After Winning League Title With Dramatic Comeback, Garnets Top Pelham in Section Semifinal

0:00 RHS Girls’ Lacrosse By Melanie Cane Rye High seniors Haley Nemsick and Amanda Hartzell with their families and Coach Dennis Hurlie On May 10, […]

Published June 3, 2017 12:58 AM
3 min read


RHS Girls’ Lacrosse

By Melanie Cane

Rye High seniors Haley Nemsick and Amanda Hartzell with their families and Coach Dennis Hurlie

On May 10, before what was supposed to be the Garnets’ last home game of the regular season, Rye High Lacrosse Coach Dennis Hurlie recognized co-captains Amanda Hartzell and Hailey Nemsick. “Last year we honored 11 seniors. This year we honor two. But next year I will be the saddest coach in the section because I have gotten closer to and relied upon these two wonderful girls more than any other players I have ever coached.” The Garnets went on to beat the Pelham Pelicans 8-6.


Stormy weather postponed the scheduled Rye/Harrison matchup, a game that would determine the league champion. On May 15, the same storm short-circuited the Garnets’ home scoreboard, and, for the first half, seemed to have the same effect on the Rye girls’ play.

Coach Dennis Hurlie was prohibited from coaching this game because he was carded in the previous one, and the team seemed lost without him. The Garnets started the game with a quick transition goal by Amanda Hartzell, but the Huskies took control and scored five unanswered goals. Struggling with turnovers and lost opportunities, Rye went into halftime down 5-1.

Playing a fierce second half, the Rye girls fought back and outscored Harrison 7-2. Hartzell led the rally with a goal off the first draw. She followed that with two more, the last on a spectacular crease roll, spinning and ducking under two defenders. Junior captain Margaret Mitchell added two more to tie the game at six with eight minutes remaining.

Paige Drago and Shannon Lavelle finished off the Garnets’ run. Lavelle scored the winning goal in stunning play. Harrison goalie Kathleen Lino was called on a warding-off penalty. Lavelle outran the goalie before any of Harrison’s defensemen had time to get back to their goal. The Garnets won the subsequent draw and maintained possession until the final buzzer, and ended with an 8-7 victory.

Rye’s defense was pivotal in the second half. They shut down Harrison’s attack holding them to two goals on ten shots. The defensive unit led by Nemsick controlled the tempo with multiple caused turnovers, stops and clears. Freshman goalie Amelia Cunningham had a stellar second half.

After controlling the draw circle for most of the game, the Garnets were finally able to convert possessions in the second half. Critical ground balls and midfield play by Sara DeGraw, Ellie Daley, and Molly Broderick helped the Garnets establish offensive momentum. An interception by Broderick was the turning point of the game. A tremendous second half by Amelia Cunningham in goal was their other secret weapon.

Although the Garnets had a tough regular season schedule, and ended with a 7-9 record, they were undefeated in League play and have won the title four years in a row. They are now 22-1 over the past four years under Coach Hurlie and assistant coaches Keri Morrison and Brit Anderson.

On May 23, the second-seeded Garnets beat the No. 3 seed, Pelham, 16-11. Rye was up 10-4 at the half, but Pelham went on a tear and the Garnets had to give everything they had to stave them off. Hartzell had six goals.

On May 25, post-press time, Rye faces Henrick Hudson, the No. 4 seed, which beat top-seeded Bryam Hills in the semifinals.

Hugs all around after beating Harrison for League title


Sarah DeGraw running the ball down the sideline.

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