By Gus Weinstein and Joe Morgan
On Oct. 24 the Jamesville-DeWitt High School Varsity Girls Soccer team will have their first playoff game against the winner of Fulton and Carthage. Head coach Hailey Nies thinks that most likely the girls will face a strong Fulton team, which is good, because the Rams defeated Fulton on Oct. 3, to continue their 11-0 win-streak. The Rams were served only their only loss on Oct. 4 from a highly competitive AA-class West Genesee team (the Rams are class A). Despite the loss, the girls believe that they are still a top contender to make a back-to-back return to the New York State Section III class A State Final.
The girls have attributed their success to their team cohesiveness, and their ability to always work hard in practice. “I think we all know that we can lose, so we put in the work during practice, to make sure we don’t,” said junior Caroline Kopp, a defender on the team. As a four-year varsity player, Kopp knows how to win games in the postseason. Like Kopp, junior Maddie Frank, a three-year varsity defender, knows what it takes to win. “Our success has not only come from our talent, but our drive in practice, and our faith in each other on the field,” said Frank. Frank says she is very proud of her team's chemistry, calling the Ram’s 14-1 record a “combined effort.”
J-DHS Athletic Director John Goodson believes Coach Nies has the ability “to take (the team) all the way to states.” Coach Nies, who only has one losing record since her first season in 2009, also believes that her team can go all the way to states. With nine of the 11 starters returning from last season’s state final squad, Coach Nies says she has a lot of confidence in her team.
The students of J-DHS are also along side the girls as they make their second consecutive run to the State Finals. “The fans have definitely been awesome to us, especially at big games like CBA,” said junior Julie Harrison. For the J-DHS students that do attend the games, they feel as if they are helping the team just as much as the players. “As an athlete, I know that energy from the fans help me play better, so I try to go to as many games as possible,” said junior Xander Ferlenda. Along with helping the team out, fans enjoy the excitement of the game. “I love going to the soccer games. Nothing can beat the suspense of a close soccer game,” said freshman Ryan Archer.
The team runs a 4-4-2, which is when the team has four defenders, four midfielders and two attackers on the field at same time. “We’ve tried a couple other formations but they have received resistance,” says Coach Nies.