Jamesville-DeWitt and East Syracuse-Minoa gathered together for a much-anticipated boys soccer contest on Saturday afternoon that went beyond the actual result of the game.
Both schools were raising money for the American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer program, through the sale of T-shirts, and the sunny, warm weather added to the festive atmosphere in what is always an intense contest between the two neighbors.
For the most part, the defenses would rule, but the Red Rams would break through that deadlock with a late goal that made the difference in a 1-0 victory.
Only a handful of shots got on net in the first half, and even after the break, the Spartans found itself constantly stymied, managing just three total shots, all stopped by Morgan Sawyer.
For its part, ESM shut things down on its end, too, at least until the second half, when Tyler Lichtenstein, taking a pass from Jordan VanStry, slipped a shot past Cameron Schiavone (who finished with five saves), and it proved to be the game-winner.
In the lead-up to their head-to-head meeting, both ESM and J-D had some exciting contests against high-quality opposition.
J-D, who had beaten Class AA power Baldwinsville on Sept. 19, took on reigning Class A champion Fowler last Tuesday at Burnet Park and could not get on the board in a 2-0 loss to the Falcons.
Most of the game was spent in the Rams’ end, and Morgan Sawyer did a solid job in the net, recording 10 saves. But Fowler, no. 5 in the latest state Class A rankings, struck for a single goal in each half, and that proved enough.
Later that night, ESM took on 6-2 Cortland, and it was a wild, high-scoring affair in the first half before the Purple Tigers rallied and forced a 3-3 draw with the Spartans.
Attacking at will against Cortland in the first 40 minutes, ESM gained a 3-2 lead as Chris Schiavone, with a goal and assist, led a well-balanced attack. Cole Belcher and Ryan Hinton both managed goals as Tom VanDeusen added an assist.
Cortland’s defense settled own, though, and didn’t allow anything the rest of the way. Paced by Justin Prentice, who scored twice, the Purple Tigers pulled even in the second half, and neither side would get the winner in overtime, Cameron Schiavone finishing with six saves.