Morning Round-up: Rye upends State finalist Harrison

The Rye boys’ soccer team (5-2-4) put together 80 minutes of skilled and  physical play in a 2-0 win over league rival Harrison. In front of a large and spirited crowd under the lights at Harrison High School, the Garnets took a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute when Adam Larsen delicately chipped a ball over the Husky defense to an opportunistic Buck Reynolds. The sequence actually began 30 seconds earlier when Kenneth Chang stripped a Harrison player at midfield and played a beautiful ball to the right flank. Chris Livingston displayed his usual deft touch, settled the ball, and swung it back to the left side of the field to Larsen. For Reynolds, the goal was his team leading 5th of the season (tied with Juan Chang). For Larsen, the assist was his first to go along with one goal at Valhalla earlier in the season.

Ten minutes into the second half, Chris Livingston extended the lead to 2-0 when he headed a 45 yard lofted set piece from Tim Lonergan just past the outstretched arms of Husky goalkeeper Etienne Ducasse. The match was far from over, however, as the Huskies made a feverish charge at the behest of all-State striker Bryan Merlos and center-midfielder and playmaker Ivan Cabrera. At each step, the Garnet defense was up to the challenge, as center back Tim Lonergan repeatedly shut down the hard-charging and lightning quick Merlos. For Lonergan, the performance was perhaps his best to date in what has amounted to a remarkably strong senior season. Goalkeeper Michael Linehan parried a well-struck Cabrera free kick in the 65th minute to keep the shutout intact, and defenders JP Barrett, Ian Robinson, Stefan Woort-Menker, and Henry Gager were admirable in their willingness to throw body and limb in front of countless Harrison shots. In the center of the pitch, the triumvirate of Brandon Robinson, Luis Del Pezo, and Arber Xhema did well to contain Cabrera and his Harrison counterparts.

Perhaps the story of the night was the contribution of many less heralded, but extremely valuable players. Derek Totten continued to make an impact, logging 31 key minutes up front in place of the injured Juan Chang, who left the match in the 12th minute and did not return. Kenneth Chang also logged a season high 25 minutes and did not disappoint, while seniors Matt Kao and Mac Gager also proved crucial to the final outcome.

The win goes a long way in boosting Rye’s confidence as it heads into the final stretch of a challenging regular season schedule. The road doesn’t get easier from here, however, as Rye has a quick 20 hour turnaround in advance of its annual match with national powerhouse Martin Luther King, Jr. The Garnets upset the #4 ranked Knights a year ago and will need to find their finest form if they are to harbor repeat upset dreams in 2009. MLK, under the leadership of legendary coach Martin Jacobson, has compiled a 307-19-11 record over the past 15 years and is primed to make a run at a 12th consecutive New York City championship. No strangers to national media attention, the Knights have been the feature of an ESPN documentary, subject of several Fox Soccer episodes, and most recently stars of a web-based reality series that airs every Wednesday (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/high_school/kingsofthecity/index.html). Saturday’s kickoff is slated for 3 p.m. at Nugent Stadium.

Looking ahead, Rye will host several crucial league matches in the next two weeks. Byram Hills comes to Nugent Stadium on Thursday, October 15 at 5:30pm and Harrison looks for payback on Wednesday, October 21 at 5:30pm.

The Rye Neck field hockey team earned a 2-1 win on the road against Holy Child Friday afternoon. Aly Luiso and Claire Behar scored for the Panthers, and Jenna Cohen and freshman Athena Nathan both had assists, earning notable recognition by their coach for hustle and effort. Holy Child scored the first goal 5 minutes into the game, and the Panthers retaliated at 16 minutes into the first half and then with 41 seconds left in the first half. The game had special meaning because Gryphons’ head coach Barbara Lorys was the former head coach at Rye Neck. Lorys played a huge role in their State championship successses.

“We’re grateful for the competition and plan to continue the tradition of playing this non-league game which brings out sentimental meaning for both teams,” said current Rye Neck head coach Nikki Bolnik.

Sophomore Yasmina Gorchane played strong in the goal, but only tallied 2 saves.

On the turf at Nugent Stadium, Rye’s football team improved to 4-1 by thrashing previously unbeaten Roosevelt 49-26. Senior captain Cole McCormack had a huge night, rushing 23 times for 178 yards and three touchdowns. Junior captain Connor Eck had 162 yards through the air. The Garnets’ win only further muddled the Class A-South picture. It appears as if four teams — Rye, Harrison, Roosevelt, and Eastchester — have an equal crack at the League title, and it’s anyone’s guess as to who ends up Section champion. Up next for Rye is Harrison on the road October 17. Harrison lost to Roosevelt, but defeated Eastchester, who as we all know ended the Garnets’ win and Section 1 streaks earlier this season. You figure it out.

At Hamden Hall, Rye Country Day’s field hockey team lost their first game of the season 2-1. Hannah Lowentheil scored for the Wildcats on an assist from Amanda Shulman. Kate Moelis made 13 saves in net for the Wildcats.

In boys’ soccer, Rye Neck lost to Briarcliff on the road 2-1, but Rye Country Day was able to squash Masters on the road, 4-0. Junior Taylor Washington had a goal and two assists for the Wildcats.

Although Rye Neck’s girls’ soccer team lost 2-0 to undefeated Briarcliff on the road, senior captain Jessica Wright made a jaw-dropping 27 saves in goal for the Panthers.

Rye’s volleyball team lost 3- (25-15, 25-14, 25-17) at home to Byram Hills.

ON TAP THIS WEEKEND

SATURDAY

Rye High School
Boys’ Soccer vs. Martin Luther King, Jr., 3
Field Hockey vs. Non-League Opponent, 7

Rye Neck High School
Football vs. Bronxville, 3

Rye Country Day School
Girls’ Soccer vs. Millbrook, 3

School of the Holy Child
Cross-Country @ Manhattan College Invitational, TBA

SUNDAY

Rye High School
No Games Scheduled

Rye Neck High School
No Games Scheduled

Rye Country Day School
Football @ Hackley, 1

School of the Holy Child
No Games Scheduled

TEAM RECORDS (W-L-T)

Rye High School
Football (4-1)
Field Hockey (7-1-1)
Boys’ Soccer (5-2-4)
Girls’ Soccer (10-0-1)
Girls’ Swim & Dive (6-0)
Volleyball (7-4)
Girls’ Tennis (7-7)
Boys’ X-C (9-1)
Girls’ X-C (9-0)

Rye Neck High School
Football (2-2)
Field Hockey (3-7)
Boys’ Soccer (7-5)
Girls’ Soccer (4-5-1)
Volleyball (6-6)
Girls’ Tennis (9-2)
Boys’ X-C (8-6)
Girls’ X-C (7-5)

Rye Country Day School
Football (2-1)
Field Hockey (3-1)
Boys’ Soccer (3-1-2)
Girls’ Soccer (3-3-1)
Girls’ Tennis (3-2)
Boys’ X-C (1-1)
Girls’ X-C (1-2)

School of the Holy Child
Field Hockey (5-2-3)
Soccer (3-6-1)
Volleyball (2-4)
X-C (8-5)

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