To beat the Lansing High boys soccer team, you have to find a way to score against it.
For Bobcats opponents, that has been easier said than done.
Lansing has posted six consecutive shutouts to open the season, the latest in a 1-0 victory over visiting cross-lake rival Trumansburg in an entertaining night of Interscholastic Athletic Conference play on Monday.
Junior Clinton Herzog scored the winner early in the second half for the Bobcats (6-0), who have outscored their opponents 22-0. A year ago, Lansing outscored opponents 120-6 on its way to an undefeated IAC season, a sectional title and an appearance in the state semifinals.
And although the Blue Raiders (4-2) gave the Bobcats’ impressive defensive record a couple of late scares on Monday, in the end the result was like so many other over the past two years: a win, and a zero on the opponent’s side of the scoreboard.
“That’s our identity,” Lansing coach Adam Heck said. “This year we’re more of a team that’s going to try to not get scored on. We’re not going to try to outscore teams. … I certainly rather see two than one, but I’ll take one as long as we’re not giving up any.”
Offensively, Lansing was not always at its best, although it had the best scoring chance of the first half with senior captain Spencer Warkentin’s right-footed shot from 10 yards outside the box striking the post.
Eight minutes later the Bobcats would again come close to opening the score, as a teasing free kick into the box fell to junior Andy Parkes, but his point-blank effort was saved well by Blue Raiders senior goalie Sebastian Andrzejkowicz.
Despite working itself into dangerous offensive positions at times early on, Trumansburg found itself defending for most of the last 20 minutes of the first half. And sure enough, Lansing would find the breakthrough early in the second half, with Herzog putting the finishing touch on a beautifully executed counterattack.
The Blue Raiders were enjoying their best spell of possession since early in the first half, but a quick change of possession left them vulnerable in the back. That’s when Bobcats junior Alex Schutz linked up with senior Woojin Richardson, who simply had to look to his left to see an unmarked Herzog streaking down the left side of the field. The ball came, and after taking a touch the junior chipped the onrushing Andzejkowicz to put the hosts up 1-0 with 35:38 remaining.
The second half was a more open than the first, and with Lansing unable to put the nail in the coffin, the visitors almost claimed a late tie on senior Zack Cozzarin’s free-kick that struck the crossbar.
The Bobcats had the edge in shots (17-9) and corners (9-1). Andrzejkowicz made nine saves for the Blue Raiders.
Lansing travels to Whitney Point on Wednesday, while T-burg plays host to Moravia.