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By Melanie Cane

For the seventh time in nine years, Rye Country Day School's Field Hockey team won the NYSAIS Championship. The reigning champions topped second-seeded Hackley 3-2 in an overtime nail biter November 5. This was the second year in a row that the Wildcats have beaten the Hornets in overtime for the title.

Rye Country Day played with high intensity from start to finish. They dominated the first half, but were unable to score due to the stellar play of Hackley goalie Jenny Canoni, who made 13 saves. The game was scoreless at halftime.

The Wildcats got on the board first on a goal by Olivia Friedberg. With 13 minutes left in the second half, Gemma Green drove down the left sideline on a breakaway. She crossed to Friedberg who backhanded it from mid-air into the left corner of the net. The Hornets scored five minutes later on a scramble in front of the net.

With the game knotted at one, both Olivia and her sister Elizabeth received green cards and were sidelined simultaneously. The Hornets players applauded when they went out on penalties. Hackley capitalized on their advantage by making a penalty stroke with 2:10 left.

But the moment the Friedberg sisters were back on the field, they channeled their anger into fine play. From center, Elizabeth carried the ball and passed to Olivia, who then maneuvered past the defenders down the field. Canoni came out to challenge and Olivia dove and sent the ball into the left corner with less than a minute to play.

The 2-2 tie at the end of regulation play sent the game into a ten-minute overtime. Four minutes in, Olivia dribbled to the top of the circle where she passed to Elizabeth. Elizabeth shot. Canoli stopped the ball, but Elizabeth hit the rebound into the left corner.

Shortly before the buzzer, Wildcat goalie Sabrina Reznik blocked a penalty stroke by Hackley, and the day belonged to Rye Country Day.

“It was an overwhelming and brutal matchup,” said Reznik, “and it took a total team effort to win the championship.”

The Friedberg sisters added, “We’re a really young team with a lot of new players and we worked really hard to come together. We’re so proud of the team!”

Describing their bond on the field, the sisters said, “Some people think we communicate telepathically, but really it’s just that we’ve been playing together for so long we know where one another will be. Sometimes we even switch positions if one of us is tired.”

Before the game, Coach Summers told her team that the championship might come down to green cards, so when both Friedbergs were carded, she was worried. But she was confident that if the game went into overtime the Wildcats had an advantage. “We are a small team so all of our scrimmages have been seven on seven as you have in overtime. We had a lot of practice with that formation, more than most other teams.”

The coach had high praise for the Friedberg sisters, Reznik, Green, and Paulina Harasimowicz, “our rock all season.”

Captions:

Elizabeth Friedberg outrunning the Hornet defenders.

Gemma Green in hot pursuit of a loose ball

Coach Georgette Summers giving a championship plaque to sophomore goalie Sabrina Reznik.

The NYSAIS champs

 

 

By Mitch Silver

Owen Hull, a stalwart two-way lineman for the Section semifinalist football Garnets, was named September’s Athlete of the Month by Rye High’s Athletic Department in association with the Rye Lions Club. Hannah Friedrich, goalie on the Rye Girls’ Soccer team that lost the Section championship in four overtimes, was named October’s winner.

“Both of these students are richly deserving of this honor,” said Rye Athletic Director Michael Aria in making the award. “Owen and Hannah represent the best of Rye High School.”

Owen, a two-sport standout throughout his high school career, was a captain and starting middle linebacker for Head Coach Dino Garr’s 7-3 squad. Named to All-Section teams in both his sophomore and junior seasons, he will probably be in line for similar honors now that his senior season has drawn to a close.

The Syracuse-bound senior is an even better lacrosse player. Named All-League ever since his freshman year, Owen took All-State honors as a sophomore and will captain the Garnets once again this spring. “It’s a great honor to be chosen for your leadership skills by your teammates. It’s an even bigger honor to be named a captain by two different varsity teams.”

Hannah Friedrich, a triplet whose siblings Lilly and Carl also played varsity soccer for Rye, was chosen for her spectacular work in the nets for Rich Savage’s 17-2-1 team. In the Section finals, Hannah made several crucial saves (on an injured leg!) to keep Pearl River off the scoreboard for all of regulation time and into the fourth OT before the Pirates netted the winner.

Lions Club award winners are chosen for their excellence on the field, in the classroom, and out in the community. Ensconced on the High Honor Roll her entire high school career, Hannah has won departmental awards in History, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, English (three times), and, of course, Physical Education. The National Honor Society inductee hopes to attend Haverford College in the fall.

Both Owen and Hannah volunteer in the POTS (Part of the Solution) program that serves hot meals to needy residents in the Bronx. Owen also donates his time to the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, and the two have spent summers teaching their respective sports to local kids.

The Lions Club honor qualifies Owen Hull and Hannah Friedrich to join future monthly winners in the race for Athlete of the Year.

 

 

By Melanie Cane

At the beginning of the season, the Rye High Volleyball team’s goal was to make it to Sectionals again. Coach Geri Jones said, “We worked hard all season. We trained every day with that goal in front of us.”

Rye won 14 games and lost only three in the regular season. Heading into the playoffs, they were seeded fifth.

The Garnets made Sectionals last year, losing to Pelham in the semifinals. In this year’s quarterfinals, on October 31, the Garnets faced the fourth-seed Pelicans again. They played them in a point-for-point game, coming out on top 3-2, and avenging last year’s loss.

The victory sent Rye to the home court of Walter Panas, the 2016 Section 1 Class A winners, on November 2. On the way to the game, Coach Jones told her team that they had nothing to lose and urged them to work for every point and never give up.

The Garnets fought the Walter Panas Panthers to the end, but lost 25-17, 25-22, 25-13.

The 2017 Rye High Volleyball squad has a lot to be proud of. They finished the season 16-4 and many of the players earned high recognition. Senior Cayla Brown was voted League Player of the Year. Brown and Jade Iadorella received All Section and All Conference Honors. Setter Lizzie Blonstein was awarded All Conference Honorable Mention. Brown, Iadorella, Blonstein, and Alex Kirk received All League Honors. Maddie Depaola received All League Honorable Mention. Iadorella ended the season with 85 aces, and Blonstein racked up 540 assists.

 

Cayla Brown makes a jumping kill.

Alex Kirk digging out the ball.

 

 

 

By Melanie Cane

If sports were injury-free, who knows how far the Gryphons’ Soccer team would have gone this season? They started off strong and maintained a high level of play until the last week of regular season, when due to multiple injuries, they were unable to sustain the momentum. Lead scorer and co-captain Ryan Delane and Lucy Egler suffered concussions and star defensive back and co-captain Madi Warne sustained injuries in the last game of the regulation play. Still, the team improved upon last year’s record, received the No. 6 seed in the FAA, and made it to the quarterfinals of the League tournament.

Second-year coach Mike Rivera said the team really grasped his style of play and applied it well. The girls played their hearts out and had many season highs.

One of the high points was beating rival Rye Country Day School 1-0 on October 12. Another, despite a 2-1 loss, was their game against top-ranked Sacred Heart-NY October 18. In the first half, Sacred Heart dominated so completely it looked as though the Gryphons were swimming in a sea of red. At halftime, Coach Rivera made adjustments and his girls shut down the Cardinals and scored.

Reflecting on the season, Rivera said, “One of our goals was to improve from the beginning of the season to the end, and everyone on this team knows they accomplished that.”

Holy Child is graduating four seniors who were key to its success: the three captains Delane, Warne, and Jax Pace, “the heart of the midfield,” as well as their most versatile player, Audrey Maglich. “Looking forward, our underclassman will have big shoes to fill,” said the coach. “Our seniors left their mark on this program and each of our players learned a lot from them. I look forward to next season and it can’t come soon enough.”

 

Emma Kryza with all the right moves

Ryan Delane transitioning

 

 

By Melanie Cane

When the Garnets lost the Girls’ Soccer Section championship on a questionable call by a referee, they did not argue with the ref, and moments later they shook hands with and congratulated the winning team. Their graciousness in defeat and respect for the refs are the qualities that earned this team the Westchester-Putnam Approved Soccer Officials Association Sportsmanship Award. Only one girls’ team and one boys’ team in the Section (Class AA, Class A, Class B, and Class C) receives the Sportsmanship Award. Last year, the Garnets were honored with the Sportsmanship Award from the Section’s Athletic Directors. And for the second consecutive year, Coach Rich Savage received the Coach of the Year award from his peers.

At the awards ceremony, Captains Isabel Castro and twins Hannah and Lilly Friedrich gave credit to Coach Savage “for teaching us the proper etiquette on and off the field, and for leading by example. It’s a huge honor for our team to accept the award and we’re very thankful for it. It means a lot to be recognized for qualities above and beyond playing the game.”

The Best Coach award is intricately intertwined with the Sportsmanship award, although they are not always given together. The girls on this team agree that Coach Savage deserved his award. They cited his exhortation from the beginning of the season: “I cannot make soccer your favorite sport, but I hope this is your favorite season.” They unanimously concurred that it was their favorite season because Coach Savage is “the most enthusiastic, involved, and caring coach we’ve have ever had. His coaching style is always changing to best suit the current team. He keeps our best interest at heart while pushing us to be the best people and players we can be. From the girls who start, to the girls who don't get as much time on the field, Savage ensures that everyone feels a part of the squad. He is an amazing coach and person who cares for all of us.”

Junior All-Section players Molly Broderick and Sarah DeGraw have nothing but praise about their coach. “He outdoes himself every year. He always believes in you, even when you doubt yourself. He motivates us all to succeed.” Other players added, “From the fun practices, to the toilet paper fights, to the birthday parties, to the team dinners, to the community service, Coach Savage does everything possible to facilitate team bonding and community involvement. He is a renaissance man of Rye soccer!”

Rich Savage is also Director of the Rye Youth Soccer Program in which over 1,000 boys and girls participate. Many of those young players attend the Varsity Soccer games. After each game, Savage takes a picture of the kids with the team to preserve the memory for everyone.

Coach Savage believes that, “any award or recognition I receive is just a reflection of an amazing group of girls. I think it’s more an award for the team than the individual. All 24 girls scored a goal this season. Moreover, they brought the entire soccer community together. What’s even more impressive is this is the second year in a row the girls won a Sportsmanship award for their exemplary behavior before, during, and after the games. Receiving two different sportsmanship awards from two different groups is an amazing accomplishment and speaks volumes for the team and the girls.”

 

The Garnet Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team with Rye Youth League Players after their last game of the season

Captains Lilly Friedrich, Isabel Castro, and Hannah Friedrich with Coach Rich Savage

 

 

By Wendy Hyer

Rye Racquet Club’s 3.5 40+ women’s team, the USTA Eastern section representative, arrived early at the National Championships in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida the weekend of Oct. 27-29 to get used to the Har-Tru courts.  Conditions were windy and rainy over the weekend, so mid-way the format was amended to allow them to get all the matches in.  Over three days of round robin play, the Racquet Scientists won all their matches, each time just pulling out the win over teams from Mid-Atlantic (3-2), New England (3-2), Hawaii (3-2) and Pacific Northwest (3-2).  In the semifinals on Sunday, they handed a tough Midwest team their first tournament loss winning it 3-2.  After a quick 30 minute break it was on to the finals against the Caribbean team, also undefeated.  It was oh so close with the final score again 3-2…but this time in favor of the team from Puerto Rico.

The Club’s 4.0 40+ women’s team was the Eastern section representative for USTA and traveled to Orlando, Florida the weekend of Oct. 20 for the National Championships.  Very windy conditions and a tough draw in the round robin group made play challenging.  The team came up short against both Southern California and then the Midwest team.  They finished strong however against Northern, winning 4 out of the 5 courts.  They were also able to play some tennis just for fun against the Caribbean team from Puerto Rico (amazing that they were able to come) and Texas, who became national champs. 

The 4.5+ 40+ women’s team traveled to Mobile, Alabama the weekend of Oct. 20-22 for the National Championships as the Eastern section representative.  In round robin play, they were an impressive 3-0, beating teams from Northern California (4-1), Hawaii (4-1) and a previously undefeated Pacific Northwest (3-2).  In the semi-finals, they faced a tough Florida team who came out on top 3-2.  Sadly, the weather gods prevented the last round from being played and Eastern ended up sharing 3rd place with Missouri Valley; similarly, Florida and Southern weren’t able to play for the championship and thus were declared co-winners.