Monday Round-up: Rye claims League title

On their first day of practice in the summer, the Rye boys’ soccer team decided they wanted to win the League III-B championship. The Garnets (8-3-4) made that goal a reality Monday, October 26, by defeating fiery Port Chester on the road 3-1.

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Tim Lonergan

“This is what we’ve been working on since day one,” said senior captain Tim Lonergan, the cornerstone of the Rye defense. “There couldn’t be a better feeling right now because there isn’t a bigger regular season title than this.”

The Garnets entered the 2009 season as underdogs after graduating a host of seniors who contributed to a storied three-year run at RHS. Lonergan admitted the team has flown under the radar a bit. Now, no matter what happens in the Class A Section playoffs — beginning this Saturday — no one can take the League championship away from this team.

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Mike Linehan makes the save

“Some of those guys that graduated are my best friends,” said Lonergan. “I get to tell them that I’m living their legacy.”

To get to this moment, Rye had to run a gauntlet that culminated in a heated battle between border rivals in the shadow of the breathtaking Port Chester High School building. Senior captain Juan Chang scored the first of Rye’s two first half goals by heading in a throw-in from Lonergan. Later in the half, he assisted on an Adam Larsen strike.

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Luis DelPezo

“I can’t say enough about Adam’s work ethic and attitude,” said head coach Jared Small of the senior midfielder. “The fact that he was able to come off the bench and finish the ball with calmness and composure speaks volumes about his commitment to the team.  He is willing to do anything to contribute to our success and today, his contribution came in the form of one of the biggest goals of the season.”

Senior goalkeeper Mike Linehan made seven saves in the game, and none more exhilirating than his breakaway save in the first half with Rye up 1-0. Brian Coyt got the ball behind the Garnet defense and made a beeline for Linehan, but the savvy senior played it perfectly by coming out and snuffing what looked to be a certain game-tying scenario. Small said Linehan’s performance was in some ways his finest of the season. He praised the goalkeeper for vocal leadership and guts instrumental in Rye’s victory.

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Juan Chang

In the second half, Port Chester attacked early and cut the lead to 2-1 on a goal from senior Luis Mendoza. But any momentum the Rams generated was quickly negated by Rye’s ability to push the right buttons and take advantage of Port Chester’s volatile temperament. Near the corner by Rye’s goal, Lonergan and Coyt went up for a ball and collided in mid-air with Lonergan falling hard to the ground. Upon getting up, Lonergan gave Coyt a slight bump, which immediately caused the Ram to fly off the handle. Coyt shoved Lonergan with two hands in plain view of the referee, and immediately earned himself a red card.

“We knew going in that they were a very intense team and that the right people might go overboard,” said Lonergan. “We never looked back after that red card.”

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Arber Xhema

The Garnets added another goal to ice the game when Lonergan sailed a corner kick to junior defenseman Chris Livingston, who was able to head it in for the 3-1 lead. Livingston was one of many players to chip in a strong performance in the League-clinching victory. Another was sophomore Greg Stern. The youngster was all over the field for Rye, playing like he had no idea he was younger and smaller than most on the pitch.

“Greg had his finest match of the season,” said Small. “He went the full 80 and provided us with tenacity, skill, and heart at the left back position.”

Now the Garnets will enter the Section playoffs among a loaded field of dangerous Class A teams like Byram Hills, Keio Academy, Beacon, Sleepy Hollow, Pearl River, and Lakeland. Small has supreme confidence in his players’ ability to continue this impressive run because of their technical ability and motivation.

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Buck Reynolds

Rye indeed does seem to be peaking at the right time, and one can sense they are battle-tested after this run for the League title.

“We think we’re ready for the Sectionals,” said Linehan. “Every recent game has been big for us, and we are confident that if we play our game we can get the job done.”

* * * * *

Holy Child’s field hockey team lost a 3-2 overtime heartbreaker on the road to Greens Farms Academy. With the score tied 2-2 at the end of regulation, the two teams then played a 10-minute 7-on-7 sudden death period that resulted in a Greens Farms win. Katie Amodio and Helen Brosnan brought the Gryphons back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits, but Greens Farms pulled it out in the end. Bridget Cooney made 10 saves for Holy Child, and Carrigan Henderson made four.

Jessica Wright made 14 saves in goal for the Rye Neck girls’ soccer team, but the Panthers lost 1-0 at Bronxville.

The Rye Country Day boys’ soccer team battled St. Luke’s to a 1-1 draw thanks to a goal from Daniel Friewald. Taylor Washington recorded the assist.

On the road at Corona Park against Trinity, the RCDS girls’ tennis team dropped a 4-3 decision.

ON TAP TODAY

Rye High School
Volleyball @ Ardsley, 4:15

Rye Neck High School
No Games Scheduled

Rye Country Day School
Field Hockey @ Hackley, 4
Girls’ Soccer @ Masters, 4:15

School of the Holy Child
Soccer @ St. Luke’s, 4:15

TEAM RECORDS (W-L-T)

Rye High School
Football (6-1)
Field Hockey (12-2-1)
Boys’ Soccer (8-3-4)
Girls’ Soccer (14-0-2)
Girls’ Swim & Dive (7-0)
Volleyball (10-5)
Girls’ Tennis (7-7)
Boys’ X-C (9-1)
Girls’ X-C (10-0)

Rye Neck High School
Football (3-4)
Field Hockey (3-12)
Boys’ Soccer (8-6)
Girls’ Soccer (6-7-1)
Volleyball (9-8)
Girls’ Tennis (9-3)
Boys’ X-C (8-6)
Girls’ X-C (7-5)

Rye Country Day School
Football (3-3)
Field Hockey (5-4)
Boys’ Soccer (4-2-2)
Girls’ Soccer (5-5-2)
Girls’ Tennis (4-4)
Boys’ X-C (1-1)
Girls’ X-C (1-2)

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

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