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Girls soccer Mustangs drop Class B state final to Oneonta

Last-minute goal thwarts Marcellus bid for fourth state crown

Marcellus senior midfielder Abigail Fallon (14) moves in front of teammate Alana Montreal (4) and dribbles past Oneonta's Abigail Picinich in Sunday's state Class A final, where a last-minute goal helped the Yellowjackets defeat the Mustangs 2-1.

Marcellus senior midfielder Abigail Fallon (14) moves in front of teammate Alana Montreal (4) and dribbles past Oneonta's Abigail Picinich in Sunday's state Class A final, where a last-minute goal helped the Yellowjackets defeat the Mustangs 2-1. Timothy Van Camp Jr.

The Mustangs did not immediately follow it up with extended pressure, though, allowing Oneonta a chance to settle into the game and put together its own runs. The Yellowjackets did get some corner kicks and a free kick in the 21st minute, but Marcellus easily turned them away.

Still, as the half wore on, the Mustangs found itself defending most of the time. Oneonta saw Mariah Ruff pull a free kick over the net in the 28th minute, and four minutes later Maggie Fiacchi sprinted out of her net to meet a dangerous cross and make her best save.

Brielle Filtch nearly made it 2-0 in the 34th minute, taking Madi Belvito's cross and sending a strong shot into the side of the net, inches wide. Abby Fallon also just missed on a close-up opportunity just before halftime, meaning the Mustangs carried that one-goal margin to the break.

When they came out for the second half, the wind had picked up, and so had the rain. Almost on cue, in the 47th minute the Yellowjackets, now with the wind on its back, pulled even, 1-1, when Buschbascher could not get a firm grip on a corner kick, allowing Oneonta's Mariah Ruff to pound the loose ball past her.

That forced the Mustangs to go back on the attack, and its attack vastly improved as the second half wore on, generating a series of opportunities.

"We played really well in the second half," said Updike. "For a long time, we were on the verge of breaking through, and it just didn't happen."

Instead, what took place stunned everyone, Marcellus and Oneonta alike, offering a sad coda to the Mustangs' marvelous season.

What made it more difficult was that it ended the high school soccer careers of 12 Marcellus seniors, including the likes of Filtch, Fallon, Shannon Donahue, Molly MacLachlan, Meghan Witkowski, Makenzie Felicia, Jordin Wentworh and Emma Blystone.

They were all champions - even if the strange ending denied them the prize they wanted the most.

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