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soccer Langston HopkinsLangston Hopkins Photo by Peter Parkes

After the rout of Seton Catholic, the Lansing Boys Soccer team traveled up to Herkimer County CC to take on the Section III champs, the Sauquoit Valley Indians who won their game 1-0 without much difficulty. Right from the kickoff the Bobcats earned themselves a corner and looked to take an early advantage. Captain Nick Parkes received the restart in short. He then crossed the ball to the back post just missing midfielder Jacob Williamson for the tap in. A few minutes later another cross came in from the left, but striker Taylor Overton put his finish just outside of the upper corner. The inability of Lansing to finish would become the theme of the game.

The pressure never let up by the Bobcats. As the ball moved around the midfield and defensive line, opportunities opened up. However Indians goalkeeper Josh Ward was up to every challenge. His best save of the first half came on a free kick just inside half. This has been a spot that the Bobcats have been dangerous in the past and this time was no different. Nic Whittaker drove the ball into the box and Parkes got a free shot at goal as the ball came right to him. Ward made himself big and blocked the shot with his feet. The score went into half nil-nil.

At halftime Coach Benji Parkes told his guys, "Remain calm, keep using the flanks and be patient. A goal will come." Unfortunately for the Bobcats, Ward was up to every challenge.

Throughout the second half Ward was a brick wall. He saved a knuckling ball, shot by Whittaker 20 yards out, that was headed for the upper corner. He got a hand on it to push it into the crossbar, then the post. It looked like Lansing might catch a break when the rebound went right to Overton, but he headed it back straight into Ward's chest.

Nick Parkes got free for a shot at the top of the box as he tried to break the scoreless draw. He hit a laser that Ward was able to dive and parry away and his defense kept the rebound from hurting them. It wasn't until the 69th minute that Lansing got their goal. After a ball was sent to the corner, it was passed back to Williamson, who turned and hit what looked to be an off-balance shot at the corner of the 18 that went wide to the corner of the 6. Luckily it was a poor shot because Langston Hopkins was there on the other end to blast it home for the 1-0 lead.

soccer Regional ChampsRegional Champs

The Bobcats got their goal and sat on it. However, Sauquoit did have one opportunity. Striker Amar Sarajlija got free for a shot at the top of the 18, but Lansing keeper Jack Yahn dove and made the save. The Bobcats closed out the game by possessing the ball in Sauquoit's half, punching their third ticket in a row to Middletown.

The Bobcats' next opponent is Pierson/Bridgehampton from Section XI down near Long Island. The game will be played on Middletown's turf field at 4pm on Saturday. The winner will get the chance to play for the Class C State Title at 10:30am the following day. ESPN 1160 will be streaming the game online and on the radio provided there are no other games.

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