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Westhill, Marcellus girls move to Class B semifinals

Just one more win from each side, and the Marcellus and Westhill girls soccer teams could meet again with a Section III Class B championship on the line.

Both reached the semifinal round Thursday night. Despite its no. 9 seed, the Warriors went north and, coming from behind in the final minutes of regulation, upended top seed and defending champion Watertown IHC by a score of 2-1 at General Brown High School in Dexter.

Two days earlier, Westhill had escaped Solvay by that same 2-1 margin in the opening round. Now it sought payback against IHC, who beat them in last year's Class B semifinals on its way to the sectional title.

Since the Warriors had dealt with a far tougher regular-season schedule than the Cavaliers, it wasn't bothered one bit by the challenge - even when IHC assumed a 1-0 lead early in the first half, Erin McClusky scoring less than 10 minutes into the game.

In many ways, Westhill was fortunate to only trail 1-0 at the break. Katelyn Chamberlain just missed on two back-to-back, point-blank opportunities late in the half to extend IHC's lead, and as the second half wore on, the Warriors still were behind, about to see its season end again at the Cavaliers' expense.

But with slightly more than 10 minutes to play, a well-timed pass from Lindsey Lippert set up Brenna Rainone, who converted to tie the game 1-1. Just four minutes later, Kelly Ristoff got open and, from 30 yards out, blasted a shot that also found the net and proved to be the game-winner.

Goalie Sam Peebles pitched a second-half shutout and finished with six saves on the night.

The Warriors were on its way to the semifinal round - and so is Marcellus, the no. 2 seed, as the Mustangs defended its home turf by beating no. 7 seed Lowville 4-2.

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