It was déjà vu all over again for Rye’s Field Hockey team. Their whole winning season was a lead up to the Class B sectional final against Lakeland November 3.
By Melanie Cane
It was déjà vu all over again for Rye’s Field Hockey team. Their whole winning season was a lead up to the Class B sectional final against Lakeland November 3. The Garnets had lost this match-up six times in a row, but every year they are like the little engine that thinks they can. Sadly, they could not; Rye lost to Lakeland 4-1. Before the game, the team knew the key to finally winning would be “playing our game and not letting Lakeland intimidate us,” said senior goalie Ali Howard who, prior to the final had not given up a goal in six straight games and had only allowed seven goals the entire season.
The Garnets were 17-0-1 after beating John Jay 2-0 in their post-season sectional semifinal October 31. That low score is deceiving as Rye dominated the entire game and got off 37 shots, including 21 penalty shots to the Indians’ three.
After a scoreless first half, Coach Emily Prince gave her team a pep talk during halftime and Fusine Goveart scored on a corner pass from Laura Martinelli 40 seconds later. Rye stole the ball and intercepted passes for the rest of the half, and Govaert scored off a corner shot, again from Martinelli, at 14:32. Coach Prince credited John Jay’s defense and center with holding her team to two goals. She said Govaert had a teriffic game, Lotje Rogaar controlled midfield, and Avery Stern used her speed to block free hits and was great on the counter attack.
The Garnets were looking for their first win against 18-0 Lakeland, and if the game had started in the second half, they might have gotten it. However, the Hornets went on the attack immediately, and scored four goals to Rye’s one. The Garnets made some mental and physical adjustments, especially in their corner defense, that enabled them to hold Lakeland scoreless for the rest of the game. Fusine Govaert, the team’s top scorer who scored Rye’s only goal said, “We are a team. We win and lose as a team.”
Coach Prince is very proud of her team. “Once we made the necessary adjustments, we played them evenly and perhaps better than any other team has played them.” Prince thought Ali Howard played great in goal. “After making adjustments, she had four saves. The whole team showed their grit and skill. We only allowed them eight shots, four of which we saved. That’s phenomenal!”