Every time it becomes appropriate to disregard, ignore or underestimate the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill field hockey team, the Red Devils provide contrary proof.
And because it does so, VVS now sits two victories away from an unlikely state Class B championship.
Cranking up its ferocious defense again, the Red Devils dragged Section IV champion Maine-Endwell into overtime last Saturday night at Vestal High School near Binghamton and prevailed, 1-0, when Dominque Coy scored early in the OT period.
Though Vestal was a different setting, it was the exact same way in which the Red Devils had knocked off Camden in the Section III Class B final on Nov. 2. Back then, it was Coy assisting on Ashley Palmer's overtime tally. Here, Coy got more active.
Both VVS and Maine-Endwell had strong and hard-nosed defenses, something that, if allowed to settle, could turn quite dominant.
Indeed, through 60 minutes of regulation at Vestal, neither team even managed a direct shot at the net. As the Red Devils got frustrated on one end, it closed ranks around goalie Teresa Moats on the other side.
Every time Maine-Endwell wanted to push, defenders Tracee Scheibel, Vicki Moats, Maria Mancebo and Melissa Meyers swallowed up the attacks and cleared it out, doing so with less heat than Camden provided six days earlier.
So when regulation ended, it went, once again, to seven-on-seven overtime. Thriving with all that space on the field, VVS converted 1:50 into that extra period when, off the rebound of a missed shot, Coy slapped the ball past Maine-Endwell goalie Amy Farro.
On Friday night at 7:30, the Red Devils will play Garden City, the champions from Long Island, in the state Class B semifinals, with the winner to face Williamsville South (Section VI) or Rondout Valley (Section IX) in Saturday's championship game at 2 p.m.