The Rye Country Day girls were seeded second against top-seeded and two-time reigning champion Hackley School at the NYSAIS finals May 21 at Manhattanville.
By Melanie Cane
The Rye Country Day girls were seeded second against top-seeded and two-time reigning champion Hackley School at the NYSAIS finals May 21 at Manhattanville. Not only did Hackley have a 53-game winning streak against NYSAIS teams but, in their previous matchup against the Wildcats two weeks earlier, they’d trounced them 14-7.
In the first half of the final, the Wildcats played ferociously, maintaining a two-goal lead. But with ten minutes left in the game, their intensity slowed and the Hornets capitalized. With less than six minutes left on the clock, they tied the game, 9-9.
Both teams scored in overtime, Wildcat Sam Kost in the first of two five-minute periods, Hackley scored in the second. Now, in a sudden-win situation, where the first team to score in the next three minutes is the victor, Wildcat freshman attackman Taylor Regan demonstrated all the right stuff and scored on an assist from Zoe Verni.
The Rye Country Day players, coaches, and fans erupted in joy, having toppled the reigning champs 11-10.
Julia Massaro, who had three goals (giving her a grand total of 201) and an assist, said “We knew that we had to change something about our offense because Hackley shut us down in the May 6 game by man-marking us. We knew that we needed to run more of a cutting rather than a dodge offense in order to score.”
Regan also had a big game with three goals and two assists. Verni scored twice, as did Sam Kost. Emily Duarte scored once and had four assists.
This was the first title for the Rye Country Day Girls’ Lacrosse team since 2007. Coach Georgette Summers was thrilled with the win and hopes it is the start of many more to come. As the team is only losing three players — senior captains Ruby Aresty, Stephanie Sabatini, and Kat DiCaprio — a two-peat is in her sights. Interestingly, Sabatini had sat out the entire season with ACL surgery, but came back for the three NYSAISA games. Summers credited the seniors with keeping the rest of the team upbeat when the game started to slip away. “We were so lucky to have them all on the field,’” said Summers. “This was truly a team effort.”