Rye Country Day’s Boys’ Soccer team opened their 2015 season with three straight games on the road.
By Mitch Silver
Rye Country Day’s Boys’ Soccer team opened their 2015 season with three straight games on the road. Lesser teams might wilt without the support of homefield fans cheering them on, but Cristiano Pereira’s current squad is made of sterner stuff. They beat Portledge 4-2, won an overtime game against King on penalty kicks, and then stuffed the Masters School 5-1.
A 5-0 shellacking of a resurgent Hamden Hall side on September 29, the Wildcats’ only home game to date, was followed this past Monday by a scrappy scoreless draw at Hackley. The Hornets are a perennial power in the New York State Association of Independent Schools and the team that clobbered the boys from Grandview Avenue by 5-1 a year ago.
That makes five games played with only four goals allowed, a terrific record for any team, but especially so for one breaking in a new starting goalkeeper. “I said it before the season began,” was Coach Pereira’s take on the Hackley game. “Noah Swan is one of our most improved players. He returned from the summer bigger, stronger, and more confident.”
The coach liked what he saw against the Hornets. “My boys played with skill and were very quick. Hackley, on the other hand, were physical and I have to say dirty as well. We played hard and with a lot of class.”
He went on, “The game was very even; we had three good chances to score and they had two. Our guys were fired up from the way they beat us last year. Every year is different, we have a stronger team this year, and I look forward facing them again in November in the NYSAIS playoffs.”
The Hamden Hall game demonstrated how much stronger the Wildcats are. They scored early and often and kept the ball moving, continually making one- and two-touch passes to teammates while their opponents were hoofing long balls in vain from the back. The Brazilian-born coach was beaming afterwards.
“I think this is a fitter group than last year’s. We had some very good players graduate who couldn’t really play this fast style of play. With Michael Karr in the back and Alonzo Diaz controlling the middle on defense — among others — I think we’re only going to get better.”