Jamesville-DeWitt freshman Allie Balotin (5) and CBA senior Gabby Carni (20) battle for the ball during Tuesday's girls soccer game. The Red Rams beat the Brothers 2-1 in overtime.
Timothy Van Camp Jr.
DeWitt Two big names - Jessica Holmes and Eva Gordon - came back on the field just in time for the Jamesville-DeWitt girls soccer team's showdown with Christian Brothers Academy.
And it was Holmes delivering the decisive goal in overtime, which pushed the Red Rams past the Brothers 2-1 on Tuesday afternoon.
For the first of two games between the neighbors and rivals who won't see each other in the post-season (CBA moves up to Class AA for the Section III tournament), both sides would get back at close to full strength.
Holmes, a key figure in three straight Class A title runs, had injured her ankle Sept. 15t at Fayetteville-Manlius, and had missed the next two games at Mexico and Cortland, both of them 2-0 wins, which showed that the Rams were not as dangerous on the offensive end without her.
As for Gordon, a knee injury had kept her out of CBA's last three games. Like Holmes, she would come back in this game, not starting, but entering the fray in the 15th minute. Shortly after, Holmes got on the field, and both would see significant action the rest of the way.
Thanks to gusty winds, neither side was sharp on the offensive end in a 0-0 first half, and it remained scoreless deep into the second half, too.
What finally got J-D into consistent attack mode was a sequence in the 54th minute when the Brothers twice saw shot attempts go off the crossbar.
From there, the Rams pushed hard, and it paid off when Maddy Devereaux, getting free space in the middle, ripped a shot past Lindsay Farrell into the right side of the net in the 63rd minute.
Down 1-0, CBA found it difficult to generate many chances. But after a J-D turnover deep in its own end, Marisa Romeo put home the tying goal with 4:32 left.
After a frantic finish to regulation, the Rams and Brothers went to a pair of 10-minute overtime periods. With 1:24 left in the first OT, Paige Sherling delivered a long pass from the left side to the middle, where Holmes, using her speed and skill, fired a shot home to put J-D in front for good.
Effective defense, from the likes of Caroline Kopp, Maggie Austin, Erin Brinley and Maddy Frank, protecting goalie Allison Butler, kept CBA from making a second comeback. The two sides will meet again in the regular-season finale on Oct. 18 at Alibrandi Stadium.