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soccer_20111012_parkesSenior keeper and tri captain Benji Parkes has barely broken a sweat during the Bobcats torrid 12-0 start to the 2011 season. Having only faced a total of 4 shots all season prior to the latest Trumansburg darby, there was concern amongst the Lansing faithful about his readiness to handle big game pressure. But the big keeper put to rest any concerns by making several outstanding saves, including denying a penalty to help the Bobcats to a hard fought, 3-1 victory over their cross lake rivals last Friday afternoon in Trumansburg.

The Bobcats came out ready to play in the first half, dominating possession and creating several scoring chances by moving the ball around to all fields. Lansing couldn’t find the back of the net however, until the 25’ minute mark when junior Cobi Byrne played a perfect ball to Ellington Hopkins, who flicked the ball into the path of a cutting Ethan Kutler, who buried the ball in the back of the net for his 23rd tally on the year, and putting the Bobcats up 1-0.  The goal seemed to inspire both teams, as the energy level both on the pitch, and in the bleachers seemed to elevate.

With Trumansburg trying to even the score, and the Bobcats trying to increase their advantage before the break, something had to give. With less than 2 minutes remaining in the half, something did, and in the Bobcats’ favor. Sophomore Benji Geisler received a ball in the box, and after losing his footing while fighting to retain possession, regained enough control to drop a ball to a waiting Andrew Barber who rifled a hard, curving shot into the far side netting to put the Bobcats up 2-0 just before intermission.

At halftime, Coach Adam Heck implored his young squad to score the next goal of the game so that they could take the sting out of the Blue Raiders. Coach Heck got what he was seeking just 3 minutes into the 2nd stanza, as the Bobcats scored a 3rd goal. This time, it was the dynamic duo of Kutler and Geisler hooking up for the goal, as they played a perfect 1-2 combination that ended with Geisler poking a ball by the Trumansburg keeper. But, to Heck’s dismay, the 3-0 score did not put the Blue Raiders away. Determined to avoid elimination from IAC playoff contention, the Blue Raiders showed tremendous character by turning up their energy level and putting the Bobcats on their heels for much of the game’s remainder.

After a foul was called on the Bobcats’ near the top of their 18 yard box, senior Ben Glassner of Trumansburg took a quick restart and drilled his free kick into the left side netting, reducing their deficit to only 2 goals and inspiring the Blue Raider faithful. Within the next 10-15 minutes, Parkes would have to come up big for the Bobcats by making 2 diving saves on well-taken shots to maintain Lansing’s 2-goal advantage. But the best was yet to come for the senior, as Parkes was soon to be tested in earnest. At the 70 minute mark, junior midfielder Byrne was called for a hand ball in the box after playing a ball off of his shoulder.

soccer_20111012_abarbertburgLansing’s Andrew Barber wins possession over 2 Blue Raiders dudring the first half of their match last Friday in Trumansburg. Lansing was victorious, 3-1 and clinched a spot in the IAC Large School Championship game (Photo courtesy of Bruce Barber).

Despite the protests of Lansing’s Coach Heck, a penalty was awarded and Trumansburg’s Glassner stepped to the spot looking to trim Trumansburg’s deficit to 1 goal. Having faced and been beaten by Glassner for a PK only a few weeks ago, Parkes was prepared for their 2nd encounter and felt that he had the upper hand this time around.  Guessing right and diving to his right, Parkes denied Glassner’s offering with an outstretched dive, pushing the ball over the end line, and taking much of the wind out of Trumansburg’s sails. 

Said an excited Parkes, “I had it covered, I knew he was going to go to my right, so I was ready”.

Although the Bobcats outshot and out possessed the Blue Raiders for the match, it wasn’t by any means, an easy game for Lansing to secure. The Bobcats had to work hard the last 10 minutes in order to secure their second 3-1 win of the season over their respected rivals.

With the win, the 3rd ranked (Class C, NY State) Lansing Bobcats moved to 13-0 on the season, and will look to close out their remaining regular season with games versus Dryden and Whitney Point, before readying their selves for the IAC Large School championship game on October 22nd.

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