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Devereaux: South Side from the other side

Jamesville-Dewitt's girls soccer team poses with state Class

Jamesville-Dewitt's girls soccer team poses with state Class A runner-up plaque. (Nov. 18, 2012) (Credit: Stephen Haynes)

Michaela Lynch and Christina Klaum scored as South Side beat Jamesville-Dewitt, 2-0, capturing its second consecutive state Class A girls soccer title and 17th overall on Sunday.

But as the Cyclones celebrated, the Jamesville-Dewitt girls’ spirits remained high and players assured each other there was no reason to be upset with second place. In fact, senior Jessica Holmes reminded teammates that “we have never made it this far before. We made history.”

As a reporter, I’m always curious about a team’s perspective following a loss in the state tournament. To have come so close, most often by way of a dominant season, and then be denied is usually a crushing blow – particularly against a longtime powerhouse. And I’m even more intrigued when the team isn’t devastated; when there are still genuine smiles and joy on their sideline. There's often an interesting story behind that.

“We know we had a great season, so we have no reason to cry or frown about this now,” said Jamesville-Dewitt senior Maddy Devereaux. The star midfielder was gracious and composed afterward in speaking about the loss.

Back in June I interviewed Canandaigua players for a sidebar after they lost, 13-8, to Garden City in the state Class B girls lacrosse final, which was the Trojans' seventh straight state title. What’s the mood of the group in that moment? How difficult is it facing a team that has for so long owned the state tournament? And South Side girls soccer is to SUNY Cortland’s field in the fall what Garden City lacrosse has been to it in the spring.

“They are absolutely a great team,” Devereaux of the Cyclones. “I mean, their forwards up top are really fast and they had very good touch skills. They controlled the ball really well and possessed it. They made it difficult for us.”

The Red Rams did have opportunities to score in the second half, but had two breakaways broken up by South Side’s backs, and another snuffed on Sarah McCarthy’s diving stop. “It’s pretty frustrating especially when you’re down by a goal,” Devereaux said. “But sometimes you get unlucky and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Jamesville-Dewitt had three nail-biting, one-goal wins in the playoffs leading up to the state final. That run included a 1-0 win in the regional tournament over Burnt Hills, a rival they had lost to in the same round the three previous years.

“It’s huge for our school, this whole program, our area,” Devereaux said of the Red Rams reaching the state final. “For us to finally beat [Burnt Hills] this year, and then beat Massena in the quarterfinals and Brighton in the semifinals and make it this far is amazing for this program… I’m sure we’ll get a big welcome back home. Making it here is huge for us and I know people are really proud.”