Oct 30, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Barely two weeks after they ended the regular season in a memorable 2-2 draw, the Marcellus and Westhill girls soccer teams will gather once more, with a very familiar reward – the Section III Class B championship – on the line.
The rivals got there in very different ways during Tuesday night’s sectional semifinals. At Fayetteville-Manlius, the no. 5 seed Warriors fought hard to beat top seed Clinton 1-0, while at Fulton the no. 2 seed Mustangs attacked at will and smashed no. 3 seed South Jefferson 7-0.
And that means a title-game showdown Friday night at SUNY-Cortland at 6:30. Aside from all the memorable post-season clashes these two rivals have shared, they also met twice in the regular season, state Class B no. 4-ranked Marcellus giving no. 9-ranked Westhill (15-1-3) its lone defeat, 2-0, on Sept. 10, but the two sides playing to a wild 2-2 draw in the Oct. 16 rematch.
In order to have one more chance at toppling Marcellus, Westhill first had to deal with Clinton. Despite its top seed and 16-1 mark, those other Warriors had not played the same type of consistently tough opposition that Westhill did, and that was reflected in the early flow of play.
Clinton managed just a single shot in the first half, barely pressuring Sam Peebles, while Westhill took eight shots, constantly testing Clinton’s defense and forcing set pieces.
That led to a corner kick in the 30th minute. Kelly Lippert’s cross went to Grace Powers, whose header found its way to eighth-grader Katelyn Karleski. Without hesitation, Karleski gained possession and fired it into the net.
Just as Erin McMullen, a call-up from the JV ranks, had scored the lone goal in Westhill’s tense 1-0 win over Skaneateles in the Class B quarterfinals, another newcomer, Karleski, had delivered here.
Then the Westhill defense did the rest of the work, mostly flicking the ball away before Clinton could establish any sort of attack. Even so, it had to labor in the closing minutes as Clinton went all-out, but could not get anything past Peebles.
Far away, in Fulton, Marcellus found far less difficulty in breaking through South Jefferson’s defenses in a game that was never in serious doubt.
By halftime, it was already 4-0, the Mustangs spreading its attack around in a manner rarely shown even when it was putting up larger goal totals at other points this season as it out-shot the Spartans 21-3.
Six different players scored, with only Jada Sargeant finding the net twice. Madi Belvito, Brielle Filtch and Bri Sammon each finished with one goal and one assist, while Laura Dailey and Molly Tice also took turns landing goals. Meghan Witkowski also earned an assist.