Momo LaClair and Paige Stepanian
The Jamesville-DeWitt High School Varsity Girls Soccer team lost a heartbreaker to Pearl River on Nov. 11 in the New York State Final Four. Throughout the game the teams went back and forth, neither of them scoring, until the 78th minute. In the final two minutes of the game, Pearl River scored the only goal. The Lady Rams pushed in the final few minutes, but fell short of tying the game. They ended their season 19-3.
Although their season ended sooner than they had hoped, the team still made it far in the postseason. They won sectionals for the ninth year in a row, playing against long time rival Christian Brothers Academy. “Winning nine straight titles was a legacy and was special for our team,” said senior captain Lainey Foti. The fact that they beat CBA made the win even sweeter. “I don’t mind losing unless it’s against CBA. It’s always a rivalry and will always be a good, competitive game,” said Foti.
The sectionals win was extra special for senior captain Sophia Foti, Lainey’s twin sister. It was her first year playing on the varsity team and she got to experience a very special moment in J-DHS girls soccer history. “It was a special moment and I was proud of everyone on the team because we were working so hard to get there and having won it nine years in a row, that’s a big deal,” said Foti.
After sectionals the team advanced onto sub-regionals where they played Scotia Glenville out of Section II. This was a significant win for J-DHS because Scotia Glenville was undefeated and came in at No. 2 in the Class A rankings, J-DHS coming in at No. 3. They won the game off of two second-half goals from junior Haley Quakenbush and senior Lainey Foti. In the regional final they played Franklin Academy from Section X. The game was an easy win for the Lady Rams, who shut out Franklin Academy with a final score of 7-0.
Going into the NYS Final Four the team was confident that they had the ability to make it back to the championship. However, this wasn’t the case. Pearl River came out strong, catching the Lady Rams off guard. “The team beat us to all the 50/50 balls and we couldn’t get anything going,” said Head Coach Haley Nies. Lainey Foti also recognized the higher level of intensity brought by Pearl River. “That was definitely our toughest game so far, they were a really good team and really gave us a run for our money,” said Foti.
Although the team didn’t get the outcome they were hoping for, Coach Nies was still very proud of all the team had accomplished. The team lost five starters last season which meant that the underclassmen had to step up. “I was very pleased with making it back to states, it was a big accomplishment for the girls… I thought the kids did a great job staying focused,” said Coach Nies. Senior captain Ailish McDevitt was disappointed with the loss in states, but was proud of how far the team had come. “It was unfortunate, but a lot of people didn’t think we could make it as far as states in the first place, so I’m really proud of our team and all we accomplished,” said McDevitt.
With three seniors off to college next year, the rest of the team will miss having them around. “Being at practice everyday and having such a long season, we all got really close,” said junior Courtney Burns. Next year it will be harder without the leadership of the senior captains but the team will still stay strong. The girls all had tons of fun throughout the season and made so many memories that will last forever. “I will never forget our step routine at the state’s banquet and when Grace Martin said ‘shut them up’,” said Burns.
With a lot of young talent on the team, the girls hope to accomplish even more next season. And to the seniors, we wish you the best of luck as you go on to bigger and better things.