Rye wrecking ball continues its devastating swing through opposition

Fresh off a move up from No. 6 to 4 in the national rankings, the Rye girls’ soccer team showed why they’re so highly touted by thwarting a strong Byram Hills team 1-0 at home October 14.

Lauren McRedmond

Lauren McRedmond

Starting in place of star junior goaltender Tatiana Saunders — overseas in Macedonia, shutting out opponents for England’s U17 National Team at the European Championships — freshman Lexi Hijazi played the role brilliantly and made 10 crucial saves for the shutout.

Junior Catharine Greer had another outstanding game for the Garnets. Not only was she able to shut down the Bobcats’ Danielle Hoffman, a very fast and aggressive striker, but she scored the lone goal by attacking from the back with 24 minutes left.

“Byram always plays tough against us,” said Greer. “Our defense really wanted to play tough to protect Lexi. I am really happy I had the chance to score that goal and keep us out of overtime.”

Junior Carter Talgo once again controlled the middle of the field and pace for Rye, and Kaelyn Lucas’ crafty play enabled her to create opportunities for the Garnets from the outside of the midfield. Senior captain Erin McCarty – a composed, smart, and versatile player – did whatever was necessary to help her team win.

Rye followed up the win against Byram by defeating Valhalla 3-0 October 17 at Nugent Stadium, and then 3-0 again at the Vikings. The wins kept the Garnets unbeaten this season at 13-0-1, as well as extending their 19-game streak dating back to the last year’s playoff run. Rye has now outscored opponents 48-5 since the skein began in late 2008.

The Garnets will finish the regular season at home October 24 against Class B powerhouse Briarcliff. The Bears have a 54-1-1 record in their last 56 games, and are the two-time defending Class B State champions. Like Rye, they returned nearly their entire 2008 squad, and will certainly pose a difficult challenge. After that game, the Garnets will begin their State title defense in the Class A Section playoffs.

“We need make no predictions or assumptions regarding postseason play,” said head coach Rich Savage. “It’s essential for us to be prepared and to play as a team because we know every team will be gunning to beat us. We are working together to put together as many offensive threats as possible so we can be successful come tournament play.”

– Melanie Cane

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