An entire season, full of accomplishment and milestones, left the Bishop Grimes and Manlius-Pebble Hill girls soccer teams staring at each other Monday night at Chittenango High School with the Section III Class C-2 championship on the line.
Both sides almost got tripped up in Tuesday night's C-2 semifinals. Grimes led no. 5 seed Morrisville-Eaton comfortably most of the way, but had to hang on late to knock out the Warriors 3-2.
Following a 24-hour weather postponement to wait out the results of Superstorm Sandy, Grimes poured in on early against the Warriors, and moved in front 1-0 on Kennedy Yearby’s goal, a rebound off a shot from Alex Guhin, before the game was eight minutes old.
It remained that way until late in the half. Grimes’ defense didn’t allow M-E to have many chances, and the Cobras’ pressure on the other end mounted until Guhin delivered a big goal just 21.8 seconds before the break, this after her free kick was tapped home by Yearby.
Deep into the second half, Grimes maintained a 3-0 lead, and looked safe. But with less than eight minutes left, M-E’s Taylor Pearsall ran down Shelby Widger’s corner kick and beat Jillian Firenze, putting the Warriors on the board.
Attacking hard from there, M-E got within one when Pearsall connected again with 1:45 left, only to see the Cobras possess it enough in the waning seconds to stay out in front.
The opposite happened in the other C-2 semifinal at Morrisville State College, where MPH was behind no. 2 seed West Canada Valley but came from behind to beat the Indians 2-1.
It was West Canada moving in front 1-0 in the first half on Alexis Fauvelle’s goal. From that point, though, the Trojans’ defense proceeded to shut the Indians down, its defense anchored by goalie Sammie Appleby, who made 10 saves.
Gradually, MPH started to attack more in the second half, and it paid off. Both Terry Netusil and Alexia Melendez-Martineau earned goals, putting the Trojans in front, and it hung on from there to set up the rubber match with Grimes.
The showdown between MPH and Grimes starts at 7:30, immediately after the C-1 final between Sauquoit Valley and Tully. The overall Class C final is slated for next Wednesday at 6:30, also at Chittenango.