Life is not always fair — a lesson Rye High’s field hockey team learned this season when, despite winning their first two games, they were forced to forfeit those wins because of an administrative paperwork glitch.
By Melanie Cane
Life is not always fair — a lesson Rye High’s field hockey team learned this season when, despite winning their first two games, they were forced to forfeit those wins because of an administrative paperwork glitch. As a result, the Garnets were seeded third instead of second in the Section, which forced them to play the Sectional semifinal at Pearl River, instead of home, November 4. Aside from the obvious disadvantage of playing away, the Garnets had to play on grass, which is slower than turf. Rye overcame all of these obstacles to beat Pearl River 2-1, and the girls are headed to the Sectional finals.
The Garnets went into the semifinal with a lot of intensity and by the five-minute mark they already had three straight corners, but were unable to convert any of them. Shortly thereafter, Pearl River drove one in off a corner to take a 1-0 lead.
At 14:58, Rye’s Fusine Govaert buried a rebound after a scramble to tie the game. Coach Emily Fitzgerald called a time out right after the goal and told the girls to stay calm and play their game. Despite an intense and very physical next 15 minutes, the half ended with the score knotted at one.
Both teams maintained their intensity going into the second half. Rye’s frustration was manifested in Emma Stearns’ two-minute penalty for pushing at the 21-minute mark. The Garnets pushed despite her absence, but missed on four straight corners.
But with the clock winding down and overtime looking inevitable, Govaert scored again on a scramble at 1:05, giving Rye the winning goal.
“It was an incredible win!” said exultant captains Sarah Breckenridge and Mallory Lynch. “We’d only had two practices on grass and had to scramble to adjust to the slower pace. We focused on hitting the ball, instead of pushing it as we do on turf.” They had high praise for the play of Govaert, Emily Antinozzi, and Abby Abate.
Govaert added, “It was a team achievement — everybody played with passion and determination until the very end.”
On November 6, the Garnets face Lakeland in the Section 1, Class B finals at Brewster High School. Although they’ve lost to Lakeland in the last five championships, the Garnets are looking forward to meeting their nemesis. “Everyone looks at us as the underdog, but it’s been our goal all season to play in the finals and the girls have shown they can overcome any obstacle.”