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Marcellus soccer advances to state final four

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.

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