Wildcats Coach Georgette Summers knew the visiting Garnets would be tough.
By Mitch Silver
Wildcats Coach Georgette Summers knew the visiting Garnets would be tough. She didn’t know they’d be in mid-season form on Opening Day. In a game played in occasional showers, the girls from a mile down Boston Post Road started fast and never looked back, defeating the Wildcats 9-5.
Rye co-Captain Charlotte Tucci, in particular, dominated the face-offs. Typically, she would pop the ball up in the air and use her reach to snare it and start a break up field. The Garnets scored their first two goals after face-off wins, with Abby Abate netting the second after one of her patented weaving runs through the middle of the defense.
The other coach was impressed. “They’re good,” Coach Summers said after the game. “And their goalie is really good.”
That’s the other side of leading 5-1 at the half. The Garnets’ netminder, Michelene DiNardo, made three or four close-in stops in the opening 25 minutes, thwarting Country Day’s pressure and forcing them to fall back on defense.
Rye High Coach Dennis Hurlie was especially gratified by his team’s defensive play. “If we get that, if we play as a unit and stay healthy, we can contend.”
The second half looked as if he might have to eat those words. With 18:33 on the clock, the Wildcats’ Taylor Reagan stole an errant clear and scored to make it 5-2. Four minutes later it was 5-3. Play was going back and forth, with the home team’s co-Captains, Ruby Aresty and Kat DiCaprio, connecting on several searching passes.
If there’s such a thing as defending from the front, the Garnets started doing it. Between them, Caroline Franchella and the aforementioned Abate controlled the ball before scoring in quick succession, Abate finishing high after another amazing run.
With score 7-3, the teams split the final four goals, suggesting each may have an offense capable of succeeding in their respective leagues. Right now, though, the bragging rights belong to the Garnets.
Rye Country Day faces St. Lukes at home April 4. Rye High hosts Pleasantville April 7.