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.
continued From there, it looked like the Mustangs would easily put away the Warriors as it continued to attack. But a stunning sequence late in regulation made things a lot more difficult.
Brielle Filtch got open for a point-blank look with 8:40 to play, but Cornelius made a terrific save. Fired up by that, the Warriors attacked again, and with 6:26 left Shankman, taking a pass from the right side by Maureen Lewis, fired a hard shot past Margaret Choroser.
It was the first goal Marcellus had allowed in the entire sectional playoffs. And despite some hard pressure from the Mustangs, it stayed 1-1 at the end of regulation.
"It (the goal) did jolt us a bit," said Updike. "But it jolted us the right way."
Going into the OT period, said Updike, she told her players to back up each other on the defensive side, just to make sure that Clinton did not get any open territory on the way to the net.
Of course, it's less stressful to defend with a lead. Barely a minute into the first of two mandatory 10-minute OT periods, Molly MacLachlan sent a long, accurate pass to the right side. Belvito sprinted to it, and when Cornelius ran out to meet her, Belvito flicked the ball past her into the unoccupied net for what proved to be the winning goal.
"You can't teach speed," said Updike of Belvito's ability to charge into the other end. "If used correctly, it can pay big dividends."
Solid defense the rest of the way allowed the Mustangs to hang on for another sectional banner. Marcellus has won or shared seven of the last 10 Class B titles.
The Mustangs play unbeaten, defending state champion Schalmont (Section II) Tuesday night at Fulton in the first round of the Class B regionals. Two more wins are needed for Marcellus to return to the state final four, set for Nov. 16-17 in the Cortland/Homer area.