RHS Girls’ Soccer Wins State Championship

0:00 The Rye Girls’ Soccer team capped its storybook season on Sunday, Nov. 12, by winning the Class A state championship with a 2-0 victory […]

Published November 30, 2023 3:55 PM
2 min read

0:00

The Rye Girls’ Soccer team capped its storybook season on Sunday, Nov. 12, by winning the Class A state championship with a 2-0 victory over Suffolk County’s Shoreham-Wading River at Cortland High School.

Steamrolling elite competition throughout the playoffs, the Garnets won their first state title in 15 years, finishing their season at 22-2. The team defeated Section 6’s Lewiston-Porter 3-0 in the semifinal, and Section 9’s Our Lady of Lourdes in the regional final, 4-1.

The Garnets won their final 18 games, 16 by shutout, after a 4-2 start.

“Everyone worked really hard and played a big role this season,” senior captain Isabel Harvey said after the title-winning match. “Our team chemistry off the field really helped us to win on the field. I couldn’t be happier for my team and Coach Savage. The emotion on each of our faces was priceless and will be remembered forever.”

After a tense and scoreless first half on Sunday, with the teams exchanging periods of possession and strong defending, Rye opened the scoring a minute into the second half when senior captain Maddy Walsh hammered home a header directly off an expertly delivered corner kick from Lyla Keenan.

Facing a deficit, Shoreham-Wading River pressed forward, but they were denied at every turn by Rye’s stout defense. With just under 13 minutes remaining, freshman and tournament MVP Charlotte Keenan struck a perfectly placed shot off a throw-in from Walsh that found the upper right corner of the net, just out of reach of SWR’s keeper, Morgan Lesiewicz.

Once the Garnets had secured a two-goal lead, the team turned its efforts to repelling SWR’s attacks, repeatedly driving balls away from danger until their opponent had run out of time and chances. As the clock ticked to zero, the team rushed to gather around its goal. The celebration began on the field, rippled into the stands, and continued all the way to Rye High School. There, the state champions were greeted with a hero’s welcome, and were escorted by the Rye Fire Department and joined by family, friends, neighbors, and fans.

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