Barely tested in its first two games - shutouts over Mexico and Hannibal - the Marcellus girls soccer team faced a far tougher challenge when it hosted long-time rival Skaneateles on Thursday night.
But the Mustangs were ready for it, surviving regulation and coming through in overtime for a 2-1 victory over the Lakers to improve its mark to 3-0.
Skaneateles had lost its OHSL Liberty division opener to Westhill, and was determined not to fall to 0-2 in league play. Thus, much of the first half was a patient effort as Marcellus gradually built up its pressure.
Then, in the 35th minute, Kathryn Busa pushed a shot past Laker goalie Mary Buck, the third straight game in which Busa had scored. That 1-0 lead held until halftime.
Refusing to go away, Skaneateles made a serious second-half push, which paid off when a foul inside the 18-yard box in the 55th minute led to a penalty kick.
Chelsea Hamilton beat Sophie Jackson on that try, and the game was tied, 1-1, a figure that stayed through the last 25 minutes of regulation.
So it went to overtime, two 15-minute periods played in full (no sudden victory). Thus, when Jessie Nye, off a feed from Busa, scored with 6:31 left in the first OT, there was still a long ways to go.
Up to that challenge, the Mustangs' defense, a quiet unit in those early wins, repelled every Laker attempt to pull out a draw. Emily Pawlewicz, Shannon Donahue, Jessie Manahan, and Annie Dailey led the back line, and Jackson finished with six saves.