Though it’s not relying on one or two superstars, such as a Tessa Devereaux or a Jessica Holmes, to produce most of its goals, the Jamesville-DeWitt girls soccer team might prove more effective with having a whole host of contributors to the attack.
Among other things, what this depth gives the Red Rams is a confidence that, eventually, it will put goals on the scoreboard, which has allowed it to withstand a series of major challenges in the first half of the regular season and reach 9-0.
Those challengers include East Syracuse-Minoa, who took a second shot at J-D last Thursday afternoon and, once again, played on even terms for a long while before seeing the defending Class A champions pull away and prevail 3-1.
When these two teams first met Sept. 3 at Spartan Stadium, ESM dragged the contest to overtime before J-D pulled it out, 2-1, and the rematch followed a similar course in the first half, each side scoring once as Julie Steinhauer scored for the Spartans, assisted by Marissa Greiner.
Yet in the second half, J-D broke through against ESM goalie Amanda Goodhines, who still made eight saves, but she and the Spartan defense could not keep track of all the potency in the Rams’ lineup.
Midfielder Paige Sherling, forward Alex Catanzarite and defender Caroline Kopp each found the net for J-D, and Kopp, anchoring the Rams’ defense, made sure the Spartans did not respond.
Another example of J-D’s depth was last Tuesday’s 6-0 shutout over Mexico, where the Rams were both productive (three goals in each half) and diverse.
Six different J-D players – Kopp, Allie Balotin, Ella DiGiovanni, Erin Brinley, Amber Hyatt and Sarah Marron – produced the six goals, with Sherling and Julia Slisz getting credit for assists.
J-D was even earning victories off the field as Rebecca Peter, the team’s long-time assistant coach and a teacher at J-D Middle School, was named as the 2013 New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AHPERD) Central North Zone Teacher of the Year. She’ll be honored at a dinner Nov. 7 at the Rusty Rail in Canastota.