From opposite ends of the Section III Class A playoff bracket, the Jamesville-DeWitt and East Syracuse-Minoa girls soccer teams had the same quest in mind – passage into the second week, and the latter rounds.
The three-time defending champion Red Rams drew the no. 2 seed and, after a first-round bye, met no. 7 seed New Hartford in Friday’s Class A quarterfinals. Warmed by the summer-like conditions, J-D rolled past that other group of Spartans by a 4-0 margin.
New Hartford had needed overtime just to get out of the first round, but once it had survived Cortland 2-1, it now met a fresh, rested Red Rams side.
That didn’t work right away, though, as J-D, who hadn’t played in eight days, played an uneven first half, which kept the game at 0-0 and had the home fans a bit concerned.
But the moment that J-D got on the board early in the second half, the nerves went away, and the Rams tacked on three more goals to give itself a comfortable cushion.
Jessica Holmes led that late surge, scoring twice, while Amber Hyatt picked up one goal and one assist. Maddy Devereaux contributed a goal as Paige Sherling and Caroline Kopp earned one assist apiece. J-D’s goalie, Allison Butler, stopped all six shots she faced.
As for ESM, the task was a lot taller. It had the no. 8 seed, which mean running square into top seed Whitesboro in the quarterfinal round and, at that moment, exiting the stage after a 5-1 defeat to the Warriors.
At least the Spartans got to that next round, dominating last Tuesday’s opening-round game against no. 9 seed Carthage with one of its best offensive efforts of the season as it knocked out the Comets 7-0.
Constantly, ESM found itself in Carthage’s end, attacking hard. That translated into a 3-0 halftime edge, and much more success after the break.