By Mitch Silver
The Rye Garnets Girls’ Soccer team prolonged their time in the Sectional finals as much as they could, holding Clarkstown North to a 0-0 tie at Nyack High School October 31 after center midfielder and senior co-captain Hannah Bertisch went out of the game early with a torn ACL. Rye High, the No. 2 seed in Class A after winning their league title, kept the game tied going into penalty kicks, where the Rams prevailed 4-2. However, Section 1 rules decree that both teams, when tied after overtime, are considered co-champs. So, the Garnets received a championship plaque, their second in two years.
After the game, Head Coach Rich Savage said, “This season, Rye Girls’ Soccer really came together as a team. There was strong senior leadership, who were excellent role models for the four freshmen and seven sophomores on the squad. Every athlete on the team played an important role to this season’s 16-1-3 record, with a league championship and a Sectional title.
“Of course, I would have liked Hannah to be able to finish her high school career on the pitch and not be injured on the sideline. She was certainly one of the key members of the squad who led Rye to the Sectional final match with 33 teams competing in Class A. From the starting lineup to the players on the bench, Rye Girls’ Soccer played as a complete team. The record may soon be forgotten, but the relationships formed this season will last a lifetime. I am proud of the way this team competed and supported each other, both on and off the field.”
The Garnets won their opening playoff game against Byram Hills 2-0. Ninth grader Bowyn Brown and Reilly Traynor each had a goal. Alex Verna and Bertisch both had assists. Junior Bell Jackson had four saves in the shutout win.
The win moved Rye into the quarterfinals against Horace Greeley, a game they won with a strong second half, 4-1. Traynor converted a penalty kick, and the Garnets quickly got two more goals in the next eight minutes to put the game away. Senior co-captain Anabelle Thomas scored a goal and added an assist.
The victory earned Rye a berth in the semifinals October 28, where they faced Pearl River at home. The Pirates, a physically big team, were ranked fifth in the State. They had the Garnets, missing three starters due to injury, on their heels for much of the first half. Then, 15 minutes before the end of the game, Rye scored. Sophomore Della Goodman took a pass from Brown and launched a shot from 25 yards out that glanced off the keeper’s outstretched hands and into the net. The Garnets spent the final quarter hour holding off the Pirates’ attempts to even the score.
Hannah Bertisch’s father, Michael Bertisch, noted, “This team also won the Southern Westchester Large School Regional Championship last season. In addition, three of the seniors did not lose a single league game in their four years.
“This year, their season came to an untimely and unfortunate end. In the Section final, Hannah was fouled and tore her ACL minutes into the game. They had completely dominated play in the game to that point. Rye’s outstanding defense (led by Traynor, Harvey, and Jackson) held and delivered yet another shutout.
“This was an amazing team loaded with underclasswomen, and was the most
cohesive bunch of girls Rye has seen in a long time. I’m completely biased, no doubt, but this team’s success over the past two seasons and the way in which they won (and very rarely lost) together, inspired all of us.”
Coach Savage added, “All the returning players are excited to get ready for the 2022 season.”