By Melanie Cane
Off to a terrific start and nearly flawless play, the Garnets suffered their only loss of the season to Byram, at home under the lights October 4.
The Garnets had a huge win over Arlington on September 23, followed by a great victory over archrival Harrison September 27. On September 30, their home game against Tappan Zee ended in a 1-1 tie when a light on the turf caught fire.
Against Byram, Rye battled hard in a very physical game, but the Bobcats controlled the tempo throughout the first half, putting a lot of pressure on the Garnets as they adjusted to their defense, without their injured star center back, Charlotte Tucci. Notwithstanding Byram’s relentess onslaught, Rye keeper Maddie Eck was able to protect the goal until the last 90 seconds of the half.
The disparate play in the first half was evident in saves made by each goalie. Rye’s Eck made 21, while Byram had 14.
During halftime, the Garnets devised a strategy to put pressure on Bryam. Addie Chabot did an outstanding job filling in as the center back, permitting Rachel Egan, whose physical strength and ability to see the play develop enables her to create a lot of scoring opportunities, to move up to midfield and gain control of the pace of the game. Kate Whiston was the workhorse of the midfield. Christina Benincasa was a threat on the outside with both her long kicks and throw ins.
Midway through the second half, with the Bobcats up 2-0, Hannah Krapes scored for the Garnets on an excellent cross from Benincasa. But they failed to score again.
Coach Savage said, “Although we saw our first loss, we are very excited to play Byram again this week on their turf.”
The team, now 7-1-2, is busy preparing for the next three weeks, “the heart of the season.” Coach Savage said, “We think we can be one of the best teams in the section.”