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soccer_f3_120It seems that not even sub 40-degree temperatures and snow flurries can slow down the 2011 Lansing Bobcats boys’ soccer team. Last Saturday night at SUNY Cortland’s Chugger Davis Stadium, the #1 ranked Bobcats continued their dominant play by steamrolling a stunned Unatego team in the Section IV Quarterfinals. With their 6-1 victory in front of a small but loyal and bundled crowd, the boys moved their season’s record to 17-0, and reinforced their Class C, #1 state ranking in the process.

Led by their dynamic scoring duo of junior Ethan Kutler and sophomore Benji Geisler, the Bobcats pelted the Unatego goal with 26 shots, 16 of them on frame, and earned 11 corner kicks. Kutler and Geisler each notched 2 goals on the night, bringing their season long point total (total goals and assists registered) beyond the 130 mark. Senior midfielder and tri captain Sean Streb out dribbled 4 Unatego defenders inside the 18-yard box for a 2nd half tally, and junior striker Ellington Hopkins beat the Unatego keeper just 4 minutes in, to open the scoring. Demonstrating the ability to dish it out as well as finish, all 4 goal scorers recorded an assist on the evening as well.

The Bobcats’ relentless pressure on Unatego was a result of some stellar play by midfielders Cobi Byrne, Taylor Schuster, WooJin Richardson and Andrew Barber, and backs Timmy Arleo and Jake Palladino. Together, they tirelessly maintained their defensive shape to snuff out any serious threats in their defensive half. In doing so, the well-coordinated team effort continuously won back possession of the ball, and effectively restarted the Bobcat’s offensive attack. Junior Nathaniel McIntosh also had a productive and active game, earning several scoring chances on the evening and applying strong pressure on the Unatego defensive backs when they possessed the ball.

soccer_f1_400The Lansing Bobcats acknowledge their fans and celebrate their Quarter Final victory over Unatego. Shown at top, sophomore midfielder, Benji Geisler, finishes and follows his first goal of the evening in Lansing’s 6-1 victory.

Led by senior keeper and tri-captain Benji Parkes, the Bobcats disciplined defense did allow one goal, but only gave up 4 shots and no corner kicks.  Asked about the one goal allowed, Parkes lost the ball in the stadium lights, causing him difficulty in handling the ball cleanly. Ironically, it was junior center back Spencer Warkentins’ cousin who pounced on the loose ball and put it into the back of the net for Unatego’s lone tally.

Coach Adam Heck was very pleased with the team play on the evening, “We played OK in the first half, but I thought our energy level could have been better. After we gave up that goal, I was curious to see how we responded, but Strebby’s counter just a few minute later made be breathe a bit easier”. “I thought we came out with better energy in the 2nd half, and it showed, we put them away with 3 more goals”.  With the win, the Bobcats advanced to the Section IV Semi Finals that was played last night at Ithaca High School (see accompanying article).

Photos courtesy of Richard Warkenton
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