Team of the Fall: Skaneateles Boys Soccer

Athlete of the Week

SKANEATELES, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It took more than 100 minutes, but the Class B state champion once again hails from Section III.  

“Honestly I wasn’t thinking at all, I was just playing,” said Owen Cheney, Skaneateles sophomore forward and scorer of the game-winning goal. “I looked up at the clock during the ninth minute of the second overtime and I realized that there wasn’t a lot of time left and shortly after that, a ball was played over and I was one v one with the keeper and I just placed it in the back of the net.”  

Sophomore Owen Cheney’s game-winning goal in double overtime over Center Moriches will be remembered in Skaneateles for years to come. When he found the back of the net, he delivered the Lakers’ second-ever boys soccer state championship and the first since 2010. 

“It’s amazing.  A lot of other sports through Skaneateles has won it, like the football team and the women’s lacrosse team, but to win it for yourself is just unreal,” said Skaneateles senior defender Will Pinckney.  

The Lakers entered the postseason with back to back losses and were the sixth seed in the Class B sectional tournament. From there, the boys won seven straight games, letting nothing get in the way of history. 

“The coaches had us write down our goals and the first thing I wrote down was state championship. So we knew we had the talent. We had a couple tough losses, especially to end the season, but we knew had the talent if we put all the pieces together we could go far,” said Lakers junior goalie Andrew Neumann.    

“It’s crazy we worked so hard for this goal,” said Skaneateles senior forward Noah O’Connor. “I think our hard work just carried us through states and to the championship.”  

Maybe the most impressive part of the run to a title is that the Lakers only allowed two goals. On top of that, six of the final seven games were only decided by a single goal. That’s because the team played exceptional defense. 

“They bought into the system, they bought into the recipe as we call it, of how to win a section championship and we just took the word section out and put state championship. It’s the same recipe, it’s just a different tournament,” said Skaneateles boys soccer coach Aaron Moss.  

“If we’re mentally stronger than them (the opponent) for 80 minutes, we’re confident we’re going to come out on top even if it is a one goal game.”  

Coach Moss has been coaching Skaneateles for 15 years and has been with the Lakers for both the 2010 and 2019 championship.  

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The Byrne Dairy and Deli NewsChannel 9 Athlete of the Week is designed to honor Section III varsity members who embody the true meaning of student-athlete.

The award recognizes more than just athletic ability, it recognizes a student-athlete who thrives in the classroom, on the athletic field and in the community.

Athletes can be nominated by a coach, athletic director or teacher. Please send your nominations to Sports@LocalSYR.com.