weaknesses are individually and as a team," Moss said. "We'll watch the film and they'll be able to say, 'Wow, they pressured me really quick' or 'I had all the time in the world and nobody talked.'"
Neither side established itself much during the first half. The Lakers had some opportunities on corners and direct kicks deep in CBA territory, but those were swept away by the Brothers' defense.
On the other side, the best chance for CBA was denied by an exceptional diving stop to the right post by Skaneateles goalkeeper Yorvin Solis.
CBA came out of halftime on a mission, however, hemming Skaneateles in its own side of the field before finally scoring the game's first goal 16 minutes into the half when Dean Vlassis put one in on a scramble in front.
The Brothers scored twice more, both on corner kicks less than four minutes apart, to go ahead 3-0. CBA added its fourth with six minutes remaining.
"They did to us what we do to a lot of teams oftentimes," Moss said. "They had the urgency. The key part will be how we respond in the next week or so. We played a good team, didn't get the result we wanted, didn't necessarily play our best. We were building prior to that and doing some good things. We're getting there."
At this point in the season, Moss and his coaching staff is still trying to nail down the fundamentals with each player and the hope is that, as the program has often shown over the years, that will lead to success when the postseason rolls around.
"Fortunately we don't need to be there today. I'm not happy we lost, but if we learn from it and get a couple wins down the road because of it, then I'm happy," Moss said. "We're focused on first touch, talking, doing work early, reading and anticipating play. Those are the things we are really trying to hammer home, and the rest of it comes down the road."
The Lakers are also searching for who the go-to players will be this season. At this point, it's wide open.
"It's early yet. Our senior captains, we're going to lean on those guys obviously. Our goalie (Solis), Sam Gadjo is a captain, Tommy Reed is a captain, George Ross ... they're leading us and they're going to be leaned on," Moss said. "Then there's some younger kids, some juniors and sophomores, some freshman that are out there battling and playing hard. Right now we're putting everyone in the mixing bowl and trying to make a recipe that works."
Skaneateles (4-2-1) hosts Carthage on Saturday.
FINGER LAKES CUP
For the eighth season, Skaneateles is hosting the Finger Lakes Cup, which has traditionally brought in teams from across the state.
This season, the Lakers are welcoming in Henninger, Section V's Aquinas and St. Francis for the tournament on Friday, Sept. 28 and Saturday, Sept. 29.
Henninger plays Aquinas in the semifinals at 5 p.m. on Sept. 28, followed by Skaneateles vs. St. Francis. The championship and consolation games will be held on Sept. 29 at 1:30 p.m.