November 2, 2012
Another sectional final for Marathon
Second half goals upend defending ‘D’ champs
ONEONTA — It took a change in attitude for Marathon Central boys to return to their eighth straight sectional soccer title match.
The second-seeded Olympians struggled in the first half before second-half tallies by Dan Lincoln and Zack Brandstadt helped down third-seed and previously unbeaten Cherry Valley-Springfield 2-0 in Thursday’s Section 4 Class D tournament semifinals. Third-seed CV-S (17-1) was the defending Class D champions.
Marathon (16-2) will face top-seed Elmira Notre Dame (15-3) for the Class D championship Saturday at 12:15 p.m. back at the Wright National Soccer campus. The Crusaders downed fourth-seed Margaretville (15-1-2) 2-0 in the other semifinals. Margaretville was the Class D runner-up in 2011.
Marathon is making its eighth straight trip to the Section 4 championship match. The previous seven Olympian appearances were in Class C with the boys posting a 5-2 record. The wins came in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010. The 2006 championship was a 4-1 win over Elmira Notre Dame. The Olympians lost to Lansing last year, 2-1.
“We were on our heels in the first half,” Marathon coach Coach Stewart said of the semifinal test against Cherry Valley-Springfield. “We played defensively. We allowed Cherry Valley-Springfield to gain possession of the ball instead of really challenging for possessions. We were just banging the ball down the field.”
With that defensive posture, the pressure was on Jeff Contri, Tyler Hollerer, Kody Barry and David Lincoln to help protect the goal. Those defenders did their part as did goalkeeper Kyle Young, who handled any ball — shot or not — in the box cleanly.
As the Olympians began to turn the momentum in their favor, the scoring chances presented themselves.
The first goal came within the first 10 minutes of the second half. Cody Morrison sent a looping restart kick from 35 yards out on the right flank into the box. Dan Lincoln got a nice run and scored on a diving header for the 1-0 lead. It was Lincoln’s 12th goal and 33rd point of the season. Morrison collected his 10th assist and 32nd point.
That goal gave the Olympians some extra momentum, as the attack picked up with better ball-possession runs.
“In the second half, we began to possess the ball better,” noted Coach Stewart. “We started stringing three and four passes together.”
Marathon got a big insurance goal with 20:18 left in the match. Jacob Doran sent a cornerkick into the box. Cherry Valley-Springfield tried to clear the ball, but put it right on the foot of Brandstadt. His hard shot hit a defender and caromed into the goal for the 2-0 lead. It was Brandstadt’s fourth goal in 2012.
The Olympians would keep the pressure on and that effort got them back to the championshipmatch. Marathon held the edge in shots (8-4) and corner kicks (3-1). Young finished with two saves for his 13th shutout of the season. Wyatt Crowley made four saves for Cherry Valley-Springfield.
The last time Marathon played in the Class D championship match was a three-year run from 1979-1981. The Olympians lost to Margaretville 4-3 in 1979, beat Cincinnatus 2-1 in 1980 and then lost to Cincinnatus 3-0 in 1981.
Elmira ND 2, Margaretville 0: Alex Nassar and Brandan Mahjan each scored one goal. Nassar assisted on Mahjan’s goal while Li Molingou was the helper for Nassar’s tally.
The Crusaders held an 11-2 advantage in shots with goalkeeper Wil Pochal stopping both scoring attempts. Mitch Hull recorded seven saves for Margaretville. Each team had three corner kicks.
Notre Dame last appeared in the Class D title match in 2010, losing to South Kortright 4-2.
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