Marcellus For a long while Monday night, it looked like the Marcellus girls soccer team was going to end up on the wrong end of a regular-season sweep at the hands (and feet) of Westhill, setting up a taller task in its quest to repeat as Section III Class B champions.
Just in time, though, the Mustangs, showing a large amount of heart and resolve, rallied and pulled out a 2-1 overtime victory over the Warriors as senior captain Kathryn Busa notched the decisive goal with 40.5 seconds to play.
"They needed the gut check," said head coach Laurie Updike. "And they showed more passion, something we've been looking for all season."
When Westhill won their first meeting 3-2 on Sept. 21, it had turned the game around by scoring two goals in the span of a minute in the first half.
Nothing of that sort happened here, as defenses on both ends maintained control throughout a 0-0 first half. The Warriors had a majority of the possession and a series of solid scoring chances, but could not put a hard shot at Mustang goalie Margaret Choroser.
Then, in the span of a minute early in the second half, that changed. Maggie Tripodi, charging in alone, was tripped inside the 18-yard box, causing a penalty kick. Lindsay Lippert took the kick - and Choroser stopped it, diving to her right to make a clean save.
Just 59 seconds later, though, Tripodi was back, and the Mustangs' defenders did not want to foul, so the Westhill junior flew in and fitted a shot past Choroser inside the right post. And that 1-0 lead held up for a while, right to the latter stages of regulation.
But with 5:32 left, the Mustangs' Brielle Filtch charged down the right side, and fitted a beautiful pass to the middle, where Ellie Ryan strung a low shot past Sam Peebles to tie it, 1-1.