Wildcats Draw with St. Luke’s 2-2 in Opener
By Mitch Silver
Head Coach Alin Andrei sent his Rye Country Day Boys’ Soccer team onto the field against visiting St. Luke’s September 18 as a kind of shakedown cruise. The players were still learning new positions and adjusting to each other. And it showed.
Strong individual efforts allowed the Wildcats to dominate the first 15 minutes of the game, with a couple of long-range shots, while the Storm from New Canaan had most of the possession (and shots) in the next quarter hour. A dipping ball twenty minutes in gave Rye’s senior goalie, Henry Geller, trouble, but he kept it out. He made a great save three minutes later and followed it up by stopping a breakaway shot from his left.
A through ball to senior Devan Phelan with 6:30 left in the half found its way to the foot of sophomore midfielder Jonah Gurion. The keeper saved his effort that squirted behind him just before it went over the line. Sophomore Max Garcia-Tunon took a hard shot that was saved just as the half ended.
The second half saw the Storm take the lead when Geller was unable to smother a hard-hit shot. Almost immediately, the home team started playing better, getting the ball up front with long passes from the back. At 22:30, Geller took the ball off the foot of an attacker. Five minutes later, co-captain Kyle Block sent a huge throw-in up the left sideline that got to fellow co-captain Gurion, who put the ball into the bottom corner to the keeper’s left. That tied the game 1-1.
A stolen St. Luke’s pass in the Wildcats’ attacking third at the 16-minute mark led to a second goal for Gurion, pushing his team ahead. But with five minutes to play, a throw-in that was knocked around came to the Storm’s center forward, who rammed it home. The game ended in a 2-2 tie.
Afterwards, Coach Andrei was reasonably pleased. “I thought we tightened things up in the second half, and played faster on attack,” he said. “Not bad overall.”
The Wildcats host Greenwich Country Day September 23 at 4:30 p.m. and Hackley four days later.