Now the Marcellus boys soccer team will try to do what its neighbors from Westhill could not - upend undefeated, top seed Clinton and, in the process, earn the Section III Class B championship.
The no. 7 seed Mustangs outplayed and outscored no. 3 seed South Jefferson 4-0 Wednesday night in the Class B semifinal at Christian Brothers Academy's Alibrandi Stadium.
By winning, Marcellus gets that shot at Clinton, who, earlier on Wednesday, knocked off Westhill, the no. 4 seed, by a 3-0 margin at Fayetteville-Manlius.
The Mustangs (12-7) dominated South Jefferson. Were it not for the exceptional play of Spartans goalkeeper NIck Hallett, Marcellus’ margin of victory would have been much, much more.
Yet as dominant as the Mustangs were, they still had trouble putting the Spartans away. It took three goals over the final 13 minutes for Marcellus to feel safe.
“(South Jefferson) packed it in, and we couldn’t score in the first half,” Marcellus coach Mark Sunheimer said. “We couldn’t finish. My guys’ heads started going down. To me (South Jefferson) was always in that game until the third goal went in.”
Sunheimer some how forgot that his team did score a first-half goal. It came off the foot of Keene Vaughn less than five minutes before the break.
The Mustangs pushed hard for much of the second half for an insurance goal. They got it in the 67th minute when Tom McNaney sent home a 20-yard shot into the lower left corner.
South Jefferson pushed forward and their aggressive attempt to score cost them as the Mustangs tallied a pair of counter-attack goals.
Zack Dillon got the first, converting a right footed shot from the left side of Dagget’s goal with 12:28 left. Nate Waite closed it out just over one minute later with a fine solo goal.