By Melanie Cane
Rye Country Day’s top-seeded team beat third-seeded Greens Farms Academy at home November 9, winning the FAA championship for the fourth time in seven years. Leading up to the tournament, the Wildcats were 5-0 in FAA play, scoring 11 goals and conceding only one. In the semifinals, they beat the No. 4 seed, Masters, 3-2.
Despite the Dragons Farms coming out very aggressively in the first half, Wildcats senior goalie Mikey Farber made two early spectacular saves, senior Paul Leake broke the scoreless game with a brilliant volley from outside the 18 yard box 20 minutes into the half. This was Leake’s 22nd goal of the season, a team record. Green Farms tied the game on a corner kick that deflected into the net with 15:08 left in the half.
Going into the second half knotted at one, the Wildcats offense came alive. Midway through the half, after putting sustained pressure on the Dragons, senior Billy Sobel scored the go-ahead goal on a deflection off a Greens Farms player. In the final minutes of the match, senior tri-captain Kevin Collado scored the third goal, assisted by Sobel.
The Dragons outshot the Wildcats by a significant margin, but Farber had an incredible game in goal making big save after big save, finishing with 14.
Coach Cristiano Pereira was so pleased with his team. “This was an incredible season for Rye Country Day. We posted the best record in eight years — 15-4-1.”
It was an incredible sendoff for the eleven Rye Country Day seniors.
— Photo by Jay Araque