Rye Neck Girls’ Sports
Panther Soccer and Field Hockey Squads Fall in Quarterfinals
By Mitch Silver
Tuesday was a glass-is-half-full day in Rye Neck sports. First, the positive: Both the girls’ soccer and field hockey teams played their first Sectional quarterfinal games in a while. Sad to say, both teams lost to higher-ranked opponents.
The 5th-seeded locals traveled up to fourth-ranked North Salem for an epic battle of the sticks. The teams were all-even at the half, with goalie Natalie Sutter on her way to a seven-save game. Then, Kiki DeModna scored for the Tigers seven minutes after the break, and Coach Amy Magaletti’s crew could never claw that goal back.
Still, when a team with only three seniors — Sofia Botsacos, Sirsha O’Day, and Jazzy Cores — and a sophomore like Sutter between the pipes can produce a winning record, it’s clear Rye Neck fortunes are on the way up. In fact, they gave evidence of their growing strength when they lost by a single goal early in the season to Bronxville, the perennial Class C power and this year’s top-seeded team in the playoffs once again.
Meanwhile, that other Amy — second-year Head Coach Bushnell — guided her soccer squad to the quarters as well. They got there by coming back in the second half of their tournament opener against Dobbs Ferry After giving up a goal off a free kick, the Panthers regrouped. With 20 minutes left in the game, sophomore Maddy Murray sent a beautiful cross into the box from the right wing and Olivia Auffarth…make that freshman Olivia Auffarth!..neatly put it home for her 11th goal of the season. A few minutes later, after a scramble in front, the ball slipped through to Naomi Young, another sophomore, who slotted the ball far post for her first goal of the season. And what a time to score it.
The team wasn’t as fortunate in the quarters, meeting top-seed Pleasantville. Un-Pleasantville ran up six goals on the young team from Rye Neck. Coach Bushnell was philosophical afterwards.
“Pleasantville was a very good team. They were strong and quick and knew how to create dangerous scoring opportunities. They challenged us in a variety of ways and although we adjusted nicely to prevent many of their scoring threats, they were able to still sneak a few goals by us.
“Overall, we had a wonderful season, finishing 9-8-1. With a lot of young talent on our team, Coach Trina Moroni and I are looking forward to what the next few years have in store for us.”
The Panthers gave North Salem all they could handle.
Sonia Finkenberg goes up against Bronxville.
Ninth grader Olivia Auffarth had a strong first campaign.
Ava Meier shows off her technique.