Runaway Wins, Narrow Losses Don’t Add Up for Rye Boys Lacrosse

One-goal losses can take much of the fun out of lopsided victories, Rye High’s boys lacrosse team has learned, especially if the defeats start to outnumber the wins.

Published May 11, 2024 11:20 PM
3 min read

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One-goal losses can take much of the fun out of lopsided victories, Rye High’s boys lacrosse team has learned, especially if the defeats start to outnumber the wins.

The Garnets, whose season started with five wins and two losses, had a recent run of five games consisting of two runaway victories and three excruciating one-goal losses – two of them in overtime. 

On Senior Night last month, Rye defeated Eastchester High at Nugent Stadium. The pregame festivities on April 24 recognized the Garnets’ seven seniors — Joe Chai, Tripp Redd, Paddy Harrington, Pat McEnroe, Miles Woolsey, James Lewis and Chase Pepper — for their contributions to the school’s lacrosse program over the years. And Rye crushed the Eagles, 16-0. 

Two days later, Rye met a huge step-up competitor when it played Cold Spring Harbor High School at Nugent. The team, from Long Island’s North Shore, has won six New York state Class D championships in the past 24 years. In a well-played and hotly contested game, Rye led 5-4 at halftime but was trailing 8-7 with just five seconds left in the second half — until sophomore Henry Shoemaker found the back of the goal to tie the game and force sudden-death overtime. Cold Spring wound up scoring in overtime, defeating Rye 9-8. Shoemaker, junior Tyler McDermott, and eighth-grader Will Niejadlik each scored two goals in the losing effort. 

With the tough loss to Cold Spring Harbor still on their minds, the Garnets traveled to Yorktown on April 30 to play an 8-4 Husker team. In a highly competitive game, Rye trailed by as much as four in the second half but fought their way back to take the lead, 8-7, on a goal by freshman Henry Gilroy — with just 2.8 seconds left on the clock. But Yorktown gave Rye no time for celebrating, scoring in those last 2.8 seconds on an incredible shot from just outside the face-off circle, and forcing overtime. The Huskers ultimately prevailed in double over-time, sending Rye from the field with its second gut-wrenching loss in four days. McDermott was exceptional, scoring four goals and adding an assist, while freshman Garret Sullivan added two goals. 

On May 2, Rye traveled to Glover Field in Pelham and handily defeated the Pelicans by a score of 12-1 in a big bounce-back win. But two days later, the Garnets traveled to New Jersey to play Mountain Lakes High School… and for the third time in four games, lost by a goal, this time by a score of 9-8.

Rye rallied from an 8-5 deficit in the second half to cut Mountain Lakes’ lead to 8-7 before ultimately losing. But Mountain Lakes goalie Andrew Adams had 16 saves while Mountain Lakes’ Giacomo Bevacqua controlled the game’s draws, or “faceoffs,” for his team, winning 15 out of 17, or 88 percent. For Rye, McDermott had three goals and junior Tucker Hess added two goals and two assists in the losing effort.

Of the Garnets’ five losses through May 4 this season, four have been one-goal defeats.

“We are frustrated by the close losses, and we have to learn from the mental mistakes that have cost us,” RHS Coach Steve Lennon said. “Winning is hard and you can’t take seconds and inches for granted.

Looking ahead to the upcoming playoffs, he added: “Our new season starts mid-May.” 

The boys lacrosse team has two regular-season games remaining, both on the road: Somers High at 6 p.m. May 11, and Ridgefield (Conn.) High School at 5 p.m. May 14. The next opportunity to watch the team at home will be 5 p.m. May 18 against the first opponent in this year’s postseason.

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