Nothing short of greatness is expected from the Marcellus girls soccer team - and the results back up those ambitions.
Since 2003, the Mustangs have won or shared seven Section III Class B championships, earned two state titles and gone to four state finals.
For the current edition that head coach Laurie Updike leads onto the field, missing eight seniors from 2011 (including Kathryn Busa, Faith Seely, Rebecca Nolan and Dani Felty), the most recent memory is that of sharing the sectional title with Lowville, only to get denied entry into the state tournament due to a penalty-kick shoot-out.
So there’s plenty of motivation for Marcellus to not get topped by anyone in 2012, and the initial results – namely, a victory in the Mr. B Tournament in Oswego on Labor Day weekend – were encouraging enough.
In the opening round on Friday, the Mustangs met host Oswego, and it required persistence and patience for Marcellus to gain a 1-0 victory over the Buccaneers.
Despite total dominance of the flow of play and long periods spent in Oswego’s end, it remained 0-0 into the second half, the Mustangs unable to get anything past Bucs goalie Rachel Purcell, who piled up 21 saves.
Finally, the breakthrough came when Brielle Filtch, off a pass from Lexy Bird, beat Purcell for the game’s only tally. Defensively, the Mustangs held Oswego to just four shots.
This set up a wild final on Saturday between Marcellus and Rochester Mercy. Here, both defenses would struggle, but the Mustangs shook off a terrible start and rallied for a 6-4 victory.
Mercy constantly threaded through the Marcellus back line and worked its way to a 4-2 halftime lead. Led by Filtch, though, the Mustangs took over in the final 40 minutes with four unanswered goals.
Overall, Filtch found the net three times for a hat trick, adding an assist, while Shannon Donahue, Molly MacLachlan and Laura Dailey had one goal apiece. Bird and Jordan Wentworth both had one assist as, in the net, Margaret Choroser shrugged off her early struggles and made nine saves.
For its OHSL Liberty division opener on Thursday, Marcellus will get to reunite with archrival Westhill, whom it eliminated last fall in the sectional semifinals.