Every single moment since the Jamesville-DeWitt girls soccer team’s 9-0 destruction of Christian Brothers Academy ended on Sept. 16, the Brothers had waited for its chance at payback.
The 22-day wait for the rematch ended on Friday afternoon, when the Brothers went to J-D - and got exactly what it wished for, as a hat trick by freshman Eva Gordon keyed a 5-1 victory over the Red Rams.
One big part of that first meeting was that CBA was missing senior midfielder Caitlin McConnell due to injury. McConnell was back now, and that, combined with extreme motivation on the entire team's part, proved quite handy against J-D.
It appeared, in the first half, that the Red Rams had a significant advantage because it was playing with the wind at its back. CBA would prove otherwise, though.
Just 4:20 into the game, Alexis Koval, the first CBA girls player to reach 100 career goals, drove down the right side. When the Rams' defenders closed in, Koval flicked to the middle - and Taylor Gait beat Emma Esposito to put the Brothers ahead 1-0.
Quite unlike the first meeting, CBA's defense faced up to J-D's attacking waves, forcing them into a series of long-distance shots. And even the ones that were close missed the target - or Courtney Henderson scooped them up on her way to seven saves.
Gordon entered the picture in the 24th minute, dribbling in from the left side and hitting a shot hard enough to trickle past Esposito and the goal line to make it 2-0. Just four minutes later, from the middle, Gordon crushed a 30-yard shot that found the top of the net.
Briefly, J-D would respond, as Jessica Holmes scored off Tessa Devereaux's feed to make it 3-1. But at the start of the second half, a big blow came when Stephanie Mannion, one of the Rams' top defenders, had to leave the game with an ankle injury.
Seconds later, Gordon flashed open again in the middle and fired another rocket shot into the net, completing her hat trick. Just for good measure, Koval would score on a slalom run through the J-D back line less than five minutes later, and the payback was complete.
Neither J-D nor CBA tripped up in the prelude to their rematch. The Red Rams had, by its high standards, a close encounter in last Tuesday’s game with Cortland, but still prevailed 2-0 over the Purple Tigers, while the Brothers had gone to Homer and beat the Trojans 3-1.
Even in the rain and windy conditions, J-D had waged its usual attack on Cortland, yet only led 1-0 at halftime. More than normal, the Rams’ back line, led by Mannion, Taryn Dausman, Jenna Hayward and Rene Keller, had to protect a lead, and did quite well, holding the Purple Tigers to a scant two shots.
Meanwhile, J-D tacked on an insurance goal for some breathing space as Tessa Devereaux and Emily Nuss scored for the Rams and Olivia Ferlenda picked up an assist.
CBA, meanwhile, knew what kind of challenge 6-1-1 Homer would provide and attacked hard from the start, that approach paying off with a pair of early goals that created a 2-0 halftime edge.
Though the Trojans’ Kindrah Kohne would convert in the second half, the Brothers would stay in front. Koval notched one goal and assisted on scoring plays by McConnell and Gait, while Henderson recorded six saves.