Camillus By striking early, and handling the rest of the task in a calm and complete manner, the Marcellus girls soccer team disposed of its biggest rival and moved within one victory of another Section III Class B title.
The Mustangs scored an early goal and added a late one to shut out the Warriors 2-0 in Tuesday night's Class B semifinal at West Genesee High School.
The top seeded Mustangs (16-1-1) will face no. 3 seed Clinton, whom it didn't face in the regular season, in Friday night’s sectional title game. Clinton beat South Jefferson 2-1 in the other semifinal.
But the Mustangs and Westhill did meet this year - twice, in fact. The traditional powers split one goal decisions, Marcellus prevailing 1-0 in overtime in early September, the Warriors rebounding to get a 2-1 victory a month later.
Since they were so closely matched, it was vital for someone get the early jump Thursday, and Marcellus was in that mood.
With only 10:18 played, the Mustangs seized the lead. The play started when Brielle Filtch threaded a long through ball toward the Warriors goal. Lexy Bird outran the Westhill defense, controlled the ball with a pair of dribbles, and booted home a 10-yard shot that proved to be the game-winner.
“Early goals are fantastic," Marcellus coach Laurie Updike said. "You can’t beat an early goal. It just gives you all kinds of confidence and momentum.”
Westhill mentor Lisa Dwyer wasn’t surprised her team fell behind.
"I'm disappointed (that) my girls didn’t come to play as hard as they should have,” Dwyer said. “Marcellus came to play.”
The Mustangs outshot the Warriors, 7-0. Marcellus goalie Margaret Choroser simply watched and let her defenders - Alana Montreal, Shannon Donahue, Jackie Epp, Meghan Witkowski, Nicole Wynn - efficiently absorb every Westhill attack.