Down Two in the Final Period, Rye Beats Byram Hills in Overtime, 6-5
Byram Hills, a huge 16-3 opening-round winner over Sleepy Hollow as the number seven seed, came to Nugent Stadium May 22 to take on the second-seeded Garnets in a Class C quarterfinal playoff game. The Bobcats were winners of five of their last six, and the continued absence of high-scoring senior Kian McCarthy due to injury had the Garnets at a disadvantage.
Rye got off on the right foot with three and a half minutes gone as senior Tanner Howson capped off a fast break after a defensive takeaway to put the home side up. But Byram Hills came back seven minutes later to tie the game after the first quarter ended.
Sophomore defender Chris Iuliano made a couple of crunching hits that turned the ball over, and classmate Tyler McDermott capped off a period of Rye possession to put the Garnets up at 6:56 of the second. However, the Bobcats came back once more, knotting the game on a tipped shot that went in two minutes before the halftime whistle.
The pattern changed in the third period as the Bobcats scored with less than a minute gone after winning the draw. This time it was the Garnets who levelled the game at the nine-minute mark on a goal by junior midfielder Charlie Stevens. But Byram Hills, who had been controlling the X and much of the ball possession, scored twice more to lead 5-3 going into the final 12 minutes.
Rye took a timeout early in the fourth quarter, as Head Coach Steve Lennon reminded his team to “keep doing the all-important little things that count for so much.” The game tightened when McDermott scored again after a series of spins and fakes at 9:25. The Bobcats threatened several times, with sophomore goalie Ty Ramchandran making some terrific saves.
Rye tied the game on a grass cutter by senior middie Andrew Keller with seven minutes left, and those seven minutes were heartrending as Byram Hills again and again attacked the Rye goal. Finally, with ten seconds left, the Bobcats lost the ball out of bounds to send the game into overtime.
Though the visitors were penalized heading into the four minutes of extra time, they got the first two shots against Ramchandran. Then, with Rye in possession, McDermott waited for his teammates to pull their defenders away from goal and he blasted the ball in the cage at 1:47 of OT.