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Westhill soccer eliminated in tense shoot-out

Finally, with exactly seven minutes left in regulation, Scaravillo's cross from the left led to a scramble, and Murphy forced his shot past Haenlin to earn a 1-1 tie.

And it would stay at 1-1 through the rest of regulation, plus a pair of 15-minute, sudden-death overtime periods. Again, Westhill attacked hard. Again, Haenlin and the Lowville defenders turned it all away. Wind also had to make a couple of crucial stops in the rare cases where the Raiders pushed forward.

So it all came down to the scenario Westhill and every other good team wishes to avoid -- a shoot-out, where each side gets five penalty kicks. Top seed and defending champion Clinton had fallen to Cazenovia in a similar circumstance just two days earlier in the Class B quarterfinals.

Westhill went first, and Martin converted. Haenlin took Lowville's first kick and was successful, too.

Up next, Kavanaugh went low and left -- but Haenlin dove and made a spectacular stop. When Isaac Bushey made his shot, Lowville went up 2-1.

Jesse Hunt took his turn. He tried the low shot, to the right, but Haenlin again guessed right and grabbed it. Christian Sterner made it three-for-three for Lowville, and now the Warriors were on the brink.

Scaravillo took Westhill off the brink by solving Haenlin -- but seconds later, when Zach Taylor's shot eluded Wind, Lowville had a date with Marcellus in Friday night's Class B final.

Meanwhile, Westhill had to cope with the sudden and surprising end to a 17-1-2 season that featured an OHSL Liberty division title and a spot in the state Class B top 10 -- but not a sectional banner.

Now the Warriors must see 12 seniors depart, a group that includes Wind, Kavanaugh, Hunt, Tim Byrne, Willie Fischer, Ryan Spinek, Kevin Esposito, Eric Garofano and John Pelligrini. The offense in 2008 could be unstoppable with Martin, Scarvaillo, Murphy, Ben Owens and Andy McBride around, while Aaron Hunt is sure to anchor the defensive side after starting this fall as a sophomore.

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