Rye High Boys’ Soccer

By Mitch Silver

If you like the way the Rye-Harrison football game went, you’ll probably like this soccer story. In what seemed like a replay of The Game on the same McGillicuddy Field 48 hours later, the (lower-case) game of Boys’ Soccer saw Harrison score easily in the first three minutes of play. And then, just like the football game, Rye scored five times without yielding another point to stun the Huskies.

This, mind you, was a Harrison team that beat the Garnets by 4-1 when they played at Rye September 13. So what made the difference?

“The boys’ frame of mind,” jubilant Head Coach Ernest Harmon said afterwards. “You have to be in the right frame of mind to play this game, and we were today.”

It helped that Rye had its injured players back, especially goalkeeper Kai Haesslein, who’d missed the previous two contests. It also helped that center midfielder and co-captain Carl Friedrich controlled play in midfield, co-captain Alec Jautz commanded the defense, and forward Kevin Abbondanza alertly made the most of his first-half scoring opportunities.

Fifteen minutes after Rye fell behind, Richard Savage tried a cross from the left corner. It deflected off a defender and Abbondanza flicked it in with a knee-high right-footed volley past the keeper.

Seven minutes later, Friedrich sent in a free kick that Harrison’s keeper had and dropped. Abbondanza was Kevin-on-the-Spot, and it was 2-1 Rye.

Fourteen minutes into the second half, Friedrich blasted a free kick in from just outside the penalty box. When the refs called the play back because they hadn’t blown a whistle (or some such thing), Jake Creus calmly stepped up and scored again, this time into the lower right corner.

Jautz sent Creus in on goal with a beautiful pass six minutes later. The Jakester placed a nifty lob over the oncoming goalie’s head to make it 4-1. And then, with two minutes and change left on the clock, the Garnets crossed the ball in two passes from left midfield to the right wing, where Friedrich snapped it up. A deft fake sent him past the defender to the end line. And then, when no one came out to challenge him and his fellow Garnets were jamming the box, the senior put a low shot to the keeper’s right and into the far corner of the goal.

After beating a game Ardsley team by 4-0 September 27, Harmon’s crew is finally on a roll. They met Pelham in a match post-press time, and travel up to Nanuet tomorrow for a game at 3 p.m.

Garnet keeper Kai Haesslein goes high to snare one, with Alec Jautz by his side.

Carl Friedrich played his usual physical game.

By Melanie Cane

After a rare cancellation due to torrential downpours on September 19, Rye Country Day School held a home FAA meet at Edith Read Sanctuary on a steamy September 27. The Wildcats hosted Holy Child, Brunswick High School, Greenwich Academy, and Greens Farms Academy.

On the Girls’ side, the Gryphons lost to Greenwich Academy, but beat Greens Farms and Rye Country Day. Their top runner, junior Dannie Bell, finished first overall. She completed the race in 21:27. Bell, a lacrosse convert, said she never expected to win. “I recently discovered I love to run! My dad inspires me, but I don’t do any special training.” She plays to continue with winter and spring track. Two Greenwich Academy runners then crossed the finish line, followed by Holy Child’s Claire Furio at 22:32. The top femaleWildcat top female runner freshman Katie Farrell, the Wildcats’ top female runner, came in fifth at 23:05. Gryphons’ runner Sophia Flissler finished eighth.

The boys from Rye Country Day beat Green Farms Academy but lost to Brunswick. Wildcat freshman Connor Mars came in fifth after four Brunswick boys. He ran a speedy 19:19. His teammates, Will Murphy and Justin Cheigh, finished on his heels at 19:29 and 19:30, respectively. 

Wildcats Coach Ethan White praised his runners for pushing themselves in the heat and recording some great times.”

Holy Child Assistant Coach Christine Farrell said, “It was good for our second race of the season.”

Gryphon Dannie Bell on her way to a first-place finish.

And they were off at the FAA Cross-Country meet September 29.


Rye Country Day Field Hockey

By Melanie Cane

The undefeated Wildcats recorded their sixth consecutive win September 28 by defeating Greens Farms Academy 5-1.

The Dragons won the opening faceoff and maintained possession for the first few minutes of the game. Their strategy to move the ball was to make high passes over the heads of their opponents, but the Wildcats adjusted to their style of play quickly.

On their first possession, Wildcat Gemma Green scored on a corner penalty pass from Natalie Sanchez at 23:43. Two minutes later, Greens Farms scored on their third shot after a corner penalty. Rye goalie Sabrina Reznik had two great saves prior to the goal.

For the next four minutes the teams traded steals midfield. Then the Wildcats had four consecutive corners which they failed to convert. At 14:16, Green tipped the ball into the right side of the net on a pass from Sanchez. Five minutes later, Evalise Melgar got the ball off the transition and took it downfield where she passed to Green who shot across the goal, and Amelia Lower tipped it in.

Greens Farms called a timeout and came back playing more aggressively. They had a great shot off a corner, but Resnik made a fantastic save. Rye took a 3-1 lead into halftime.

Early in the second half, Kaela Smith passed to Green in front of the goal. Then Green passed back to Smith who scored by blooping the ball over the goalie's arms. Most of the rest of the half consisted of a lot of long passes to no one, and a slew of pass interferences for both teams in the midfield.

In the final minutes of the game, Olivia Friedberg moved the ball down the left side of the field and passed to her twin sister Elizabeth who shot and Green tipped it in for Rye Country Day’s fifth and final goal.

Coach Georgette Summers was pleased with the team’s solid start, but said they have to be more consistent. “We need to play at a high level of intensity and connectivity 100 percent of the game. There were bright moments and learning moments. We made a good effort to shut down their top scorer and that really threw off GFA’s game plan.” Coach Summers thought Olivia Friedberg, Paulina Harasimowicz, Elizabeth Friedberg and Gemma Green had excellent games.

The team will try for their seventh straight win on October 4, post-press time at Hamden Hall. They play Masters at home October 6.



Gemma Green chasing the ball.

Kaela Smith blocking a Greens Farms player.

Olivia Friedberg with a long pass


<<RHS Girls’ Tennis>>

By Melanie Cane

After an opening loss to Mamaroneck, the Garnet Girls’ have been on a tear.

On September 12, they swept John Jay Cross River 7-0. Rye won all of their matches in two sets, except for the third doubles team of senior captains Claire Woodruff and Ainsley Shulz, who went deep into the dark to pull out a 10-2 super tiebreaker win.

Two days later, Rye beat Harrison 5-2.

Once again, Woodruff and Shulz, this time at second doubles, gutted out a super tiebreaker, winning 6-3, 4-6, 10-6. Junior Elena Nunez won 6-4, 7-5 at second singles. At third singles, Catharina Austahl won easily 6-0, 6-0. Woodruff and Lexi Francis won 6-1, 6-2 at third doubles, and Liz Peron and Courtney Lopp won at fourth doubles. First singles player Nikki Francis lost to Deanna Giambo, one of the top players in the Section. She is 3-2, having lost to the top player from Mamaroneck. Joci Stone and Steffi Rodilosso lost at first doubles.

On September 18, the Garnets had an awesome win — their sixth in a row — against Byram Hills. Down 3-1, after simultaneously losing second and third doubles in super tiebreakers, Garnet Catharina Ausfahl at third singles came back from being down a set to win her super tiebreaker. After that, Francis at first singles outlasted her opponent to win 7-5 in the second set. Tied at three, freshmen Liz Peron and Courtney Lopp at fourth doubles had to win. They lost the first set 6-1, then came back and won 6-2 and 10-7. Coach Campbell called it a “fantastic day.”

Coach Campbell said, “We’re good. All of the girls know how to play sound doubles, which gives us a deep lineup and has enabled me to give different girls an opportunity to compete. We have a nice mix of talented underclassmen and experienced veteran leadership. Best of all, the team is having a great time together.”



Rye Combined Girls’ Swimming & Diving

By Mitch Silver

Head Coach Shannon Bolger’s Rye-Rye Neck-Blind Brook combined team continued to swim past the rest of League Two when they defeated visiting Suffern last Friday by a score of 96-85.

Sweeping first and second places in the butterfly, backstroke, individual medley, and both 200-yard relays — medley and freestyle — along with a 1-2 sweep in diving kept Rye in first place after a heated meet in the Hommocks School pool, Rye’s home away from home.

Coach Melanie Dilascio’s Garnet divers, Katie Laverty and Devon Otto, took the top two positions against White Plains to open the season, and they did it again against the Mounties, posting scores of 238.15 and 217.40, respectively.

Blind Brook senior Marie Neubauer contributed to both relay golds and took second in the IM, while Rye Neck’s Grace Kujawski splashed to wins in the individual medley, the 100 butterfly, and the medley relay.

Coach Bolger’s crew tied White Plains 93-93 in the season’s opening meet before traveling up to Arlington and winning easily, 91-71. (How easily? Rye built a 91-33 lead before floating home for the victory.) “All the teams we’ve competed against have been strong competitors,” she said afterwards. “It’s been a great start to the season.”

The team journeyed to John Jay-Cross River for a dual meet post-press time. They’ll head over to Ardsley for another splash-a-thon this Tuesday.

Rye Neck Girls’ Soccer

By Mitch Silver

Last weekend, Rye Neck held its annual Homecoming Gala, a two-day orgy of sports and more sports played in front of the hometown fans. Fueled by free eats served up by volunteer parents on the school’s outdoor basketball courts, the crowd Saturday morning saw the Panthers’ field hockey squad edge Edgemont by a 1-0 score. Then they simply moved one field over and settled in to watch Head Coach Amy Bushnell’s girls host the Hendrick Hudson Soccer team.

The first half was all-even on the field, and on the scoreboard. Senior Sophia Wice, last year’s high scorer, opened the Panthers’ account just four minutes into the game by heading in a corner kick from sophomore Natalia Ruscitto. Hen Hud came back. In fact, they should have been ahead at the 27:30 mark, but they missed the second of two sitters at the left goal post.

The Sailors eventually cashed in with 18:23 left in the half when Alyson DeSclafani launched a high shot that went just under the crossbar and over the outstretched fingers of Rye Neck’s eighth-grade keeper, Sophia Capparelli. Capparelli would come up with a huge save six minutes later with a last-second grab near her right post, one of 14 shots she stopped on the day.

At halftime, Coach Bushnell tweaked a few assignments. “Hen Hud was sliding their weak-side midfielder over, creating some confusion in terms of finding a mark,” she said after the game. “We broke it down: if we could win the next 40 minutes on an extremely hot and humid day, we’d win the game. The girls dug deep in the second half, and gave it their all until the end.”

Literally. After a second Wice score on an assist by fellow captain Maggie O’Malley, it wasn’t until the last minute of play and an insurance goal by freshman Anna Murphy that the Panthers could finally chalk up the win.

Their coach didn’t even try to contain her enthusiasm. “With the thrill of Homecoming and a crowd that was large, loud and supportive, it was exactly what we needed to help give our girls that extra push. The team is off to a fabulous start!” That start includes wins over Dobbs Ferry, Pawling, and Yonkers Montessori Academy, as well as a pair of forfeits from Keio.

Senior Sophia Wice nets Rye Neck’s first score through a throng of Hen Hud defenders.

Sophomore Natalia Ruscitto executes a neat bit of ball control.