FULTON — Saranac just couldn’t measure up to Marcellus on Saturday.
The Mustangs scored two early goals and went on to defeat the Chiefs 7-2 in an NYSPHSAA Class B girls’ soccer regional final at Bodley High School.
“We ran into a really, really good team. A team with a lot of talent,” Saranac coach Mary LoTemplio said. “And I think we played the best we could against that talent, and our players tried to do the best they could with it. And we scored two goals on them, which a lot of teams have not been able to do.
“So I have nothing but good things to say about my team. I would not be surprised if that team wins it all. I would be very surprised if they don’t.”
Marcellus (19-1-1), from Section III, is ranked second in the state and has recorded 13 shutouts. Saranac became just the third team this season to tally more than one goal against the Mustangs, who advanced to the Class B final four.
Madi Belvito gave Marcellus a lead less than four minutes into the game, and then she assisted on Jada Sargeant’s goal at 10:08. Saranac goalkeeper Jamie Favreau came out to challenge Sargeant, and the Mustangs’ leading goal scorer sent the ball past her.
“That pumped us up majorly,” Belvito said of the quick two-goal lead. “That just gave us a boost of like, we’ve got this game. They were a good team, but that just made us (think) we were in it.”
LoTemplio said the Chiefs struggled with the Mustangs’ brand of soccer, particularily at the start, adding that Marcellus kept two forwards along the touchlines and one in the middle.
“It was a little bit of shell shock,” LoTemplio said. “We’re not used to that level. We haven’t played against a team like that. They played a completely different style than we’re used to.
“They spread it out so much ... and they were able to get it in. They kept putting it through and putting it through. And they were fast on the wing.”
Laura Dailey made it 3-0 in the middle of the half, and with 4:53 left, Belvito brought the ball down the right side, cut inside, and lofted a shot over Favreau. Belvito, who leads the Mustangs in points but is normally more of an assist specialist, said she got the ball more than usual on Saturday.
Saranac (16-1-1) showed signs of a spark late in the first and early in the second.
On the Chiefs’ second shot of the game, Amelia Jenks sailed the ball into the net from the right side 3:33 before halftime. Then Amy LoTemplio connected on a nice shot from near the top right corner of the 18-yard box 2:17 into the second. Ellen Thew assisted on both goals.
But the Mustangs’ Brielle Filtch put a damper on the rally when she sped in on the net with no defenders in sight and put a shot in for a 5-2 advantage. Molly MacLachan tallied and then set up Clare Manahan’s goal to round out the scoring.
Maggie Fiacchi had to make just three saves to earn the win. Favreau made 13 saves in the second half, including a sequence where she knocked the ball down and then immediately stopped the rebound chance as well. She totaled 21 saves, and LoTemplio said despite the lopsided score, the senior keeper “played great.”
The 11th-ranked Chiefs were coming off a shutout of Canton in the previous round and claimed the Section VII championship by outlasting Beekmantown in a thriller.
“I think when they get a couple days behind them, they’re going to be able to hold their heads high,” LoTemplio said. “All I’ve got to say is we got beat by a better team (Saturday), and there’s nothing we could’ve done about that. But for the rest of the season, we were undefeated and we had a great year. We have a lot of great memories and a lot to be proud of.”
Marcellus 7, Saranac 2
Saranac 1 1 — 2
Marcellus 4 3 — 7
First half- 1, Mar, Belvito (Blystone), 3:57. 2, Mar, Sargeant (Belvito), 10:08. 3, Mar, Dailey (Montreal), 22:37. 4, Mar, Belvito, 35:07. 5, Sar, Jenks (Thew), 36:27.
Second half- 6, Sar, LoTemplio (Thew), 2:17. 7, Mar, Filtch (Blystone), 8:37. 8, Mar, MacLachlan, 14:00. 9, Mar, Manahan (MacLachlan), 22:31.
Shots: Saranac 5, Marcellus 28.
Saves: Favreau, Sar, 21. Fiacchi, Mar, 3.
Email Courtney Lewis:email@example.com