Jared Head Coach Jared Small leads an undefeated group of Garnets.
Rye High Boys’ Soccer
Garnets in Thick of Fight for Summer League Honors
By Mitch Silver
Every summer, Lakeland High School hosts an invitational round-robin with some of the area’s best returning varsity soccer teams. This year, 2018 Class A and Class B State finalists Somers and Briarcliff are in the mix alongside John Jay-East Fishkill from Class AA and powerhouse teams from Yorktown, Byram Hills, and Rye, all ranked in the New York State Top-25 at the end of the fall season.
Playing hour-long games twice a week, the Rye Garnets are still unbeaten, with a record of three wins and four draws on the strength of 17 goals scored and only five given up. With games against Byram Hills and Valhalla High left before the playoffs begin this Sunday, the Garnets should be a high seed against some of Section1’s best.
“I’ve been pleased with our progress this summer,” said Rye Head Coach Jared Small. “The summer is all about trying new combinations of players, giving them an opportunity to have the spotlight in different moments, experimenting with different tactical concepts, and having fun. I think we’ve achieved all four of these goals thus far this summer. We’ve established an identity as a team that is difficult to beat.
ALL SUMMER LEAGUE GAMES PLAYED AT LAKELAND HS
Summer league scoreboard as of July 14.
“As you know, results can be deceiving in soccer. Our 2-2 draw with Carmel was disappointing; we attacked with creativity and just missed several opportunities. We conceded two goals on counterattacks and in doing so we twice relinquished leads. On the flip side, our 1-1 draw with Somers was fantastic. We rebounded from an early 1-0 deficit to seize control of the match in the second half and finish on the front foot. Most important, each match has taught us something about how to play, how to communicate, and how to organize ourselves on the field.
“Our top players have also been the guys pushing the envelope in the weight room. We did 12 spring sessions with the school’s strength and conditioning coach, and our Assistant Coach Jon Tuttle has done a fantastic job leading our summer lifting program. We all realize that we are in the midst of a ‘golden generation.” The players and coaches alike are doing everything to ensure we have no regrets when this large and talented group of seniors is done in November.
The coach went on to highlight the efforts of several players: “I’ve been thrilled with Jake Creus (six goals, three assists) this summer. Jake has shown an ability to create, finish, and defend, and the team has really fed off of his improving work rate. Pepijn van Beurden has been a strong leader for the past several months, and while he doesn’t have much in the way of stats this summer, he has been a positive influence on and off the field.
“Michael Traynor (five goals and an assist) has returned to the team after a season away with his club team and has been a strong contributor offensively. Arda Arslan (five assists) has worked at a number of positions including center back, center midfield, and wingback, and he has continued to get stronger, faster, and more valuable.
Jonathan Mehrara (three goals, two assists) has continued to get faster and more tactically sound on the flank, and Nic Logan (a goal and an assist) has again proven to be a rock at the outside back and outside midfield positions. Kevin Abbondanza (one goal) is returning from an ankle injury that sidelined him for two months. And our goalkeepers — Kai Haesslein and Jasper Nusbaum — have both brought excellent presence to the team.”