Lyme coach Scott Radley contends the schools boys soccer program is once again enjoying the benefits of reloading this season, rather than rebuilding. And although the teams leaders made some key positional changes, the Indians sport one of the most potent and balanced scoring squads in the Frontier League this year, led by the high-flying and prolific trio of Troy Wilson, Tanner Wiley and Mark Parker.
Wilson and Wiley not only top the team in scoring, they also lead the league in goals with 15 each and they rank 1-2 in points, with 45 and 44, respectively, and in assists with 16 and 15.
Not be outdone, Parker stands tied for third in the circuit with Indian Rivers Junior Malinoski in goals (13) and points (36).
Its an exciting time for us, said Radley, who is in his 17th year as Lymes coach. The kids play off each other really well, they look for each other. And they dont care who scores the goals each goal is a goal for the team. Theyre very unselfish players.
Lymes high-octane trio of players lead the Indians into todays D Division showdown with rival and division leader Copenhagen at 4:30 p.m. today in Chaumont.
They definitely complement each other out there, theres no doubt about that, Radley said. If one or two guys arent playing their strongest, the other one picks it up, so its kind of nice to have that continuity. Its a lot of fun and nice to have them out there.
While Wilson, a senior, is in his third season at forward, Lymes coaching staff made some changes entering this campaign.
Parker, who previously played up front at striker, was moved back to play as a central-midfielder and clearly has directed much the offensive flow up to the forwards.
Tanner and Mark are like pure strikers, theyre like snipers, theyre in control and theyre the more accurate shooters, Radley said. But Troy exists pretty much on hard work and strength hes the epitome of an athlete.
Wiley, a sophomore, has played the past two years on defense, but has relished his chance to score goals as a forward.
He has been our leader on defense as a real shutdown defender, Radley said. This year hes getting the opportunity to play up front and score some goals and obviously hes done very well.
Copenhagen (12-0, 11-0) has already clinched another D Division regular season title, but facing Lyme (11-2, 9-2) is one of the biggest rivalries in Frontier League soccer.
Theyve got a really good team, too, and theres some healthy respect between each of us, Radley said of Copenhagen. I think its really important for us to play really well against them. The first game against them and not to take anything away from them we just didnt play well and didnt play our game of soccer.
NOT MISSING A BEAT
Watertown junior defender Marcus Lavarnway faced a daunting task when asked to play goal for Watertowns boys soccer team after standout goalkeeper Noah Taylor was knocked out with a concussion in a game at Indian River back on Sept. 19.
How did Lavarnway, who hadnt played a minute in goal at the varsity level, respond?
Not only did the Cyclones rally to defeat the Warriors that night, he hasnt allowed one goal in posting six consecutive shutouts. Overall, Lavarnway has made 31 saves in 6-plus games including a 5-0 victory over Carthage on Tuesday as Watertown clinched the leagues A Division regular-season title.
FRONTIER LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
The aforementioned Frontier League playoffs for both boys and girls soccer begin next week in their respective A and D Divisions.
The boys semifinals in each division are scheduled for next Tuesday at the site of the higher seed, with the finals at General Brown next Thursday. The A Division title game is scheduled for 5 p.m. and the D Division final at 7.
Semifinals for girls soccer will be held next Wednesday, again at the site of the higher seed, with the finals slated for next Friday at Lowville. the A final is slated for 5 p.m. and the D final at 7.
The league also announced its swimming championship schedule as the A and B Division diving finals will take place at Lowville beginning at 11 a.m. Oct. 19.
The leagues swimming championships are slated for Oct. 26, with the A Division meet at Rome Free Academy and the B Division finals at South Lewis, both 11 a.m. starts.
Sportswriter Chris Fitz Gerald covers Frontier League soccer for the Times. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org