Nov 02, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Four years after it last claimed a Section III Class A title, the East Syracuse-Minoa boys soccer team moved to the brink of another one.
And for the Spartans, the sweetest part was that it got there at the expense of the defending champions from right down the road.
ESM stunned top seed Jamesville-DeWitt in Tuesday night’s Class A semifinal at Marcellus High School, prevailing in a penalty-kick shoot-out after the two sides played through regulation and overtime in a 0-0 deadlock.
And this followed a girls Class A semifinal where J-D, a heavily favored top seed, had to go through overtime before edging ESM 2-1.
Having gone through OT to knock out Indian River in the quarterfinal round, ESM’s boys were given little chance to upend J-D, who at one time this fall owned the no. 1 spot in the state Class A rankings.
However, when they met in the regular season on Oct. 4, ESM stayed right with the Rams in a 1-0 defeat and saw, up close, that while J-D had a formidable defense (it had recorded 12 shutouts this fall), its attack could get slowed down.
And that’s exactly what happened at Marcellus. ESM’s back line, led by Jarrett Temple, Enes Hujdur and Ifran Tihic, covered all the Rams’ attacking lanes and broke up plays before most of them could get established.
J-D did the same on its end, though, and through 80 minutes or regulation and 30 minutes of sudden-victory overtime (where one goal ends it), neither side could get anything.
Thus, a shoot-out was required, with a maximum of five penalty kicks per side. Goalie Casey Sullivan turned away all of J-D’s tries, while the trio of Jeremy Barbuto, Emir Avdakovic and Senid Hakic all put their penalty kicks into the net, sending ESM to the finals.
A couple of hours earlier, J-D’s girls had its own harrowing encounter with ESM. Though the Rams won both of their regular-season meetings, they had come in modest 2-0 and 3-1 decisions, so ESM arrived with far less fear and trepidation than other opponents.
And that didn’t change, even when Maddy Devereaux powered in a 30-yard shot barely eight minutes into the game. Down 1-0, ESM played on even terms the rest of the half and got a point-blank look from Alex McEachron midway through the half, though she hit it over the net.
A disciplined Spartan defense, led by Victoria Burns, Arianna Harmon and Julie Maselli, kept J-D off the board for the rest of regulation, and in the second half Olivia Chopskie did convert an unassisted goal, tying the match 1-1.
So it went to a pair of mandatory 10-minute overtime periods. Late in the first OT, J-D’s Jessica Holmes flashed open and, taking a feed from Devereaux, flicked a shot past Casie Auricchio. That would hold up, and ESM’s season ended with a 10-7 mark.
On Friday, the J-D girls meet Whitesboro in the Class A final. It’s a rematch of last year’s title game that the Rams won big, 6-1, and the Warriors, who crushed Fulton 7-1 in the other semifinal, will be burning for revenge.
As that goes on, ESM’s boys clash with Fulton in its Class A final, the Red Raiders having gone through its own semifinal shoot-out to get past Oneida. These two OHSL Freedom division foes split their regular-season meetings, each of them 1-0 decisions.