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soccer Jacob WilliamsonJacob Williamson. Photo by Peter Parkes

The Lansing Bobcats took on the Dryden Purple Lions on Wednesday night on Sobus Field. The long-awaited matchup between rivals was also Lansing's Senior Night. Before the game a small celebration recognized each of the 11 seniors: Lansing Miller, Taylor Overton, James Blair, Josh Zajac (C), Nick Parkes (C), Nic Whittaker, Jacob Williamson, Darius Desnoes, Trey McDonald, Henry Meyers and John Rogers. After the celebration the game began.

As has been Lansing's M-O this year, a goal came five minutes in. Captain Josh Zajac received a ball on the right flank, beat his man, and crossed it into the center. Midfielder Jacob Williamson smashed it one-time and just like that the Bobcats were up 1-0.

Even with the goal the first fifteen minutes were intense, with balls being sent in the air for both teams. Every touch had pressure and every pass was contested. The possession for that time was 50/50. At about halfway through the first half Lansing seemed to gain control of the ball and started knocking it around, forcing Dryden to chase.

During this time Lansing scored its second goal. Again a ball was played out wide to Zajac, who beat his man to cross the ball into the box. Dryden was unable to clear the ball as striker Erik Goehler bodied a defender for possession and laid the ball off to Parkes who was able to drive it through the keeper's hands for a Bobcat lead of 2-0.

From there it looked to be easy sailing for Lansing, but this was a rivalry and Coach Lazlo Engels would never let his team quit. With five minutes left in the half, Dryden pressed up and even though Lansing's defense won possession of the ball, a poor clear to the middle of the field resulted in a Dryden counter. The ball was played directly at goal where Purple Lion striker Casey Phillips got on the end of it to beat keeper Jack Yahn.

Coming out of the half, both teams upped the intensity, but it was Lansing that was able to stay more composed and play its game. However it wasn't a series of passes that led to the next goal. On a ball played through the defense, Dryden's right back beat Taylor Overton to it, but faced his own goal. The right back looked to play to his keeper, but he had already come out to intercept the pass and pick it up. The defender passed it back to his keeper who realized he couldn't use his hands and hesitated. That's when Overton swooped in to take the ball from him, and passed it easily into the open net for a 3-1 lead. Lansing would later add one more to cut out any hope of a Dryden comeback.

The Bobcats' 4-1 win gives them a current record of 11 wins and 2 losses. Lansing's next game will be tomorrow at Union Springs, against USPB. With a win tomorrow Lansing clinches the Large-School North Division to face Elmira Notre Dame, who already clinched the Large-School South Division, in the IAC Championship Game. Lansing won its previous matchup with USPB 11-0.

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