Oct 22, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Now this was the way to gain a milestone.
Manlius-Pebble Hill girls soccer coach Patricia Bentley, who has steadily built her program into an annual championship contender, closed the regular season in ideal fashion, the state Class C no. 15-ranked Trojans knocking off no. 5-ranked Bishop Grimes 2-1 in last Saturday’s regular-season finale.
Not only did that victory avenge a 3-0 defeat to the Cobras from earlier in the season, it also gave Bentley her 200th coaching win with MPH.
Remembering, perhaps, how Grimes had jumped all over them in the first meeting, the fired-up Trojans tore out to a 2-0 first-half lead. Both goals came from Terry Netusil, one of the team’s proven veterans, as Lizzy Dean and Alexa Melendez-Martineau both earned assists.
Grimes regrouped and, in the second half, made a serious comeback attempt. Kennedy Yearby got an unassisted goal, but MPH prevented anything more, its defense holding the Cobras to a handful of shots. Sammy Appleby only had to make three saves, half the total of Jillian Firenze.
It was an eventful week for both sides going into the showdown. Two days earlier, Bentley won her 199th career game when the Trojans beat LaFayette 7-1.
All the goals came in a first-half onslaught where Dean, Netusil and Annie Simmonds each scored twice. Chrissy Murphy supported with one goal and one assist, while Melendez-Martineau piled up three assists
That the LaFayette game wasn’t win no. 200 for Bentley was all due to Tully, the defending Class C champions, who knocked off the Trojans 2-1 back on Monday afternoon.
Dean’s first-half goal, which was assisted by Melendez-Martineau, helped MPH earn a 1-1 halftime draw. It remained that way until the Black Knights got the go-ahead goal in the second half, and held on behind Kallie George’s six saves.
If nothing else, Grimes did not have to carry the added pressure of an undefeated regular-season mark into the MPH rematch in the wake of last Monday’s 2-1 loss to East Syracuse-Minoa.
Having played Class A foes all season, the Spartans were ready for Grimes’ challenge, getting on the board in the first half with Olivia Chopskie’s goal as Kennedy Yearby countered for the Cobras, assisted by Alex Guhin.
They remained 1-1 deep into the second half. ESM had most of the chances, and Jillian Firenze made 14 saves, but with six minutes left the Spartans’ Caitlin Gagen poked a shot past Firenze that proved the game-winner.
Grimes and MPH could play again in the Section III Class C-2 finals. Despite the pair of defeats to end the season, the Cobras are still the top seed and would play no. 8 seed Waterville or no. 9 seed Bishop Grimes in the quarterfinals. The Trojans are the no. 3 seed and will host a quarterfinal against no. 6 seed Fabius-Pompey.
Compared to all this, MPH’s boys soccer team had a quieter week, but still won both of its games, starting with last Monday’s 4-0 shutout over Syracuse Academy of Science.
Taking 19 shots overall, the Trojans had two goals in each half. Again, Solomon Ochieng led the way, scoring twice and adding an assist, while Gerrit Church had a goal and assist. Wahhaj Beg also found the net as Chris King added an assist.
Then the Trojans edged past Bishop Grimes 1-0 in Friday’s regular-season finale. Dan Ostaszewski, with 14 saves, kept MPH off the board for a while, but Ochieng’s second-half goal made the difference as the Cobras only got five shots, all stopped by Cal Dougherty.
Grimes also lost 4-0 to Bishop Ludden last Tuesday afternoon, most of the damage incurred in the first half despite 14 saves from goalie Dan Ostaszewski. Ryan Gantry led the Gaelic Knights, scoring twice.
As the Cobras missed out on the Class C sectional tournament, MPH, as the no. 5 seed, would play no. 12 seed Mohawk in Wednesday’s opening round, with the winner advancing to the quarterfinal against defending champion Tully or Westmoreland.