Two conversions followed, Danielle Steigerwald keeping the Spartans in the lead. In the fourth round, though, ESM goalie Casie Auricchio made the save, and when Olivia Chopskie scored, ESM, by a 4-2 margin, lived on.
Hours earlier, J-D survived its own battle with no. 3 seed Watertown, without the need for overtime or a shoot-out.
Even though it dominated the flow of play and had a majority of the scoring chances, J-D could not score in the first half and much of the second half, and the occasional counter-attack from the Cyclones exposed the danger of keeping the game at 0-0.
Finally, with 14:38 to play, the Red Rams broke through. Tessa Devereaux took the ball at the point, turned and dribbled and, from 20 yards out, fired a low shot past diving Watertown goalie Taylor Upton and into the right side of the net.
That margin would hold up, and J-D would play ESM. The Spartans have won six previous sectional championships, but the Red Rams are still in search of a first title, having lost last year's final to Cortland.