Thanks to strong play on the weekend, the Westhill and Marcellus boys soccer teams will clash with each other in the Section III Class B semifinal round.
Westhill, the no. 6 seed, had to win twice in the playoffs, over Jordan-Elbridge and South Jefferson, while Marcellus, the no. 2 seed, merely had to get rid of Lowville. They now meet with a place in the finals against Clinton or Skaneateles on the line.
In the debut season of head coach Tom Etoll, Westhill had a fine 11-4-1 showing, but now it set out in the sectional playoffs, where the Warriors had so much success under Roland Ficken, claiming seven championships.
But the Warriors had little trouble in last Tuesday night's opening round, dominating no. 11 seed Jordan-Elbridge in a 7-0 win over the Eagles.
Steadily, Westhill worked its way to a 3-0 halftime lead, then kept going behind Aaron Hunt, who notched a three-goal hat trick and added an assist.
Anthony Scaravillo had a goal and two assists, with J.T. Alcaro adding one goal and one assist. Andrew McBride and Dave Elleman also converted, with Taylor Price and John Emm also getting assists. In defeat, J-E goalie Josh Alley had seven saves as the Eagles' season ended with a mark of 6-9-1.
As fate would have it, Westhill would go to Adams to play Friday's Class B quarterfinal against no. 3 seed South Jefferson -- the very team that, a year ago, came to Westhill and knocked out the Warriors a year ago 4-1 in what proved to be Ficken's last coaching appearance.
Bent on payback in that same round, the Warriors got it, steadily asserting its will over the Spartans and prevailing in a 2-0 shutout.
Again, Westhill's defense proved solid from start to finish. Taylor Price, Marcus Rinaldi, Dylan Tripodi and Jared Persons led a back line that blocked the path for South Jefferson every time it tried to attack, and Ryan Boyle turned away all six shots he faced.