New mayor, same result. For the eighth consecutive year, the Rye High boys’ lacrosse team hoisted the Mayor’s Cup by defeating crosstown rival Rye Country Day in the 11th annual meeting between the schools. This time it was a 13-6 victory in favor of the Garnets.
Unlike last year’s clash, when RHS trailed until scoring four unanswered goals in the final quarter, the Garnets quickly took control and led wire to wire at home May 1 in Nugent Stadium. Rye improved to 4-5 while dealing the Wildcats their first loss of the season, the same thing that happened last year.
“It’s always exciting to play against them,” said RHS co-head coach Scott Dooley. “Our kids know we lose players to private schools every year, and there is also a big incentive to win when you’re playing against guys who are your neighbors. It’s all the more reason to get out there and go hard. Winning never gets old anyway, but beating them sure doesn’t.”
The Garnets jumped out to a 3-0 lead with less than six minutes gone in the first quarter. Senior captain Cole McCormack scored first by scooping his own rebound and firing on goal. Junior Jack O’Callaghan netted the first of his three goals two minutes later on a dish from junior captain Matt McReddie, and then – as the beneficiary of a beautiful passing sequence – sophomore Greg Stern connected for the first of his own three goals. McCormack ignited the drive by winning the face-off and charging upfield. He then passed the ball to Briggs Barton, who dished it to O’Callaghan, who immediately zipped it to Stern for the score.
“Throughout the year we try to put puzzle pieces together,” said Dooley. “We try to see where guys fit and on Saturday, things started to come together a little bit.”
Rye’s record was 4-4 after beating the Wildcats last year, and they did not lose another game until the Section final. Dooley noted that the story has been similar each year for the Garnets, so it should be no surprise if their victory against RCDS spurs them to a similar winning streak.
Rye Country Day was led by senior captain Chris Seter and sophomore Mike Walsh, who each had two goals.
Head coach Matt Rosolen admitted he was disappointed with sloppy play early in the game. “Our effort and intensity was there, but Rye just had too many skilled athletes on the field,” said Rosolen. “They especially hurt us with their midfield. Their ability to drive from up top and put pressure on our defense created a lot of goals.”
Behind O’Callaghan and Stern’s six total goals, McReddie and junior Christian Bonaventura each netted a pair of scores to go with an assist apiece. O’Callaghan also recorded three assists.
For the first time since the Mayor’s Cup was originally played, a mayor other than Steve Otis awarded the victors the titular cup. Mayor Doug French was more than happy to preside over this year’s battle.
“It was a great privilege to have a game played in my honor, and I want to thank the boosters for holding the event,” said Mayor French. “As I told the players after the game, this is what they live for – not just the Cup, but for bragging rights here in Rye.
“I want to congratulate both teams for their sportsmanship in a hard-fought and well-played contest,” he continued. “It was an exciting game and I remained neutral throughout. Now I know what Mayor Bloomberg feels like when the Yankees play the Mets.”