September 20, 2013
Funk wins 500th at Marathon
OWEGO – With relentless pressure, Marathon Central wears down its opponents.
Such was the case Thursday afternoon as the Olympians scored three second-half goals to post a 4-0 Section 4 Division III field hockey win over host Owego. In the process, the small Cortland County school gave its only head coach her 500th career victory as Karen Funk enjoys her 40th season on the Orange and Black sidelines.
The Olympians are 4-0 in division play and 5-0 overall. Owego falls to 2-2.
“Being on the road certainly takes a little pressure off the girls,” Funk said. “Obviously they did know about this (500 wins). I think my real milestone before this was coming back for my 40th year. If you do something long enough you’re going to get another milestone.
“I’ve been really blessed to have some outstanding teams,” she added while holding flowers given to her by her players. “I think even more so that I have had the opportunity to coach some very outstanding young ladies. They love the sport as much as I do and it shows. It’s out of the way, but 501 will be just as important.”
Marathon put pressure on Owego goalkeeper Bri Ulrich early and she responded, but the Olympians finally broke through with 13:57 left in the first half. Katlyn Tallman finished off a nice cross from sweeper Marrisa Harris with a flick of her wrist.
That would be the only goal of the half, but Marathon got a big spark in the opening minute of the second half when more pressure in the circle earned the visitors a penalty stroke. Eryn Griep lifted the ball into the upper left side of the cage and the Olympians led 2-0.
“I’ve been practicing strokes since I was in third grade,” Griep said. “I finally got to do one and I was happy I made it.
“I never really try to aim the ball,” she added. “I just try to get a strong push on the ball and I try to lift it a little. Sometimes it goes upper right, sometimes lower left. It really doesn’t matter as long as it goes in.”
With that second goal in the book, the Olympians began to swarm the circle like a shark is drawn to blood in the water.
Harris got a goal of her own with 14:12 remaining in the match on a rebound off Ulrich’s pads for the third Marathon goal.
“Marrisa is not afraid to shoot the ball,” Funk said. “She will push forward and get into the circle.”
With 1:07 to go. Giovanna Lisi took a pass from Griep and found a hole for the fourth, and final, Olympian tally.
“We have emphasized that we don’t have just one or two scorers,” Funk said. “I want to have at least six different people having the opportunity to score. The midfielders, the forwards, I want to see all of them up there wanting to score a goal.
“We passed the ball one too many times in the first half in the circle,” she continued. “In the second half, they took the shots. That was good to see.”
The Olympians took 16 shots and Ulrich did stop a dozen of them. Marathon goalkeeper Gwen Shear stopped both of the shots she saw. Marathon enjoyed an lopsided 11-0 edge in penalty corners.
Marathon will face a tough non-league test Saturday traveling to face Section 3 foe Fayetteville-Manlius on turf. The JV game is at 3:30 p.m. with the varsity game slated for 5 p.m.
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