Chittenango Make that four consecutive Section III Class A championships for the Jamesville-DeWitt girls soccer team, none of them more difficult to attain than this one.
An early goal, caused by an opponent's mistake, pushed the no. 2 seed Red Rams ahead of top seed Whitesboro, but J-D held on from there to edge the Warriors 1-0 in Thursday night's title game at Chittenango High School.
It marked the third consecutive time that the Rams have beaten Whitesboro in the finals. However, this was a stark contrast to 2010 and 2011, when J-D clearly had the superior team on the field and had little trouble pulling away from the Warriors.
This Whitesboro edition came into the title game with a 17-1 record, which included two regular-season wins over defending Class AA champion Liverpool. In the trio of Ashley Williams, Mariah Williams and Jennifer Deuel, the Warriors offered three proven offensive options.
J-D head coach Hayley Nies said there was no special game plan to deal with the Warriors.
"We planned to play like we normally do," she said. "We had to know at all times where those three players (Deuel and the Williams sisters) were."
That defensive assignment took on more meaning after the strange way in which J-D seized the lead just 5:01 into the game. Off a corner kick set up by a fine run by Jessica Holmes, the ball bounced around the crease and, after Holmes shot it, Whitesboro defender Mary Pastorelli accidentally flicked it back into her own net.
Instead of sulking, Whitesboro gradually picked up its attack and, midway through the first half, began the domination of the flow of play that would mark the rest of the evening.
Time and again, the Warriors' midfielders and forwards pushed their way into J-D's end, only to meet a series of obstacles from Rams defenders Caroline Kopp, Maddy Frank, Maggie Austin and Julia Slisz, who replaced an injured Erin Brinley earlier this season.