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SECTION IV BOYS SOCCER: OWEGO BLANKS STATE-RANKED LANSING (2022-09-19)

By TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
OWEGO — Owego dominated possession, mixed up the scoring a little bit and rolled to a 4-0 non-conference victory over state-ranked Lansing here Monday.

The Indians kept the ball in the Lansing third for the majority of the game, giving the Bobcats limited opportunities to attempt to score.

“That's been our strength throughout the season,” Owego coach Alessio De Michele said. “It's something we really look to focus on and it's really cool that we have the huddle and the stats to back it up.

“I like to show the players that what we're doing is working and I think it's tough to play. I think it's the toughest way to play against. You watch all the top teams, Manchester, City, Barcelona; they all look to keep the ball more than the other team and chances will come from that.

“The guys are doing fantastic and we just talked about it in our little group there (post-game huddle) is what do we do when we win the ball back, because I think that was something that was lacking in recent games, but today it was really sharp.”

The teams battled through the first 14 minutes in a scoreless tie before Zyia VanScoy put what would be the game-winning goal into the net.

Ryan Pryor initiated the play, working the ball up the left sideline before passing to Noah Fowler in the middle of the pitch. Fowler quickly fed VanScoy up ahead and he went low and left from a little over 25 yards out to make it 1-0 at 25:53.

That goal would hold up until Jace Riegel blasted a shot into the Bobcat goal from 16 yards out, making it 2-0 with 14:08 remaining in the first half.

Connor Chobot, brought up from the JV team, put a shot into the back of the net from about 30 yards away with 18:14 on the second-period clock.

The final tally came three minutes later at 15:14 when Zach Beyer scored from close in to make it 4-0.

Lansing did move the ball into the Owego end on a few occasions, but Indian keeper Ben Rollison was never really challenged.

“The first half they were a little bit more dangerous and then a bit at the end, but like I said, we made it very difficult and this was a game we knew was going to be a challenge, because they came in scoring a lot of goals,” De Michele said. “We wanted to make sure that we were playing at a high tempo, so even when we lose the ball, we're not giving chances away, so that was good from us.”

The margin of victory could have been greater had it not been for the play of Lansing goalkeeper Bode Petrich. The junior netminder flung himself all over the place, making several impressive saves.

The Bobcats, ranked 19th in Class B by the New York State Sportswriters Association, came into the game without three starters, two due to injuries and another who was fulfilling a red card suspension.

It’s Lansing’s first season in Class B, having moved up when its school enrollment put it two students above the Class C cap.

Owego improves to 7-0 while Lansing slips to 7-1.

The Indians host another ranked opponent, No. 7 Oneonta, Thursday night.

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IN PHOTO 1: Owego's Zyia VanScoy. ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.

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