RHS Girls’ Soccer
Garnets Exhibit True Grit
By Melanie Cane
It is always exciting to play a home opener, and when your opponent is Albertus Magnus, a regional finalist and two-time defending Section B champion, it is also a bit intimidating. The Garnets rose to the occasion on September 7 and the matchup ended in a 1-1 tie.
Despite the low score this was a nail-biting, action-packed game from start to finish. Garnet co-captain Sara Broderick took the first shot of the game less than 30 seconds into the first half, but it was wide and over. After four minutes of back-and-forth play, Hannah Simandl took a long shot which also went wide and over. A minute later, the Falcons took their first shot which was saved by Garnet goalie Olivia Dabinett. Albertus stole the ball on transition and shot again. The ball deflected off Dabinett and they shot again but it went wide.
On Rye’s next possession they went for a long pass downfield which Albertus’ goalie Emma Conlon stopped. The next ten minutes were fraught with frenetic play during which both teams earned free shots that they were unable to convert. Over the last nine minutes of the half, Rye created scoring opportunities, but Conlon made terrific saves. Rye outshot Magnus 6-3 in this scoreless half.
The Garnets made some adjustments and threatened early in the second half with a targeted shot off a free kick that Conlon saved.
Coach Rich Savage said, “We realized Albertus was playing defensively and working on the counter attack. We decided to try and build from the back and connect more passes on the ground to create our scoring opportunities.”
Albertus then took four consecutive shots, all of which Rye’s defense deflected. The Garnets regrouped and dominated possession for the next ten minutes. Leah Kenny just missed on a long shot from wide left, followed by a great shot from wide right by Claudia Rafa that Conlon saved. Rye scored first with13:35 left in the half. Sophomore Meredith Tutun kicked a perfect diagonal rocket from the left sideline to the right corner of the net. Conlon bobbled the ball and DeGraw, who had been following the shot, capitalized on the bobble kicking it into the back of the net.
Two minutes later, the Falcons answered when their free shot rebounded off Dabinett and they scored. The Garnets had two close shots over the next nine minutes, but the game ended knotted at one.
Both teams brought everything they had to the 20-minute overtime, but neither was able to score. In the end, Conlon had ten saves for the Falcons and Dabinett had six for the Garnets.
Coach Savage said, “Defensively our team looked strong. Meredith [Tutun] did an outstanding job shutting down Magnus. Katie Sack also played on the outside and helped Rye begin its attack.” On the team’s to-work-on list are creating more scoring opportunities and not giving up free kicks outside their box, the coach added.
One thing this team has in spades is speed, said captains DeGraw and Molly Broderick. “And we’re a well-rounded team.”
The Garnets showed off their prowess in their opening away game against Byram Hills, besting their hosts 6-0.
The Rye High Girls’ Soccer team in fine pre-season form
Maddy Childs going for the steal.
Katie Sack intercepting a pass.