Twelve months ago, Rye Country Day Boys’ Lacrosse head coach Matt Rosolen walked slowly off the Manhattanville College field after his team’s heartbreaking 10-9 defeat at the hands of Hackley in the championship game of the New York State Association of Independent Schools tournament.
By Mitch Silver
Twelve months ago, Rye Country Day Boys’ Lacrosse head coach Matt Rosolen walked slowly off the Manhattanville College field after his team’s heartbreaking 10-9 defeat at the hands of Hackley in the championship game of the New York State Association of Independent Schools tournament. Graciously, he admitted, “Today they made one more play than we did.”
A year later, Coach Rosolen was as close to ebullient as this even-tempered mentor ever gets. His team had just dismantled the number- two-seeded Ethical Culture Fieldston squad by 11-3. “We were excellent all over the field today. Our face-off play was strong, Riley (van den Broek) and our attack clicked, and our defense played the best game since I’ve been coaching here.”
The Wildcats entered the tournament on a roll. They steamrolled number-eight seeded Long Island Lutheran in the opener May 16, and followed that up with an 18-8 thrashing of fourth-ranked Trinity.
When Fieldston knocked out the defending champions, Hackley, 13-12 in an overtime semifinal, Country Day had every reason to be confident. Hadn’t they defeated Hackley 18-17 the week before? Hadn’t they beaten Fieldston 14-10 a month ago?
Coach Rosolen used the 2014 loss as motivation. “We didn’t want to walk off that field with the same feeling we had after the game last season.”
One key player who wasn’t on the field a year ago was junior goalie Sean Price. Following in the hallowed footsteps of graduated senior captain Michael Farber, Price merely grabbed 18 saves from Fieldston sticks. Even better, his outlet passes were long and accurate, turning defense into offense before their foes knew what hit them.
Senior attackman and co-captain Riley van den Broek, who garnered five goals and two assists on the afternoon, was succinct in his praise for his netminder. “Sean was awesome in goal.”
Once the Wildcats led 7-1 at the half, the final outcome was never in doubt. Even attacking on a ten-man ride, the Eagles could manage only a single goal in the third period and another in the fourth.
On the Rye Country Day score sheet, junior Justin Weissman had three goals for the Wildcats and senior midfielder Will Halloran finished with a goal and three assists.
In the words of Athletic Director Wendy Haft, “Yesterday was a storybook ending to an amazing season for the Wildcats.”