A couple of truths are self-evident with the Jamesville-DeWitt girls soccer team -- that it has a great chance of winning its first-ever Section III Class A title, but that it still has to find a way to beat Cortland to pull it off.
The Red Rams' season-opening, eight-game win streak disappeared last Tuesday against the two-time defending Class A champions in a 2-1 defeat where the elements, and a superb Purple Tigers defense, made the difference.
J-D and Cortland had last met in the 2008 Class A finals, where the young Rams absorbed quite a lesson from the experienced Purple Tigers.
Still, the departure of stars like Casey Marks, Emily VanGorder, Jenna Phellps and Caitlin Cottone was supposed to signal the end of Cortland's run, since J-D had everyone back and had dominated through the first half of the '09 regular season.
Raw conditions prevailed -- rain, wind, cold temperatures -- and J-D found it difficult to unleash its high-powered attack, even with Tori Nies getting a first-half goal as Emily Elbers got credit for the assist.
Cortland answered with Aubrey VanGorder scoring, and the two sides went to halftime 1-1. Aggressive, and gaining confidence as the match went on, the Purple Tigers controlled the ball in the second half and limited J-D to just seven shots.
Aubrey VanGorder returned to land the go-ahead goal, and it would hold up as Cortland improved to 6-1 in league play, tying the Red Rams (6-1) for first place in the OHSL Freedom division.