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Marcellus, Westhill reach girls soccer Class B final

Mustangs rip South Jefferson; Warriors edge Clinton

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.

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