Relentless pressure, combined with some patience, allowed the Marcellus girls soccer team to earn a pair of lopsided wins.
But when the Mustangs ventured to Oneonta for a tournament at the National Soccer Hall of Fame, it ran into a familiar rival - and got a familiar result.
Playing Westhill on Sunday afternoon, Marcellus would be held off the scoreboard, and forced into a penalty-kick shoot-out at 0-0, where it would prevail, 4-3.
This was exactly what took place last October, in the Section III Class B quarterfinals at Lawrence Road, and it proved to be the Mustangs' biggest scare en route to the state finals.
In this sequel, Lauren Fletcher had to make seven saves, including the clutch stops in the shoot-out. Westhill goalie Lauren Snyder made 14 saves to keep her team in it. The Mustangs and Warriors will meet twice more in the regular season, on Sept. 27 and Oct. 19.
Just before that, the Mustangs won Saturday over Cambridge, 4-0, getting all of its goals in the first half. Sarah Holden, Deana Melnyczuk, Bridget Dooley and Lindsey Forte each took turns scoring, with Holden, Megan Kaminska, Brittany Buza and Sarah Potter earning assists.
This tournament concluded a long and full week. Given a bit of a scare in last Monday's game against Solvay, the Mustangs turned everything loose in the late going to beat the Bearcats 6-0.
Despite constant first-half opportunities, Marcellus and Solvay went to the break at 0-0, but after some fine-tuning, the Mustangs started to convert.
Five different players joined in the goal-scoring barrage. Kaminska found the net twice, with Melnyczuk, Potter, Holden and Amy Sniffen earning one goal apiece.
Emmy Lou Potter, Rachel Farneti and Forte put themselves in the assist column, as Marcellus finished with 28 shots, to the Bearcats' six.