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.