Having pushed its way back to no. 4 in the state Class A rankings, the Jamesville-DeWitt girls soccer team hoped for no more slip-ups as the Section III Class A playoffs drew closer. And no game in this sequence was bigger than Thursday’s rematch with Fulton, the same side that beat the Red Rams 1-0 on Sept. 22.
Not even two weeks later, J-D had a chance to lock up the Salt City Athletic Conference Empire division regular-season title at the Red Raiders’ expense – and did so, the 2-0 victory as satisfying as any the Rams have earned this fall.
Through one half, it was 0-0, and the fear of another Fulton upset grew, but after intermission J-D increased its pressure and, thanks to Sydney Baker, solved Red Raiders goalie Maddie Lang as Baker netted one goal and assisted on the other, by Grace Dimkopoulos.
Before all this, in last Monday’s visit to Auburn, the Red Rams felt quite comfortable on the new turf at Holland Stadium, scoring six times in the first half alone and rolling to a 7-0 victory over the Maroons.
Dimkopoulos and Sydney Tanner led the breakout, each of them netting a pair of goals. Lainey Foti and Grace Thomas each had one goal and one assist as Grace Bridge also found the net. Tonia Kousmanidis added an assist.
Back home on Wednesday afternoon, J-D took on Oswego and flourished again, bashing the Buccaneers 5-1, seeing its shutout streak snapped when Claudia Chetney scored in the second half, but that came long after the Rams had taken control.
Up 3-0 by halftime, J-D again spread things around as Foti scored twice, with Dimkopoulos getting one goal and one assist. Grace Thomas had two assists as Baker and Emma Silverstein notched single goals. Tanner and Hayley Quackenbush had one assist apiece.
That same afternoon, East Syracuse Minoa hosted 7-3-1 Cortland and earned one of its best wins of the season, prevailing 1-0 to avenge a 4-2 defeat to the Purple Tigers back on Sept. 14.
The Spartans defense was much better in the rematch, keeping the game scoreless until Lauren Ott converted early in the second half off a feed from Franchesca Polcaro. As it tried to hang on late, ESM had to endure a lightning delay with 4:42 left, but when play resumed, the shutout was completed, Alana Day stopping all nine Cortland shots she faced.
ESM went from here to handling Syracuse 3-0 on Friday, though it didn’t quite pull away until the second half as Mallory Ott scored twice and Lauren Ott got two assists. Polcaro earned the other goal as Abby Hudgins got credit for an assist.
Christian Brothers Academy went to Homer last Tuesday night and pulled out a 1-0 decision, the game scoreless until the second half, when Grace Hulslander’s timely pass set up Mari Saya for the game’s only goal. The Brothers’ defense held the Trojans to just two shots all night.
On Thursday, CBA honored its seniors at Alibrandi Stadium prior to its game with Hannibal, and the Brothers didn’t let the festivities interfere with the task, going out and routing the Warriors 7-0.
Remarkably, those seven goals came from seven different players. Hulslander and Julia Sullivan each had one goal and one assist, joined in the scoring column by Saya, Lily Walker, Mary Reith, Logan Congel and Kennedy Paciga. Assists went to Meghan McKeen, Katy Stanard and Bailey Wolanski.
Manlius-Pebble Hill, no. 16 in the latest state Class D rankings, began October with a trip to LaFayette, where it built a 3-1 advantage by halftime, but needed another conversion to withstand a furious comeback by the Lancers and prevail by a 4-3 margin.
It also required the Trojans’ Bianca Melendez-Martineau to earn a three-goal hat trick as Maggie Sexton-Dwyer put in the other goal. Ren Brown, Peri Cannavo and Rachel Comfort had one assist apiece. Liza Bruno made seven saves as Leanna Crouse, Charlotte Ryan and Kenji Frazier each scored for LaFayette, Frazier adding an assist.
What followed, on Thursday, was a tough 2-1 win over Bishop Ludden as Comfort scored one goal and assisted on the other, by Maddie Mafrici. The rest belonged to Bruno, who turned back 12 of the Gaelic Knights’ 13 shots, only surrendering a goal to Emma Driscoll.
Bishop Grimes entered the week with a 1-7-1 record, and finally doubled its win total last Monday with a 2-0 shutout of Pulaski, all of it due to Julia Gnade, who scored both of her team’s goals as Maria Naylor added an assist. The Cobras held the Blue Devils to just two shots all game.
Just 24 hours later, the Cobras were at Fabius-Pompey, and were close for a while, but saw the Falcons score four times in the second half to pull away and prevail 5-0. Caroline Wilkinson had six saves as, for F-P, Hailey Niles led a well-balanced attack with a goal and three assists.
A third game in four days saw Grimes visit Cato-Meridian and beat the Blue Devils 4-1. and the Cobras did so with three goals in the second half to break out of a 1-1 tie as Julia Gnade and Abby Tweedale each had one goal and one assist, with Peri Dykes and Katherine Murphy also scoring. Naylor and Rhonee Shea Pal also earned assists.
MPH had its own game with Cato-Meridian Friday and won, 2-1. Sexton-Dwyer earned one goal and assisted on Natalie Storie’s tally, with Mafrici assisting on Sexton-Dwyer’s goal. Olivia Ford’s second-half goal for the Blue Devils wasn’t quite enough.