Nov 05, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Kathryn Busa was a sophomore two seasons ago when the Marcellus girls soccer team shared the Section III Class B championship with rival Westhill, only to get denied entry into the state tournament via a penalty kick shoot-out.
“I remember crying for days after that,” Busa said.
Well, those tears turned into cheers – and lots of smiles – for Busa and her fellow Mustangs Friday night at SUNY-Cortland as it beat those same Westhill Warriors 3-1 to earn its first outright sectional championship since 2007.
And it was Busa, along with freshman teammate Brielle Filtch, who made the difference after they combined on both of the Mustangs’ goals in the second half that accounted for the final margin.
The task facing coach Laurie Updike and her Marcellus players was a tall one – beat a second straight opponent for a third time this season, just as it had done getting past Skaneateles 3-0 in the semifinals. Westhill, after two defeats to the Mustangs, was bent on breaking the Mustangs’ hearts again.
Aggressive from the start, Marcellus quickly grabbed a 1-0 lead. Just 6:38 into the game, Nicole Dorio’s corner kick lofted to the middle – and Jessie Nye perfectly timed her leap, heading the ball past Sam Peebles into the top right corner of the net.
From there, though, the Mustangs gradually saw Westhill pick up its attack. And it had a series of good runs late in the half, making Marcellus sufficiently worried, even though it still had that 1-0 lead at the break.
“We knew we had to come out and get a goal,” Busa said. “We knew one goal was not going to be enough.”
As if on cue, just 57 seconds into the second half Busa, from the right side, fed a ball to the middle, where Filtch sneaked in her foot and banged it past Peebles, extending the Mustangs’ lead to 2-0.
But just when it looked like the Mustangs were about to put it away, Westhill’s Brenna Rainone made a long run up the right side in the 60th minute and took a shot. Marcellus goalie Sophie Jackson could not handle it, and Nicole Veit poked in the rebound, cutting the margin back to one.
At this point, Updike said, the team kept its poise, mainly because its senior trio of defenders – Jessie Manahan, Annie Dailey and Emily Pawliewicz – kept calm and broke up possible attacks, giving Marcellus time to regroup.
“They (the defenders) really took control,” Updike said.
Soon enough, the Mustangs were making runs at the net. And with 13:30 to play, Filtch, from the right side, crossed to the net, where Peebles had difficulty hanging on to the ball – giving Busa a chance to bang home the clinching goal.
Marcellus now advances to Tuesday night’s opening round of the Class B regional playoffs against the Section II champions at West Genesee High School. Game time is 7:30, and will be preceded by Jamesville-DeWitt playing in the Class A regional game at 5 p.m. The Mustangs need to win two regional games next week in order to advance to the state final four on Nov. 19-20 in the Cortland/Homer area.