Rye Sticks It to Harrison, 13-5

Friday, the 15th was cold in Harrison despite the sun, but the Garnets were hot – eight different players scored to thump the Huskies 13-5.

Coming off season-opening losses to John Jay-Cross River (10-6), Iona Prep (10-7), and Somers (7-5), Rye’s stickhandling and passing were crisper than they’ve been all year. It paid off with 5:40 left in the opening stanza when senior Briggs Barton came around the net from the goalie’s left and whipped a lefty, underhand shot that connected.

Senior captains Christian Bonaventura, Michael Collins, Matt McReddie, and Max Bonsall

A fast break off the ensuing faceoff led to a Garnet shot that bounced off the pipe, but Rye was not to be denied. In rapid succession came a terrific cross-field pass that freshman Chris Santangelo put away, a spectacular, falling, lefty goal by Greg Stern, and Briggs again, surprising the keeper by going high this time.

Half a minute later it was Stern again, scoring twice in swift succession. On the one that gave him his hat trick, with a minute left, Rye’s junior attackman sent a nifty shot that went high to low, skipping past Harrison’s netminder for a 6-0 lead.

Game over? Not quite.

The homestanding Huskies regrouped in the second period, taking advantage of some sloppy play to dent Rye’s net three times, while seniors Mike Collins, bound for Binghamton next year, and Matt McReddie countered for the Garnets. When the horn sounded, the score was 8-3. Rye coach Brian Dooley, asked what he was going to work on with his team at halftime, quipped, “Stick skills.”

When the teams came back from their break, Harrison held the upper hand, and the ball, for 2 ½ minutes before scoring. Another quick series of passes off a restart made it 8-5, and the tide was turning.

That’s when Barton, like Moses, turned it back. At 5:30 he scored on one of his patented lefty whip-arounds. He did it again on a broken play after a Huskies’ foul.

When sophomore Jack Hasselmann bounced one in with Rye a man up, and midfielder Christian Bonaventura scored 40 seconds later, still with a man advantage, it was all over but the shouting. Which, incidentally, was led by Rye City Manager Scott Pickup, cheering with his family for the Garnets and son Brian.

Senior Jack O’Callaghan turned 12-5 to 13-5 when he sent his defender the wrong way and put the biscuit in the basket. Meanwhile, Rye’s pair of netminders, Peter White and Gwynne Spencer, looked good, with Spencer making six stops on the day.

On the way to join his winning team, coach Dooley was asked how it felt to beat an archrival. He smiled. “I’m just happy to get a win.”

Unfortunately, Rye lost a squeaker the following afternoon to non-League Lakeland/Panas, 8-7.

The Garnets travel to Horace Greeley for a League encounter April 23.

— Mitch Silver

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