With the Section playoffs just around the bend, the Rye girls’ lacrosse team headed to Ossining May 12 for the penultimate game of the regular season. Prior to the contest, head coach Lisa Zweigenhaft emphasized the importance of playing hard and cohesive, while using the match-up as postseason test drive.
Rye took Zweigenhaft’s message to heart, and defeated the Indians 15-8.
It seemed it would be a back-and-forth affair early on, with the score knotted 3-3 after 15 minutes of play. The Garnets controlled the tempo offensively with swift passing and speed, but Ossining’s goalie had a fantastic first half, stopping an array of point-blank shots to keep her team in the game.
Rye’s offense was relentless towards the end of the half, however, and the team opened a three-goal lead and never looked back. Ossining’s keeper was still blocking shots, but the defense around her could not scoop up the loose balls. In her halftime speech, Zweigenhaft urged her team to put the pedal to the metal in round two.
“I told the girls a three-goal lead isn’t much in lacrosse,” she said. “And I added that we had to keep playing together while running our plays correctly.”
The pep talk seemed to work, as the Garnets came out firing on all cylinders. After Ossining cut the lead to 7-5 in the opening two minutes, Rye senior captain Brittany McCormack answered less than 60 seconds later. It was the first goal in a 5-0 run that spanned five minutes and allowed the Garnets to put the game away. Rye was at their absolute best during the stretch – their rapid attack was simply too much for Ossining to contend with.
Junior Emma Brinkman – one of the team’s most impressive players – finished the run with a lightning-fast sweeping attack on goal that gave Rye a 12-5 lead with 17 minutes to go. She ended up with four goals and two assists. Laurel Kennedy chipped in three goals.
The Garnets controlled the ball in their half of the field for the remainder, spreading out passes that squeezed the final minutes off the scoreboard.
“We played composed today, we talked together and communicated well,” said McCormack. “We had a good warm-up before the game and we all knew we needed to play as a team in order to prepare ourselves for Sectionals.”
— By Bryan Byrne
(Photos by Wilson Hunt)