Rye Girls Lacrosse Team Makes Its 1st State Finals

Rye High School, for the first time in its history, made it to the finals of the state Girls Lacrosse Championships.

Published June 28, 2024 9:12 AM
2 min read

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Rye High School, for the first time in its history, made it to the finals of the state Girls Lacrosse Championships when the Garnets eliminated a team from north- central New York earlier this month — then ran into the reigning Class C champ and its perfect season the following day.

The RHS girls lacrosse team traveled to SUNY Cortland as winners of the Westchester area’s Section 1 tournament to participate June 7-8 in the final four of the New York state Class C championship.

Just 3 minutes and 38 seconds into the semifinal game against the Section 3 champions, the Fulton Red Dragons, Rye took a commanding 4-0 lead and looked unstoppable in the early going. The Red Dragons soon steadied themselves to tie the game 6-6; still, Rye went into halftime with an 8-6 lead, played solidly in the second half and beat the team from Fulton, 14-10.

With the final whistle of that game, this year’s Garnets girls went into the history books as the first Rye girls lacrosse team to advance to the state finals. Senior Lilly Whaling — this year’s Rye High Scholar-Athlete of the Year — led the charge in the semifinal game with five goals; senior Della Goodman had four, sophomore Beau Whaling added three, and junior Caroline Doyle chipped in two.

The next day, just 48 minutes — and the Sayville High School Golden Flashes — stood between Rye and a state champion- ship trophy. Sayville, the tournament’s Long Island representative, entered the final with a perfect, 20-0 record. As with the Fulton game, Rye came out firing on all cylinders to take a quick, 2-0 lead, but the Golden Flashes quickly responded to tie the game 2-2 by the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Sayville scored five unanswered goals, as the Rye defense had no answers for the Golden Flashes’ sophomore sensation, Sophia Buffardi, who scored four of her five goals within a 12-minute span to give Sayville a com- manding lead of 7-2 at halftime. Rye got back on track in the second half, but the damage had been done, and Sayville completed its season and took the champion- ship with a perfect 21-0 record, defeating Rye 9-5.

“It was an unforgettable season,” said Goodman, a Rye captain who has committed to play at Georgetown next year, “because of the unmatched talent on this team, and love for each other, to want to be successful.”

Rye finished its historic season with a 19-4 record, many signature wins, terrific accomplishments and enough memories to last a lifetime for both its players and the fans who got to watch the team this season.

“From the freshmen to the seniors, we had the hardest-working girls, who were determined to play as long as they could together,” said Lilly Whaling, also a team captain, who has committed to Cornell next year. “Our team had incredible chemistry this year that clearly correlated with our play on the field.”

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