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soccer_10dryden_warkenton_120Once again, it was a matchup of long time rivals on the pitch. Once again, it was a cool and rainy day for a grudge match. Some things don’t change. But one thing was different last Thursday at Lansing’s Sobus Field—a victory by the Bobcats over the Dryden Purple Lions would secure the #1 ranking in New York State’s Class C division. And once again, the Bobcats came out victorious with a hard fought, 4-0 margin over a very game Dryden squad, extending the Bobcats win streak over their rivals to 4 consecutive games.

After being thoroughly defeated in their first match of 2011, 9-0, the Dryden Purple Lions came to Sobus Field determined to make a game with their rivals, and displayed a defensive strategy and mindset that gave the Bobcats all they could handle. Bunkering 10 of their players into their defensive third, and pressuring the ball with great energy, the Lions denied the Bobcats space and time to get their high-powered offense moving.

soccer_10dryden_hradiskySenior winger Troy Hradisky makes a cross to a teammate during the Bobcats 4-0 victory of Dryden. (Shown at top) Junior defender Spencer Warkenton drills a free kick into the Bobcat’s offensive zone during the first half at Lansing’s Sobus Field last Thursday.

But it was a mistake by Dryden that opened up the game for Lansing. A foul committed just outside the 18-yard box provided the Bobcats the opening they were looking for, and the league’s most potent scorer struck pay dirt in the 5th minute of play. Junior striker Ethan Kutler drilled a beautiful, curving shot into the side netting that the Dryden keeper could do nothing but watch, giving Lansing a hard earned, 1-0 advantage. Despite dominating time of possession and shots on frame, the Bobcats were bottled up by the Dryden defense and couldn’t find the back of the net until the 38th minute of the half when senior co-captain Sean Streb finished a square feed from sophomore Benji Geisler to give the Bobcats a critical 2 goal advantage heading into the break.

At the half, Coach Adam Heck implored his young squad to move the ball faster and with more authority, and to get the ball into the corners in an attempt to open up the Dryden defense. Although the Bobcats increased energy was slowly opening spaces in the Dryden defense, it wasn’t until the 23rd minute that a 3rd goal was registered by the Bobcats. Junior WooJin Richardson drilled a right-footed shot by a helpless Purple Lion keeper for his 2nd goal of the season, putting Lansing up 3-0 with less than 20 minutes remaining. Just 5 minutes later, senior winger Andrew Barber rounded out the scoring with a 4th tally for the Bobcats by finishing a beautiful 2-pass sequence in the box from junior Ellington Hopkins and Streb.

soccer_10dryden_streb3Senior tri-captain and midfielder Sean Streb’s header sails high over the Dryden goal.

Behind his stout defense led by junior Spencer Warkentin, senior keeper Benji Parkes only had to make 2 saves on the night. Lansing outshot Dryden 25-3, and took 5 corner kicks to Dryden’s 2. With the win, the #1 ranked (Class C, NY State) Lansing Bobcats moved to 14-0 on the season, with one remaining game versus Whitney Point High School.

Photos courtesy of Richard Warkentin

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