By Mitch Silver
The game started in the sunshine of a warm spring day and ended in a blustery facsimile of November. In between, the 4th-ranked Garnets fell behind to No. 3 Pleasantville by 3-0 in the first 138 seconds of their much-ballyhooed clash. It wasn’t so much that the Panthers’ attack was unstoppable, which it was. But Rye gave the ball away the first four times they had it. It got worse from there. By the period’s end, Pleasantville was up 6-1 and gunning for more.
Peter Chabot took over in the second quarter, just as he’s been doing all year, by winning the faceoff. A quick possession led to brother Billy’s low zinger after 51 seconds to make things 6-2. Rye’s next goal was classic Billy Chabot: a ride from in front of the goal to his right and then a quick snap shot as the goalie moved to stay with him. Pleasantville 6, Rye 3 with three minutes gone in the period.
Would the home team collapse under the pressure? Nope. Three quick goals — the first while Peter Chabot was serving a penalty, the next on a Rye giveaway when the Garnets were a man up, and the third on yet one more muffed pass — pushed the lead to 9-3. The visitors’ Tommy DeCaro scored on a near impossible angle from the goalie’s right to close out the half’s scoring at 9-4.
What did Rye Head Coach Steve Lennon tell his kids at halftime? “That every possession from here on in was like overtime. Do or die.”
In the second half, the Garnets did. With Peter Chabot controlling the opening faceoff, Rye had a goal within 12 seconds. They scored again on a one-bouncer from middie Chris Ciampi four and a half minutes in. Then it was the D’s time to rise. Pleasantville had the ball for the next three minutes, and only a great leg save by goalkeeper Emmet Carroll kept the Garnet and Black in the game.
The defensive grit paid off when DeCaro hit cutter Seamus Carroll for the goal that cut the margin to two with 1:44 left in the third. Score one for the Carrolls at each end.
Peter Chabot won the final faceoff of the quarter — he had a total of 12 for the game —and Rye held the ball for more than a minute, probing for a defensive weakness, when a stick check gavet the ball to Pleaantville’s high scorer, Declan McDermott. He buried his fifth goal eight seconds before the buzzer.
But the Garnets weren’t done. This time, midfielder Billy McLaughlin acted as middleman between the Chabots to help the other Billy score his third of the game a minute and a half into the final period. Ninety seconds later, Seamus Carroll scored on a beautiful solo effort from in front to make the score 10-9.
And then…well…Rye really was done. Turnovers, fouls, the same problems that dug the visitors into that early hole returned and, Pleasantville scored the final three goals of the game. So, the third-ranked team in Section 1 beat the fourth-ranked squad, 13-9.
Afterwards, Coach Lennon said evenly, “Well, we still have some things to work on. And we will.”
Next up, sixth-ranked Iona Prep visits the Garnets tomorrow night at 7.
Defenseman Owen Hull staves off three Pleasantville players.
Tommy DeCaro, left, and Seamus Carroll combine to draw the Garnets within two.