With Loss to Pelham, Garnets Crash Out of Playoffs

In a stunning turn of events, the Rye boys’ soccer team let a 3-1 second-half lead at home slip through their fingers on their way to losing their opening Sectional tilt to the 11th-seeded Pelham Pelicans, 4-3, October 28.

Published November 11, 2011 9:29 PM
3 min read

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bsocthumbIn a stunning turn of events, the Rye boys’ soccer team let a 3-1 second-half lead at home slip through their fingers on their way to losing their opening Sectional tilt to the 11th-seeded Pelham Pelicans, 4-3, October 28.

 

By Mitch Silver

 

In a stunning turn of events, the Rye boys’ soccer team let a 3-1 second-half lead at home slip through their fingers on their way to losing their opening Sectional tilt to the 11th-seeded Pelham Pelicans, 4-3, October 28.

bosoccer1As is sometimes the case, an early, easy goal may have led to the Garnets’ undoing. Just 80 seconds into the game under the lights at Nugent Stadium, Mattheus Gomes slipped a pass to Kamal Logue on the left in the attacking third. Logue’s cross found Sean Pinson at the keeper’s side, and the attacker’s header just made it over the line off the goalie’s fingers for the score.

 

It looked to be Sean Pinson Day when, 13 minutes later, the speedy junior blocked a pass attempt at midfield and outraced everyone with the ball before sliding a low shot past the keeper for a 2-0 Rye advantage.

 

Three minutes later, an errant Greg Stern clearance ended up on a Pelham foot with Rye keeper Liam Harris out of position. It was Stern himself who came to the rescue, blocking the shot on the goal line to preserve the two-goal margin.

 

The game turned early in the second half, however, when Harris barely tipped a long free kick onto his crossbar. The rebound came to Pelham’s Ottavio Basso, and he slammed it home to make it 2-1.

 

Five minutes later, Logue took advantage of confusion on the Pelicans’ back line to put Rye up 3-1. However, a one-sided game had become an even contest, and Pelham’s Aiden Murray was making repeated forays into the Garnets’ penalty area. The pressure paid off at 27:47 when James Edwards deflected in a corner kick to cut the margin to a goal once more. Exactly a minute later, after a Garnet defender overran the ball in the corner, Murray beat Harris at the near post.

 

The score stayed knotted at 3-3 through the end of regulation.

 

Rye’s best chance in overtime came with two minutes left in the first of the two 15-minute periods. Senior midfielder and leading Garnet scorer Mattheus made one of his patented moves with the ball along the Pelham end line before slamming a shot off the goalpost to the keeper’s left.
Four minutes after the teams changed sides, Murray picked up the ball on his own side of midfield and raced down the right-hand side. Keeping possession under heavy pressure, he finally let loose a low shot to the near corner that Harris couldn’t stop.

 

After the game, head coach Jared Small had this to say: “We played a great first half from a defensive standpoint. Ultimately, we lost our defensive identity at the worst possible moment.”

 

He continued, “For the first time in my years as coach, we were put into the easy section of the bracket and the path to the finals was significantly easier than it would have been on the other side. In the end, I am most disappointed by the fact that we had the players and chemistry to achieve so much more than we did.”

 

As it turned out, third-seeded Beacon lost its first-round game, so the Garnets would have played a much lower seed in the next round. But Pelham was a lower seed too, and it was not to be.

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