October 31, 2013
Dramatic finish places Marathon back in final
Late call helps Olympians nip Greene 3-2
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Zack Brandstandt (1) of Marathon leaps to head the ball away from Greene defenders as teammate Daniel Lincoln (11) looks on in Wednesday’s Class C semifinal soccer tussle. Visiting Marathon won, 3-2.
GREENE – Marathon Central was playing catch up all Wednesday afternoon, but the Olympians prevailed in controversial Section 4 Class C tournament semifinal round match.
Tyler Hoellerer gave the sixth-seeded visitors a 3-2 lead with 19 seconds left in regulation time for the only lead Marathon would have, but that didn’t mean the soccer drama was over.
Second-seeded Greene got the ball into the corner quickly and a centering pass came towards two Trojan attackers as Olympian goalkeeper Kyle Young came after the ball. There was contact as Luke Day appeared to push the ball into the open net with time expiring, but the official waved the tying goal off, calling a push foul and awarding the ball to Marathon,
That ended things, with the Olympians celebrating and the Trojans arguing the final call made by the official. It was the first loss of the season for Greene (18-1 overall), who only has five seniors on its roster
Marathon (15-4) will meet top-seed Lansing in the all-Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class C championship match Saturday at a time to be announced. The Bobcats (17-1) shut out fourth-seed Trumansburg (15-3) 2-0 on goals by Jake Palladino and Donovan Baird.
This is the Olympians ninth straight trip to the championship match in Oneonta where they hold a 6-2 mark in the stretch. The Olympians and Bobcats met in the 2011 final with Lansing winning that meeting 2-1.
AGAINST GREENE, THE winning goal came off a throw-in that Dan Lincoln put into the box. Ryan Tillotson settled the ball and passed it off to Hoellerer who delivered a clean strike to the left of Greene goalkeeper Conner Moriarity.
It was a redemption for the senior tri-captain and defender who was full-field marking Trojan ace Kurt Bartholomew the entire second half and had a goal disallowed one minute earlier. Marathon did get a corner kick from that play, but Zack Brandstadt’s header was grabbed by Moriarty — one of his nine saves.
“Coach had me up to single-mark Bartholomew so he couldn’t distribute the ball,” Hoellerer said. “I got to play more offense than usual, but I guess it worked out well. I’m not totally sure how I got that shot into the goal, but it worked.
“We’ve been coming together all season long,” he added. “Today it did all come together and we get to go back to the final. That’s why we never quit when we got down. It’s all team chemistry.”
“A win’s a win,” said senior tri-captain Dan Lincoln. “We had to make some adjustments from the first half to control the middle more. Once we did that, we did play a better second half.”
Marathon coach Chip Stewart knew it would not be an easy game and it wasn’t. Greene coach Rick Tallman coached many of these older Olympians in the Marathon youth soccer leagues and has turned the Trojans into solid contenders.
“That’s a very good Greene team,” Stewart said. “We were fortunate at the end with the call, but they really had the better of the play in the first half.
“I thought we did the better job in the second half,” he continued. “We kept the ball on the ground. Dan could control things on the flanks, but their goalkeeper made some great saves on good shots. They also missed some opportunities with shots right at Kyle. It was a battle.”
GREENE TOOK THE lead twice.
The first goal came with 28:49 left in the first half off a rebound. Ben Kinney finally got the Trojan goal. Karl Zaengle actually hit the crossbar to touch off the loose ball scramble in front of Young (five saves). Day got the next shot off, but Young blocked that try before the rebound went to Kinney who finally finished off the play.
The Trojans’ second lead came with 4:34 left in the first half. Bartholomew took a pass from Mike Anderson, split two defenders and buried the ball into the lower right corner of the goal.
It was Lincoln who tied the game both times for Marathon. His first goal came off a nice through ball by senior tri-captain Cody Morrison. Lincoln got a little opening and fired a shot off the right post and into the net with 8:41 left in the first half to even the score at 1-1.
His second goal came off a scramble in front of the goal caused by Brandstadt who would get the ball to Lincoln for the finish.
“It was really mind over matter,” Lincoln said. “I just knew I had to get the job done.”
Greene had good team speed and playing on Field Turf gave the home team and big advantage that took time for Marathon to make adjustments, including Hoellerer marking Bartholomew all over the field.
“Greene did have an advantage on their home field,” Hollerer said. “We just had to play our game. It may not have been pretty, but we got the win.”
“There was concern because of their speed on their home turf,” Lincoln said. “They have the home crowd and we’ve only been on turf a couple of times, but we got use to the touches and settled it more in the second half.”
“THEY DID SOME things to Dan and Cody in the first half to take them out of the game and it took us out of our game,” Stewart said. “It worked out good bringing Tyler up the field, but it also made us more vulnerable to their speed on counterattacks. We had to go to the Bartholomew kid because he was too good a player to let him have so much open space in the middle.
“Rick had a good game plan,” he added. “They did a good job today. We were fortunate today. The other meeting (a 3-0 Marathon win in the 2009 Class C title match) I thought we were the better team. They do a lot of good things and they are young. He’ll be back. He has some talented kids and there is an upswing in the Greene program.”
As for the streak of championship appearances, these Marathon seniors had known nothing else.
“I’ve really been blessed to be on this team and all these chances to go to the finals,” Hoellerer said.
“Your senior year is always such a rollercoaster ride of emotion,” Lincoln added. “It’s great to be to the finals again and to keep the streak going.”
“I don’t know where that stands in the section, but nine straight trips to the finals in the (Class) C’s or D’s is pretty good stuff,” Stewart said. “To come through full brackets every year and get to this point is a testament to the kids, our youth program and parents. I’m just the guy who gets the benefits of all their hard work.
“These seniors are a tremendous group,” he added. “We will miss them when they’re gone, but we still have some games to play right now. We’ll just wait and see where that takes us.”
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