A nice bit of payback, and a fair amount of patience, has set up yet another Section III Class B girls soccer playoff showdown between Marcellus and Westhill in the semifinal round.
The no. 3 seed Mustangs and no. 2 seed Warriors split their regular-season encounters, each finishing with the same amount of overall goals. Westhill prevailed 3-2 on Sept. 21 and, in the rematch, Marcellus rallied to win 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 17.
Of course, the two sides had to get there, in Class B quarterfinals that, on consecutive nights, offered intriguing plot lines.
The latter of those games, on Friday night, saw Marcellus defeat no. 6 seed Cazenovia 3-0, exactly a week after the Lakers had stunned the Mustangs 2-1 at Swan Pond in Manlius.
Going in, Marcellus remembered that its problem, in that loss to Cazenovia, was that it could not finish off its scoring chances, even though it had 21 more shots than the Lakers.
Ironically, that shot disparity was not present in the playoff rematch – but Marcellus more than made up for it with efficiency, getting all of its goals in the first half and nicely spreading the production around, too.
Lexy Bird, Becca Nolan and Ellie Ryan all took turns putting shots past Cazenovia goalie Jamie Enders. Senior captain Kathryn Busa got credit for two assists as Brielle Filtch added an assist.
From there, the Mustangs’ defense took over as Faith Seeley, McChesney Mastro and the rest of the back line turned away attempts and, when that didn’t work, Margaret Choroser put up six saves.
Westhill, going first in the Class B quarterfinal round Thursday night, had to go through some nervous moments with no. 7 seed Watertown IHC before prevailing 2-0 overt the Cavaliers at Solvay’s Earl Hadley Stadium.
A scoreless first half caused some concern, but Westhill erased it in the second half. Twice, Brenna Rainone’s timely passes set up goals as Lindsay Lippert and Emily Mizer converted. All game long, the Warriors controlled the flow of play, taking 17 shots to IHC’s three.
But for Westhill, it all leads back to Marcellus, and a showdown that will determine who gets to face Lowville or Ilion for the Class B sectional title later this week.