October 23, 2021

Olympians play for Class D crowns

It will be a busy Saturday for Marathon Central soccer fans as both the Olympian boys’ and girls’ teams will be traveling to Oneonta to battle for Section 4 Class D Championships.

The Marathon girls get things started at the Wright National Soccer Campus at 11 a.m. on Field 4 against Cherry Valley-Springfield. The boys begin at 12 noon on Field 3, also against Cherry Valley-Springfield.


Marathon (11-5-2) is the fifth seed in the Section 4 Class D Tournament and ranked 15th in the latest New York State poll. Cherry Valley-Springfield (15-1-1) is ranked eighth in the state and is the second seed in the tournament.

This is the first time the Lady Olympians have reached the title game since 2010. Marathon won the Class C championship that year over Elmira Notre Dame 1-0 before losing in the Central Region title game to Sauquoit Valley 2-1.

The Olympians have allowed just one goal in the post-season with a 6-0 win over Worcester in the first round before a 1-0 double overtime victory over Roxbury in the quarter finals. Marathon defeated Schenevus 4-1 in the semifinals Tuesday.

Delta Barber leads the team with 13 goals and four assists this season, including five goals in the post-season. Brenna Keller has nine goals and five assists this season including two goals and four assists in the post-season. Brooke Tillotson netted five goals and two assists this season with three goals and two assists coming in the post-season.

Katie Vartanian/contributing photographer

Marathon ‘s Brenna Keller (7) shields the ball from Dryden players during a Sept. 27 game. Keller and her teammates play for the Section 4 Class D Championship at 11 a.m. Saturday in Oneonta.

Kristi Walley has anchored a defense that has surrendered 15 goals this season. Walley has made 79 saves and recorded five shutouts. Her numbers in the post-season are outstanding with one goal allowed, 27 saves and two shutouts.

“This game will be a rematch with Cherry Valley-Springfield from the quarterfinal round last year,” Marathon coach Beth Anne Duncan said. “We won that game 2-1 in overtime. Both teams are on a roll right now and have taken down some tough opponents along the way.”

Cherry Valley-Springfield is 2-0 in the tournament. The Patriots were 3-0 winners over South Kortright in the quarterfinals before beating Edmeston 1-0 in overtime in the semifinals earlier this week.


The top-seeded Olympians (16-0-1 overall) are ranked second in the latest NYS Class D poll. The third-seeded Patriots (16-2) are eighth in the state poll.

Marathon has beaten Edmeston 4-0 in the quarterfinals before the 1-0 win over Margaretville in Wednesday’s semifinal round to reach their third straight Class D title game and 15th Section 4 title game under head coach Chip Stewart. Counting the 2-0 win over Trumansburg in the IAC Overall Championship game, the Olympians have three shutout victories in the postseason for 13 shutouts this season. Marathon had allowed four goals all season long.

Offensively, Cameron Neilson leads the Olympians with 33 goals this season, five short of the single season record of 38 by Ray Marsh in 1979. Diego Castellot has added 21 goals.

Katie Vartanian/contributing photographer

Marathon’s Andrew Tillotson (right) has been a part of a Marathon defense that has allowed just four goals this season. Tillotson and his teammates will play for the Section 4 Class D Championship at noon Saturday in Oneonta.

“Really don’t know CV-S very well,” Marathon coach Chip Stewart said. “We’ve only played them once in my career in the semifinals in 2012. They play possession like us, although we can take a direct approach if necessary. I think they will play more defensive and look for a counterattack goal and then protect it, if they can.”

Marathon won that 2012 semifinal encounter 2-0 before defeating Elmira Notre Dame 2-1 in double overtime in the championship game.

Cherry Valley-Springfield posted wins over Charlotte Valley (Davenport) in the quarterfinals and a 2-1 overtime win over South Kortright in the semifinals to reach Saturday’s championship game.