Impressive Wildcats Shut Out Rival King in Season Opener

For the Rye Country Day boys’ soccer team, a unit with dreams of a postseason coronation, there was not a more fitting way to begin the season than by defeating King at home September 15. The Wildcats controlled the game from start to finish and shut out their rivals, 2-0.

Taylor Washington shows off his wheels

In a sneak preview of the havoc he’s prepared to unleash on the Fairchester Athletic Association, Taylor Washington scored both goals for Rye Country Day. The senior captain displayed blazing speed and a diverse arsenal of tricks, the combination of which left many a defender dumfounded in his wake. Washington put the Wildcats on the board when he scored on a penalty kick in the 35th minute. He was tackled after getting behind the defense, courtesy a perfect through ball from sophomore forward Billy Ostrau.

“Ostrau’s pass was off the hook,” said Washington. “It’s his first year on varsity and he has so much skill and talent that he’ll be setting up and scoring goals all season. The PK allowed us to play with a little less pressure and a lot more confidence for the rest of the game.”

Washington knifed through King’s defense to add a second goal in the 76th minute on an assist from Matt Stevens, a senior returning from an ankle injury.

Goalkeeper Jon Karp also had a banner day for Rye Country Day. The junior made nine saves, including a handful in mid-air near the end of the second half. Both head coach Cristiano Pereira and Washington praised Karp’s effort, and noted that a relentless defensive unit aided him. Michael Walsh, Alex Gendelman, Shayne Bingham, Marco Prouve, Brenton Howland, and Ignacio de Lara all played critical roles in the shutout.

“Walsh and Gendelman ran hard for the entire 90 minutes, making plays all over the field,” said Washington. “Walsh won a ton of 50/50 balls and broke up plays in the midfield. Gendelman made incredible plays on both sides of the ball, including the most critical one. While standing on the far post of the goal line, he headed a sure goal out of the net – best play of the game.”

Alex Gendelman and Michael Walsh

Prouve, the other senior captain, also saved his team on a few occasions by cleaning up a few breakdowns. As the last man to beat before Karp, Prouve locked down attackers by refusing to let them turn the corner.

“I am really proud of our team’s first win,” said Washington. “Every one of our players came to win and fought hard for it against a solid King. The Wildcat tradition under coach has always been about hard work, team, and playing soccer the right way. We will have a lot of fun together along the way to the FAA championship – we have great team chemistry this year.”

Rye Country Day’s next game is at home against talented Mamaroneck September 25.

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