As the entire upper echelon of the OHSL Freedom division flourished in Thursday's Section III Class A quarterfinal round, the Jamesville-DeWitt girls soccer team nearly got put away.
But the Red Rams' patience and persistence paid off as it needed overtime to knock out Homer, 2-1, and become the highest remaining seed in the Class A bracket.
Seeking its first-ever sectional title after losing last year's final to Cortland, J-D carried the no. 2 seed into the playoffs and would face Homer, a team it beat in two close and competitive regular-season duels.
Though it had most of the possession time from the start, the Rams saw its main strikers, Tessa Deveraux and Jessica Holmes, pushed outside by the Trojan defenders, and they round goalie Danielle Regyers difficult to beat.
Homer, by contrast, didn't get many open looks. But midway through the first half, the Trojans drew a free kick near the J-D net - and from 25 yards out, Emily Williams ripped a shot into the top left part of the net, past the reach of Sarah Gianni.
Though J-D was down 1-0, it didn't stay that way for long. in the 27th minute, Holmes, double-teamed, on the left side, made a spectacular move to split those defenders, then hit a 25-yard shot past Reygers.
A large chunk of time remained in regulation, and the Rams would get all sorts of chances to break that 1-1 tie. Homer would make occasional pushes, too, but the J-D defenders handled it, and Sarah Gianni did not get many serious threats for a while.
With a minute left in regulation, Holmes made an open run to the net from the left side. Seeing this, Reygers charged out and grabbed the ball before Holmes could put in the go-ahead goal.
So they went to 20 minutes of overtime. Near the end of the first OT period, Holmes was fouled right in front of the net, setting up an incredible penalty-kick sequence.