RNHS BOYS’ SOCCER: Panthers Fall in Regional Finals to Eventual State Champs, 3-1

Rye Neck, newly crowned Section 1 titleholders in Class B, took on Section 11’s Mattituck for a trip to the New York State Final Four November 8, at Diamond in the Pines in Suffolk County.

RNHS-Soccer th
Published November 21, 2014 3:03 PM
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RNHS-Soccer thRye Neck, newly crowned Section 1 titleholders in Class B, took on Section 11’s Mattituck for a trip to the New York State Final Four November 8, at Diamond in the Pines in Suffolk County.

By Mitch Silver

RNHS-SoccerRye Neck, newly crowned Section 1 titleholders in Class B, took on Section 11’s Mattituck for a trip to the New York State Final Four November 8, at Diamond in the Pines in Suffolk County.

The Panthers were fresh off a 2-0 win over Section 9’s champion, Highland, thanks to a brace of goals by sophomore standout Luis Galeano. As usual, the Black Cats improved as the game, scoreless at the half, went on. Highland didn’t know it, but Galeano’s score in the 43rd minute off a Takuno Nishimura through ball settled their hash. And his header off a Reed Peterson corner was just icing on the cake.

The Long Island champions, though, were something else. Co-Coach Frank Gizzo said afterwards, “Mattituck was certainly the toughest opponent we faced all season.  They were well balanced around the field and it was clear that they have been playing together for a while.”  

Four days earlier the Tuckers had strolled through Nassau County’s champion Wheatley, 4-1. They started out against the Panthers the same way, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal from Kaan Iglin. But Rye Neck’s Marco Andreoli knotted the score off a Reed Peterson corner kick (Peterson’s second corner-kick assist in two games) with eight minutes to play in the first half.

The game turned just before the half when Paul Hayes scored for the home team on a free kick: 2-1 Mattituck.

Coach Gizzo takes it from there. “Starting the second half, we picked up our intensity and were able to generate more attacking opportunities.  Luis got behind their defense for troubling crosses against Mattituck’s back line.  He even hit the crossbar off a header from a free kick.”

Even so, the Tuckers managed a feat no other Rye Neck opponent had accomplished in weeks: they kept Galeano off the board for the entire game. When Mario Arreola’s goal with 13 minutes to play put the Long Islanders ahead 3-1, and it was all over.

“Going so far into the tournament and losing in the Regional final is a hard reality to accept,” Coach Gizzon summed up, “but our boys showed their resolve and poise all year.  They supported each other no matter what circumstances were presented.  Staying true to our cheer at practices and games, we played as a ‘family’.  We look forward to maintaining that chemistry for next season.”

 

 

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