J-D boys, girls soccer carve path to sectional Class A finals

first_imgHaving already vanquished no. 3 seed East Syracuse Minoa 1-0 in the quarterfinals on Oct. 24, the Rams now met a Whitesboro side that, for most of the game, would keep J-D quiet.And for a long while, it looked like the goal that the Warriors’ Jacob Tardugno converted late in the first half would hold up, Whitesboro deftly protecting a 1-0 advantage while the Rams probed for an equalizer.Just in time, J-D saved its season when, with 1:36 left in the second half, Zach McBennett, author of so many important goals for the Rams, put one in the net, sending the game to overtime. What has turned into an annual occurrence for one varsity soccer team at Jamesville-DeWitt – namely, appearing in the Section III Class A championship game – is not quite the case for the other.Yet this weekend, both the girls and boys Red Rams will go after sectional titles after they both emerged victorious from tense sectional semifinal games on Tuesday night.And it was the J-D boys that made the most dramatic splash, rallying late in regulation and prevailing 2-1 in overtime over no. 2 seed Whitesboro in its semifinal at Liverpool High School Stadium. Tags: Bishop GrimesJ-Dsoccer What happened in OT may have further marked J-D’s place as a team of destiny. Defender Will Quackenbush, who had not scored a goal in his entire varsity career, sprinted in from the right side and, from an odd angle, put one into the net for the game-winner.And now J-D, whose last sectional title took place in 2014, will return to Liverpool on Saturday at 2 p.m. to face top seed PSLA- Fowler in the sectional final after the Falcons handled Watertown 5-0 in the other semifinal. The Rams lost both of its regular-season meetings with the Falcons.Later on Tuesday night, it was the no. 2 seed J-D girls in its Class A sectional semifinal against no. 3 seed New Hartford at Chittenango High School, a game that had its own tension before the Red Rams were able to oust the Spartans 1-0.This, more than any other game this season, proved a tribute to J-D’s defense, which had a lead to protect when Megan Baker scored in the 25th minute to put the Rams out in front.The back line of Ava Brazie, Grace Bridge and Denise Yaeger had to withstand a series of New Hartford pushes as the Spartans controlled possession for most of the night, especially in the second half.New Hartford continually put pressure on J-D goalkeeper Katie Cappelletti, but the senior stepped up in a big way, stopping all 13 Spartans shots she faced.So on Friday night at 5 p.m at SUNY-Cortland., J-D will face top seed Central Square (who beat Cortland 3-0 in the other semifinal)  to try to earn its 11th consecutive sectional title – and to try and avenge a 3-2 overtime defeat to the Redhawks late in September.A night later, the only other local boys soccer team still in the sectional playoffs moved one step closer to a championship when Bishop Grimes defeated Bishop Ludden 3-0 in the sectional Class C semifinals at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill’s Sheveron Field.Plenty of emotions were stirring as this game got underway. Part of it was the long-time rivalry between Grimes and Ludden, who had each won two early-round sectional games – the Cobras over Otselic Valley and Thousand Islands, the Gaelic Knights over LaFayette and Waterville.A lot of it, though, stemmed from the fact that Ludden’s long-time head coach, Oscar Vergara, was retiring at season’s end, having coached more than 40 years in Central New York and earning all kinds of respect and accolades for his leadership and character.Having split two regular-season meetings, Grimes, the no. 2 seed, and Ludden, the no. 3 seed, battled through a scoreless first half, each side probing and waiting for the other to crack.Then, after intermission, the Cobras’ star trio of Byam Mugushu, Deng Mawien and Jack Gutchess took over, each of them putting shots in the net as Mawien also earned an assist. Earning the shutout, goalie Matt Tarby recorded six saves.On Tuesday night, Grimes will face top seed and defending champion South Lewis in the sectional Class C final, also at VVS, after the Falcons survived penalty kicks to beat Westoremland/Oriskany in the other semifinal. Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story last_img read more