Oct 28, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
It’s getting almost to be something a girls soccer fan in Central New York can count on, similar to death and taxes – Marcellus and Westhill, squaring off late in the Section III Class B playoffs with a lot at stake.
When the no. 1 seed Mustangs and no. 5 seed Warriors gather for the Class B semifinal, it would be the eighth time in 12 years that they would meet in the sectional playoffs. Add to that all of the regular-season clashes, and there’s a whole lot of familiarity between the neighbors.
The Warriors were nervous from the moment the playoff bracket came out. As the no. 5 seed, it got no favors because it had to face a no. 12 seed, Chittenango, who beat them 1-0 earlier in the month.
So perhaps it wasn’t surprising that it went to overtime before the Warriors could escape with a 1-0 victory, again unable to put any shot in regulation past the Bears’ tough goalie, Sierra Shafer.
Not until the middle of the first OT period did the Warriors move ahead. Lindsay Lippert’s long run and deft pass set up Emily Mizer, whose shot drew out Shafer and, with the ball loose near the box, Maggie Tripodi fit in the game-winner.
This set up Friday night’s Class B quarterfinal against Skaneateles, who was quite familiar with Westhill through a Sept. 18 regular-season meeting that ended in a 0-0 draw.
Incredibly, the two sides would play 80 more minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of overtime without settling anything – or getting a goal, meaning that they had spent 3 ½ hours on the field and were still in a 0-0 deadlock.
The only way to solve this was penalty kicks. Westhill made all three of its attempts, and the Lakers kept missing, which brought a quick end – and another shot for the Warriors at Marcellus.
Amid all this, Marcellus made its 2012 playoff debut an impressive one, keeping no. 8 seed Bishop Ludden off the board in a 3-0 shutout in its Class B quarterfinal.
The Mustangs had only managed a 2-2 draw with the Gaelic Knights on Oct. 11, exactly two weeks before their playoff rematch, and badly wanted to avoid a similar amount of stress this time around.
With steady pressure, Marcellus grabbed a 1-0 halftime lead. Ludden goalkeeper Gemma O’Kane had a strong performance, finishing with 11 saves, but the Mustangs solved her twice more in the closing stages to add a comfortable cushion.
Brielle Filtch, with two goals, and Abby Fallon, with one goal and one assist, led the way. Lexy Bird and Madison Belvito also earned assists as Marcellus out-shot Ludden 18-5, mostly allowing goalie Margaret Choroser to avoid getting tested too hard.
Ludden got its shot at Marcellus by virtue of a hard-fought opening round game against no. 9 seed Ilion, who pushed the Gaelic Knights hard before the hosts hung on for a 2-1 victory.
The combination of Mersadiz Hayes and Shelby Hunter led Ludden’s first-half effort. Twice, Hayes found the net, each time off of deft passes from Hunter, and the Gaelic Knights led 2-0 at the break.
For the rest of the game, Ilion goalkeeper Elizabeth Belfast kept Ludden away, finishing with 16 saves. But though Nicole Doolen scored to cut the Gaelic Knights’ margin in half, Gemma O’Kane, with her seven saves, made sure that Ludden made it through and got another shot at Marcellus.