Garnets Defeat Greeley 2-0 and Advance to Sectional Finals
By Mitch Silver
After easy wins over Nyack (8-1) and Harrison (4-0) in the opening rounds of the Class B Sectionals, Head Coach Kelly Vegliante and Assistant Coach P.J. Johns sent their second-seeded Garnets out to face third-seeded Horace Greeley October 27 at Nugent Stadium. The Quakers came into the game with a single loss on the season, 1-0 to longtime powerhouse Lakeland. Their defense had been touched for a total of four goals in 17 games.
Rye also started the game with a record of 14 wins and one loss, their sole defeat to Mamaroneck in the first game of the season. (The Tigers are playing for the Class A championship Saturday.) The Garnets scored a last-minute goal against first-place Lakeland in a 2-2 tie over a month ago.
Coach Vegliante told her girls Greeley would probably fill their defensive circle, and her team would have to move the ball in and out and from side to side to be effective. The first ten minutes of Thursday’s game proved how right she was. The Quakers ceded much of midfield to the Garnets, who strung passes together and forced the visitors to give up five penalty corners in quick succession. After the third one, senior Scarlette Karmilowicz had a close-in shot just miss. The fifth corner devolved into a scrum in front of the Greeley net, with sophomore Caroline Doyle eventually netting the goal from close range at the 4:51 mark.
The second quarter played out much like the first. Greeley got their first shot on goal six minutes into the period, with ninth grader Chloe Holden making the pad save. With three minutes to go until the half, senior defender Lily Mann made a great clearance in front of the Rye net, stickhandling out of trouble until she could get the ball clear. The halftime buzzer rang out with the home side still up 1-0.
Coach Vegliante told her center middie to play a little deeper in the second half, but otherwise she kept the team’s tactics as they were. All in all, Rye had been a little faster than Greeley, and put more passes together. Though the Quakers earned a corner five minutes in, the third period saw Rye hold on to their slight territorial advantage. Then, with under three minutes to go in the third, ninth grader Beau Whaling got the ball in the attacking zone to her sister Lilly. The junior forward passed to classmate Rory Baer, who scored the Garnets’ second goal.
In the final quarter of play, the Quakers earned three corners, but couldn’t make a dent in the Garnets’ iron-clad defense on any of them. At the final buzzer, the team rushed out to surround their goalkeeper Holden, who stopped six shots for the shutout.
Afterwards, Coach Vegliante said, “Our defense played lights out and carried us tonight.”