Sophomore Devan Phelan worked hard all game.
Rye Country Day Boys’ Soccer
Wildcats Defeat Christians, 5-2
By Mitch Silver
In a win of Biblical proportions, the Rye Country Day boys’ soccer team won its first game of the season in the campaign’s final week, easily defeating The Christian Heritage School of Trumbull, Connecticut, by a three-goal margin.
It was also the first win for new Head Coach Alin Andrei, who moved over from coaching the girls’ varsity for the 2019 season. So, why did it take so long for the 1-9-2 Wildcats to get that victory?
“We had a few really devastating injuries this season, so we were rarely able to practice with a full squad. Still, when it comes to work ethic and character, I think we have something special here,” he said. “Something we can build on.”
The season started with a couple of tough losses to rivals Hackley and Fieldston. The Wildcats seemed to have righted the ship in mid-September with hard-fought draws against the Masters School and Long Island Lutheran. But four straight losses in which the young Cats managed only a single tally put the kibosh on the season.
Five days after their victory, Rye Country Day played Millbrook in the year’s final game. Though the visitors scored first, senior co-captain James Leake evened the score when he found himself on a breakaway in alone on the Mustangs’ sophomore keeper, Eli Stowe. Leake neatly slipped the ball along the ground to Stowe’s left and into the net.
Millbrook scored off a quick re-start before halftime, and then their fabulous sophomore forward, Shakur Mohammed, buried a hat trick of free kicks to put the game away in the second half, 5-1.
Coach Andrei said afterwards, “He’s a superior player. At this level, that’s what superior players do.”
Still, the locals—who played talented eighth grader Sameer Hirani for long stretches of the game—can look forward to 2020 with plenty of optimism.