Down to its second goalkeeper, the East Syracuse-Minoa boys soccer team dreaded ending up on the wrong end of a regular-season sweep by Jamesville-DeWitt.
But the Spartans withstood all of the Red Rams’ late pushes and emerged from last Tuesday’s game with a 0-0 draw, relieved that it had not squandered the momentum from its Oct. 4 overtime win over Christian Brothers Academy.
In that win over the Brothers, goalie Cameron Schiavone made a series of spectacular stops to keep his side even until Jeff Smith won it in OT.
Now, against a J-D side that beat the Spartans 3-1 on Sept. 13, ESM played a sound and disciplined first half, rarely letting the Rams get too close, though Tom Canfield did feed Nigel Knox-Shellman in the 32nd minute for a great opportunity that Knox-Shellman pulled well off the target.
ESM’s best opportunity to win it came late in the second half. With 4:10 left, J-D goalie Morgan Sawyer was caught out of position and the Spartans’ Jacob Kohlbrenner had an open net in front of him, but shot it wide.
So it went to sudden-death overtime. Midway through the first OT, amid a scramble in front of his net, Schiavone got hurt, forcing ESM to turn to defender Jordan Laneuville to go into goal.
Sensing a chance to win, J-D, cautious in large portions of the game, went all-out, and seconds after coming into the game Jordan Van Stry appeared to be going in for the game-winner, only to have Laneuville make a sliding save well in front of the cage.
Both Laneuville and Sawyer made saves in the second OT as the teams just beat darkness, leaving J-D still one victory short of Class A playoff qualification.
More big news arrived on Thursday afternoon, when CBA dealt undefeated, state Class A no. 5-ranked Fowler its first loss of the season, prevailing by a 3-2 margin.