Something happened to the Westhill girls soccer team in the second half of Tuesday night’s game against Marcellus that hadn’t taken place in the entire month of September – namely, the Warriors allowed a goal.
In fact, two were scored by the Mustangs in an action-packed second half of the only regular-season clash between these two long-time rivals, and it still wasn’t enough as Westhill, with a scoring surge of its own, pulled out a 4-2 victory.
Following a second-half goal by Skaneateles in the Aug. 30 season opener, the Warriors’ defense, led by Sam Van Buren, Reilly Geer, Hannah Dorfman and Alyssa Holstein, had reeled off 10 consecutive shutouts.
Meanwhile, Marcellus had gone through a fair share of ups and downs, but arrived at Westhill sporting its own four-game shutout streak, and nearly took the lead in the opening minutes as Taylor Reich charged up the middle on a solo run, only to get stopped before taking a direct shot.
Other than that, the Mustangs’ attack was well-contained in the first half. And when Mackenzie Powers pounced on the rebound of a mishandled long shot by Sophia Caron to score in the 23rd minute, the Warriors’ 1-0 lead seemed safer than normal, given how stingy Westhill had been in September.
But a shutout streak that lasted for nearly five weeks, and more than 950 minutes of game action, ended in the early portion of the second half. Running down the left side, Anna Vetsch sent a well-timed cross that Reich headed past Warriors goalie Lauren Bendall.
The 1-1 tie didn’t last long – nine minutes, to be exact, before a deflected corner kick ended on the foot of Hannah Elmer, who blasted home the go-ahead goal. Undaunted, Marcellus got even again at 2-2with Vetsch taking a pass at midfield and sprinting to the net before ripping home a right-footed shot.
Westhill kept pressuring, though, and with 6:22 left Hannah Dorfman’s strong throw from the right sideline floated to the middle, where Megan O’Reilly sent a reverse header into the top of the net, out of Kendall Koloski’s reach.
Koloski, who took over in goal when Grace Coon left late in the first half, finished with nine saves. Westhill didn’t sit on its lead, though, continuing to push until O’Reilly clinched it with her second goal in the final minute.
Not having a letdown on Thursday night, Westhill tried to start another shutout streak, hosting Chittenango and blanking the Bears 4-0 as Katelyn Karleski, with her pair of goals, helped the Warriors zoom to a 3-0 halftime lead. O’Reilly and Lauren Marshall also scored as Caron added an assist.
On the other hand, Marcellus went to Lowville last Tuesday and lost, 2-1, in overtime. Hannah Freeman’s goal in the first half matched that of Reich, with Vetsch earning the assist. They stayed that way until the second OT, when Freeman returned to put home the game-winner, overcoming 10 saves from Mary Colella.
Back on Tuesday night, West Genesee played Cicero-North Syracuse to a 1-1 draw at Archie Hall Stadium, with the Wildcats not quite able to climb above the .500 mark (it went into the game 5-5-2) and get the upper hand on a Northstars side it played to a 0-0 deadlock on Sept. 9.
Here, WG went in front thanks to a first-half goal by Emma Nelson, assisted by Haley Elsey. That 1-0 lead held until Kaitlyn Lippert tied it in the second half for C-NS, and from there neither side could pull in front through the rest of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime. Liz Croft made 14 saves as Northstars goalie Olivia Haven had 10 saves.
Tough as that was, what happened in Thursday night’s 1-0 defeat to state Class AA no. 20-ranked Baldwinsville was even more brutal. Just when it looked like the Wildcats had survived regulation unscathed, the Bees made one more attack and, off a feed from Katie Pascale, Graisa Madden put a shot past Croft as the second-half clock expired.
Prior to that, for nearly 80 minutes WG played some of its best defense of the season, a necessity since it rarely had a chance to break out of its own end. Croft amassed 15 saves.
Elsewhere, Bishop Ludden had one of its best efforts of the season last Tuesday night as it cruised past Cato-Meridian 5-0. Most of the damage was done in a first half where the Gaelic Knights sprinted out to a 4-0 advantage as it would take 29 shots overall.
Emma Driscoll, with two goals, and Angela Rotundo, with two assists, led the charge, with Katie Costello, Abbey Bombard and Alexia Chemotti each getting single goals. Olivia Boyea added an assist.
Ludden took on Manlius-Pebble Hill Thursday night and could not quite topple the state Class D no. 16-ranked Trojans in a 2-1 defeat. Driscoll had the Gaelic Knights’ lone goal, but MPH goalie Liza Bruno turned back everything else, recording 12 saves and getting help from Rachel Comfort, who scored and assisted on Maddie Mafrici’s tally.
A day later, Ludden handled Pulaski 4-0, thanks to a first-half outburst where Driscoll, Bombard, Boyea and Bailey Thieben each put in goals. Driscoll added an assist as Blue Devils netminder Abby Jordal made 26 saves to keep it from getting more lopsided.
Solvay lost a 1-0 decision to Altmar-Parish-Williamstown on Thursday as Tatyana Scott’s goal held up and none of the Bearcats’ 14 shots got past Sydney Jones as Haley Muehl made 10 saves of her own.
Jordan-Elbridge picked up its second win of the season last Tuesday, at Hannibal, where it unleashed its offense on the Warriors and emerged with a 5-3 decision, only to take a 5-0 loss to Cazenovia later in the week.