By Melanie Cane
The Garnets lacrosse team battled Fox Lane valiantly at home April 20, but came up short, losing 11-9.
It was clear Rye High had an uphill battle from the get-go, when the Foxes netted two goals in the first two minutes of play.
Rye came onto the field looking a little tight, possibly because of Fox Lane’s reputation as the top team in the League and among the top three teams in the Section in recent years.
Down 2-0, Rye quickly regrouped and responded with five unanswered goals. Senior captains Emma Brinkman on attack and Tori Virtue at midfield scored two goals apiece in the first half, as did junior midfielder Scarlett Sulliman. Virtue also netted two assists.
Goaltender Maddie Kinker, the team’s third senior captain, clamped down toward the end of the first half, when the Garnets led 6-4.
The second half started off like the first, with Fox Lane scoring three times and regaining a 7-6 lead in the opening minutes.
But Rye senior Gigi Fitzgerald, sophomore Momoke Yoshida, and senior Annie Van Wagenen struck back with three consecutive goals, upping the score to 9-7. But it would be the Garnets’ last lead of the game.
Rye was unable to capitalize on their momentum. Fox Lane added four straight goals in rapid succession, toppling Rye 11-9.
Despite the loss, Rye coach Dennis Hurlie called it an exciting night due to the home atmosphere and level of play, and said he was pleased with every player’s performance. He had the most praise for goalie Kinker who “had her best performance of the season.”
Coach Hurlie said the girls did a terrific job sticking with the game plan on defense and demonstrated plenty of toughness and poise throughout.
Offensively, the game came down to a couple of key possessions where Rye had the opportunity to build on its 9-7 lead, but simply could not. While the team was disappointed by the loss to Fox Lane, Hurlie said the game proved they can play with the best in the area.
After beating Hackley 13-11 away on April 23, the Garnets are 5-1. Looking ahead, Hurlie said the team will be “tested and ready come playoff time’’, after games with Yorktown, Mamaroneck, John Jay, Lakeland, Greenwich Academy and a rematch against Fox Lane.