The Marcellus girls soccer team receives the Section III Class B championship banner after beating Clinton 2-1 in overtime in Friday night's title game at Chittenango High School. It's the seventh sectional title the Mustangs have won or shared seven of the last 10 sectional titles.
Chittenango Overtime had arrived again for the Marcellus girls soccer team in Friday night's Section III Class B final, just as it had a year ago when the Mustangs had to settle for a co-championship with Lowville and was beaten in penalty kicks.
This time around, the Mustangs would settle the matter long before a shoot-out was required.
Freshman Madison Belvito's goal just 1:31 into the first OT period held up for the rest of the extra sessions, and Marcellus beat Clinton 2-1 in a cold, wet and windy Class B title game at Chittenango High School.
"It means a ton," said Marcellus head coach Laurie Updike. "They were so determined after what happened last year, and they wanted to bring this home to Marcellus."
The top-seed Mustangs did so because it was patient on the attack against Clinton, a no. 3 seed that, in pursuit of its first-ever sectional title, had no intention of rolling over.
Right from the start, said Updike, the Mustangs tried to exploit gaps in the Clinton defenses. That meant sending the speedy Belvito up the right side, and she often made profitable runs deep into Warrior territory to set up scoring chances.
That didn't produce anything during a 0-0 first half, since Clinton still was able to protect the middle of the field and its goalkeeper, Marissa Cornelius, was able to make crucial stops.
The Warriors had its best early chance 9:50 into the game when Hannah Shankman's hard shot crashed off the crossbar, but the back line of Meghan Witkowski, Shannon Donahue and Alana Montreal shut down most of Clinton's other attacks.
They were still scoreless when, in the 51st minute the Mustangs went ahead 1-0. After a long series of throw-ins moved the ball into the left corner, Abby Fallon sent a curling pass to the net, where amid a scrum Belvito poked it past Cornelius.