38 days. That is how long the Jamesville-DeWitt girls soccer team has been waiting for revenge against Central Square.
On September 24th, J-D (16-2) suffered their first regular season loss at the hands of the Central Square Redhawks (16-1-1). The match was tightly contested, ending 3-2 in favor of the Redhawks. Due to a 5-2 win for the Rams earlier in the season, the season series between the teams is all tied up. On November 1st, the teams will compete once more, this time for the Section 3 Class A Championship. If Jamesville-DeWitt wins, it will be their 11th straight sectional championship.
The Red Rams started the season with aspirations of going undefeated. At the beginning of the season, they were ranked first in the state for all of Class A. Their loss to Central Square, as well as a controversial loss to Fayetteville-Manlius, dashed those hopes and dropped them to eighth in the rankings. “We didn’t come out with the record that we wanted,” said sophomore midfielder/forward Sydney Balotin. “We wanted to be undefeated, but I think overall we have been playing really well together.”
Now, J-D will enter the sectional championship game with two losses under their belt. However, the losses have been put behind them, and the focus is all on Central Square. Head coach Hayley Nies emphasized taking good shots and putting the ball in the back of the net. The Rams will also look to contain the Redhawks’ primary scorers, especially junior Cora Keohane.
Jamesville-DeWitt had nine seniors graduate last year. However, the seniors on the team this year have been able to step up in their place, according to Coach Nies. “These seven seniors that we have really help in their leadership roles. They’re very focused.” Senior back Grace Bridge also highlighted how the younger players on the team have contributed to their success. “I think we definitely have some more younger kids this year, which makes it really fun. They bring a lot of new ideas to the team.”
If J-D wins, they will then shift their focus to returning to the state championship for a fourth time. In 2018, they finished as the state runners up, after a close overtime loss to Valley Stream South.