Nov 13, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Four years after laying claim to a state Class B title, the Marcellus boys soccer team has a chance to do it all over again.
Jon Schoonmaker’s goal midway through the second half led the Mustangs to a 2-1 victory over Section IV champion Oneonta in Friday night’s Class B regional final at West Genesee High School.
With that win, Marcellus advances to the state final four at the National Soccer Hall of Fame complex in Oneonta – the exact same spot where the Mustangs won it all in 2005.
“It feels fantasic to get back there,” head coach Jennifer Griffin said. “We have some good teams (in the years since ’05), but this year, things are bouncing our way.”
Senior defender Mike Tao said reaching the last weekend of the season had been the team’s goal since the first day of practice, and Tao had a lot to do with making sure the Mustangs got there.
Tao’s primary assignment on this night was to tail Oneonta’s top player, Jacob Joseph, everywhere he went, with help from fellow defenders Greg Ramsden, Ben Bednarski and Joe Garrant.
Together, this quartet prevented Joseph and his Yellow Jacket teammates from getting too many good chances in the early going.
Meanwhile, Marcellus took its time waiting for a good chance, and pounced upon a free kick less than nine minutes into the game.
Cal Filtch took the kick, and his low, hard left-footed shot went past the Oneonta wall and found the left side of the net, putting the Mustangs up 1-0.
Gradually, Oneonta started to build pressure, and in the 28th minute pulled even at 1-1. Jacob Joseph, from the right side, crossed to the middle – and his brother, Dan Joseph, hit a one-timing header that flew past goalie Jon Quick before he could react.
So just like the Section III Class B final against Skaneateles, Marcellus had gone in front, only to get caught. And just as it did against the Lakers, the Mustangs would go back in front.
Following a long quiet period, Marcellus made a run at the Oneonta net in the 62nd minute. Luke McNaney, from the right corner, hit the ball to the middle. Whether Jon Schoonmaker touched the ball or not, it went low, and rolled past Yellow Jackets goalie Alex Meschutt.
Now the Mustangs’ defense took over again, adjusting to Oneonta’s ability to create opportunities off long passes. Still, Quick overcame his usual caution to make two daring runs well out of his net in the last eight minutes to turn away possible chances by the Yellow Jackets to tie it.
“Jon does not head out of the net too often,” Griffin said. “We told him that if it feels right, go to it.”
So Quick did, and it helped send the Mustangs back to the state final four with an 18-1-1 record.
On Saturday at 10:30 a.m., Marcellus will face Broadalbin-Perth (Section II) in the semifinal round. The winner advances to Sunday’s final against Grover Cleveland or Center Moriches.