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.