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J-D soccer goes through week of home tests

Over a span of five days, the Jamesville-DeWitt boys soccer team would confront three high-quality opponents on its home field, and fare quite well, not losing any of them.

In an impressive effort last Tuesday afternoon, the Red Rams began this gauntlet by playing the state's no. 2-ranked Class B team, Skaneateles, to a 1-1 draw.

The hosts broke out in front when Brian Karalunas, the one-time goalie, gave J-D a 1-0 lead by scoring in the first half off a feed from Matt Natoli.

The Rams kept that lead for a while, but Skaneateles' leading scorer, Greg Stucker, put a shot in the net in the second half to pull his team even.

Neither side would convert again, even through 20 minutes of overtime. Jamie Kogut made four saves, while Laker goalie Andrew Hamilton, in his first action since Sept. 7, stopped six shots.

Two days later, the Rams took on Fulton, the reigning state Class A co-champions. Catching the Red Raiders in a tough spot, J-D earned a 2-0 victory as Fulton fell below the .500 mark.

Kogut's six saves helped produce a shutout. Just as they did against Skaneateles, Karalunas and Natoli were the key figures, as they each scored once, with Natoli again assisting on Karalunas' tally. Nick Cava earned the assist on Natoli's goal.

To complete this big week, J-D hosted Marcellus, a rare case of one team hosting two defending state champions within a span of 48 hours.

And in a repeat of the Skaneateles affair, the Red Rams would forge a 1-1 tie with the Mustangs.

Mike Lickstein got his team on the board, scoring off a feed from Ken Koseki in the first half. Alex Rouse scored for Marcellus, and neither side would get anything in the second half or overtime in the chilly conditions.

All through this last week of the regular season, the Red Rams (8-4-3) will be on the road. The big event comes Thursday night, when J-D meets state no. 1-ranked CBA at Alibrandi Stadium, the showdown coming in between visits to Mexico and Homer.

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