Senior defender Jordan Basso goes for the ball early on.
Rye High Girls’ Soccer
Garnets’ Season Ends in Fourth Overtime Heartbreaker to Somers
BY MITCH SILVER
Maybe it’s because it was Halloween. But somehow, three of Rye’s best varsity teams in years found their Sectional playoff path running, over a 72-hour period, through Somers. Thursday night, it was the girls’ top-rated Soccer team who hosted the Tuskers. Friday night, the football squad traveled to Lincolndale to face the team that came back to beat them earlier in the year. Saturday saw Head Coach Jared Small’s Boys’ Soccer team matchup with Somers in the Class A final at Lakeland High School.
Rye did win two of those three games, and the Garnets Girls’ Soccer team came oh so close. With 14 seconds left in the fourth overtime period against Somers, the fourth-seeded visitors scored and sealed a 2-1 victory.
Remember, it was Halloween. The Somers team came disguised as the mirror image of the Garnets: strong, fast, determined, and technically proficient. Even though Rye senior Meredith Tutun would score early after senior midfielder Mia McGinty brought the ball into the penalty box — and the Garnets had a couple more shots on frame in the half —the Tuskers dominated play in the opening 40 minutes.
The visitors’ Megan Dineen scored the equalizer off an assist from Ella Kittredge midway through the second half. From then to the end of regulation, through two ten-minute overtime periods, and then two more five-minute sudden death overtimes, there was little separating the teams in this hard-fought scrum. Though their keeper Rachel Ross (“Friends”, anyone?) had to make 14 stops to Olivia Dabinett’s 10, the lower-ranked visitors were probably encouraged to be holding their own with the Westchester/Rockland leaders as the final seconds ticked down.
And then the ref blew his whistle with 14.8 seconds showing on the scoreboard. He’d detected a foul when two players collided over the ball in the darkness. Somers was awarded a free kick from outside the box to Dabinett’s left.
Rye sent five players into the wall in front of their goal, but Pepe’s free kick was a beaut, flying over the wall and the keeper into the net for the goal that ended the Garnets’ season.
There are taller goalkeepers than Olivia Dabinett, but none classier. After the game, she said, “That one was on me.” Hardly. The ball was struck with such venom, nobody was going to stop it.
Head Coach Rich Savage was profuse in his praise of his senior netminder. “That’s what makes Olivia so great. She thinks she can save everyone.” He went on to praise all of his players, especially his seniors. “I knew a team would have to play lights out to beat them. Somers did.”
Second-seeded Pearl River went on to defeat the Tuskers 3-0 for the Section title.