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Netusil’s two goals leads Manlius Pebble Hill to Section III, Class C-2 girls soccer title

Chittenango – Terry Netusil was so tired, she had to sit down on the cold turf at Chittenango High School while her teammates from Manlius Pebble Hill busily pulled on their Section III championship T-shirts.

    Netusil deserved a rest after the performance she delivered on Monday night.

    Netusil scored two goals including an exclamation point blast in the final minutes to lead the Trojans to a 2-0 victory over Bishop Grimes for the Section III, Class C-2 girl soccer championship.

Photo gallery of game by Gary Walts/The Post-Standard

Manlius Pebble Hill advances to play Sauquoit Valley for the overall Section III, Class C championship here on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

    The victory by MPH stood in complete contrast to a 3-0 loss Bishop Grimes during the season. At no point Monday night did the Trojans ever look like they were on the ropes.

Netusil got her first goal 7 minutes into the game on a beautiful drive in which she split two defenders to find space to shoot. Once that broke the ice, MPH seemed to have total control the rest of the game.

“It was just hard work,” Netusil said of the turnaround from the previous loss to the Cobras. “We knew we wanted it so bad. This has just been our dream to win. It’s absolutely…” Netusil struggles to finish the sentence because the win took her breath away. She finally says, “phenomenal (laughs). I’m just thrilled we won.”

    MPH coach Pat Bentley Hoke said her team had some defensive players back that made a difference. 

    She also praised the Cobras as a good squad. The difference, she said, “is we came to play today.

    “We have some really, really talented athletes and soccer players,” she said. “We have a core of older, experienced, smart players that play together well. When they’re on their game, they’re good.”

Bentley Hoke said it’s a rare game when Netusil is not on her game. And watching her Monday night was a thing of beauty.

She said her first goal was a prime example of Netusil’s vision and how she saw the play unfolding by knowing that once she pushed the ball between the two defenders, there was a window of space to shoot on goal and finish the shot.

The second goal came on a blast from the far right side and traveled 25 yards. The goal-keeper had no chance at intercepted the rip.

“That finish was just textbook, just beautiful,” Bentley Hoke said.

    Now it’s onto the next round and a shot at Sauquoit Valley. The Trojans got to watch a bit of the Indians in their opener. And while Sauquoit Valley has the experience of getting to two of the last three state championship games and one of the top offensive players in Section III in Elisa Marchione, MPH players seemed hardly flushed at the next task.

    “I’m so excited,” Netusil said. “They look good. They look good. It’ll be a good game. I have faith in my team, but it’ll be a good game.”

    “Well, I mean, you know, we take one game at a time,” said Bentley Hoke. “We don’t know them. We’ll see. At this point, I have so much faith in this team. They play together so well and they’re so smart and they adjust and work hard. We’ll get out there and play.”