Archive for the ‘RNHS Boys' Soccer’ Category

Panthers Relinquish Section Championship to Broncos, 4-1

November 19, 2010

The Rye Neck boys’ soccer team fell to a bigger, stronger, more technically adept Bronxville unit 4-1 in the Class B Section championship at SUNY Purchase November 6. Seeking revenge for their semifinal loss last year to this same gritty Panthers’ squad — the only time they’ve missed the finals in the last five years — the second-seeded Broncos kept the pressure on from the opening whistle, finally breaking through on a brilliantly-executed corner kick low to the near post at the 25-minute mark.


Ivan Martinez, The Athlete Behind Rye Neck’s Soccer Renaissance

November 4, 2010

Ever since he first suited up in black, blue, and white as a member of the Rye Neck boys’ soccer team, Ivan Martinez has been a human highlight reel for the varsity squad.

In 2008, as a freshman, Martinez led the Panthers in scoring and netted the game-winning overtime goal in the Section quarterfinals that propelled the scrappy underdogs all the way to the finals. Martinez overcame a bout with mononucleosis to return late in his sophomore season, giving Rye Neck the push they needed to win their first Section title in 10 years. In the opening round of the State tournament, Martinez – mired in heavy traffic – dished the assist that put the Panthers in the Regional final.

Ivan Martinez

Now a junior, Martinez has the reigning Section champions back in the playoffs, hungry to defend their title and return to States.


Rye Neck Student-Athletes Save the World, One Soccer Ball at a Time

May 18, 2010

It all began when Zac Belok, a 16-year-old Spackenkill High School student, visited Argentina and gave a local child a soccer ball as a gift. The Argentinean was so overwhelmed with joy that Belok decided then and there to try his best to spread that same feeling to everyone.

That was the genesis of “Amigos de Fútbol”, an organization that aims to collect new and used soccer equipment in Hudson Valley schools to send to impoverished families in Argentina. David Mendoza-Conner and Ivan Martinez, stars on the Panthers’ Section championship soccer team, answered the bell at Rye Neck High School and are currently spearheading collections throughout the campus.

David Mendoza-Conner and Ivan Martinez

David Mendoza-Conner and Ivan Martinez

“It means a great deal to me to be able to help those who are less fortunate,” said Mendoza-Conner, a junior and Team Captain for the ADF effort at Rye Neck. “I know I definitely do not take things for granted, and being able to help children in South America who have nothing to play with inspires me to be a better person. When I think about those who can’t even play because they do not have equipment, I experience one of the saddest feelings I have ever encountered. To not be able to play a simple game such as soccer due to lack of equipment is mind-boggling.”


Panthers Blaze an Unforgettable Path to State Tournament

November 17, 2009

It goes without saying that the Rye Neck boys’ soccer team took their Class B Regional final loss to Center Moriches hard. The Long Island school’s 2-1 victory November 14 at Arlington High School ended a dream run for the Panthers.

What the team will remember down the road, however, is not that loss, but the indelible journey that concluded with them joining the elite eight in all of New York State.

“We told the kids at the beginning of this season that last year was over and to concentrate on what was ahead of them,” said co-head coach Bryan Iacovelli, who led the Panthers to the Section final in 2008. “This was a different team with a different make-up that improved as the season went on and peaked at just the right time. Coach Frank Gizzo and I knew that when their own expectations met ours, that’s when they would realize what they were truly capable of.”

Panthers celebrate their Section championship victory (Photo courtesy McWilton family)

The Panthers – seeded sixth in the Section playoffs – returned to the Class B championship game with three consecutive playoff victories, including a 2-0 win over No. 7 Bronxville, the reigning State champs, in the semifinals. Bronxville ousted Rye Neck from the final the previous year in a 5-1 rout. The Panthers held a 1-0 lead for most of the game November 5, until senior Adam Gutierrez dished to Ivan Martinez for a clinching goal in the 76th minute.


Rye Neck and RCDS Soccer Teams Prepared for Playoff Battles

November 13, 2009

We have a light schedule this weekend with the autumn season coming to a close, but those games on tap are big ones. The Rye Neck boys’ soccer team (12-6) will battle Long Island’s Center Moriches (15-3-1) Saturday at Arlington High School in the Regional Final. The winner of the game, slated for 4 p.m., will advance to the State semifinals. Rye Country Day’s boys’ soccer team will also be featured in a heated playoff battle Saturday. The second-seeded school will face top-seeded St. Luke’s on the road at noon in the finals of the Fairchester Athletic Association. The Wildcats will be going for their fifth FAA title in the last six years.

Rye Country Day’s football team faces Hopkins at home. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

Morning Round-up: Panthers Advance to Regional Finals

November 11, 2009

The Rye Neck boys’ soccer team is now three wins away from a New York State championship. They defeated Section 9’s O’Neill 2-0 Tuesday at Arlington High School, which is outside of Poughkeepsie. Their Regional quarterfinal victory advances them to the Regional finals, where Section 11’s Center Moriches (15-3-1) awaits. Center Moriches defeated Cold Spring Harbor in their Regional semifinal 1-0 to win the battle of Long Island. The two winners will meet Saturday at Arlington for a spot in the State semifinals.

After nearly 74 minutes of frustration, Rye Neck forward Adam Gutierrez finally cashed in with 6:20 remaining on an assist from sophomore Ivan Martinez. Martinez delivered a near perfect pass despite some serious congestion around him. Gutierrez banged it in, and the relief washed over.

“It was extremely frustrating,” said the striker, whose scoring opportunities were victimized by the crossbar, O’Neill’s goalie, and his own misfires throughout the contest. “But we ended up getting the win and we feel really good right now.”

Gutierrez added an insurance goal in the 78th minute after Phillipe Adam jammed an O’Neill player at midfield and blasted a pass down the pitch.

“I told the boys persistence and hard work pays off,” said co-head coach Frank Gizzo. “The didn’t give up and kept plugging away — that’s all you can ask for. I’m very proud of all the boys. We continue to gel more and more with each game.”


Morning Round-up: Rye Neck Enters Regional Play

November 10, 2009

Now that they’ve wrapped up Rye Neck’s first boys’ soccer Section championship since 1999, the Panthers enter the State fray beginning today in the Regional semifinals. Rye Neck will face Section 9’s O’Neill at 3:30 p.m. at Arlington High School. They are four wins away from a Class B State title.

SPORTS-RN Goaltender

Rye Neck goalkeeper Dalton Mendes


Morning Round-up: Weekend of Ups and Downs

November 8, 2009

It was a weekend of ups and downs for our local teams in playoff competition.

The Rye girls’ soccer team finished the 2009 season unbeaten at 17-0-3 and won a share of the Class A Section title. In a painstaking turn of events, however, they did not advance from Saturday’s Class A Section title game and will be unable to defend their State championship. Second-seeded Eastchester moved on by edging the Garnets in penalty kicks at Yorktown High School. Rye had taken a 1-0 lead with 23 minutes to go, but the Eagles quickly responded six minutes later.


Lia Bellizzi

Rye’s field hockey team also fell in their Section championship game. Top-seeded Lakeland defeated the No. 2 Garnets 3-0 for the B title at Manhattanville Sunday. The Hornets and Rye met in the first game of the season, with the Garnets erasing a 3-0 lead to finish with a 3-3 tie. Lakeland clamped down yesterday, and there was no comeback in the cards for Rye.


Morning Round-up: Garnets Back in Section Final

November 6, 2009
For the second consecutive year, the Rye girls’ soccer (17-0-2) team is going back to the Class A Section final. The Garnets — reigning State, Regional and Section champs — defeated fifth-seeded Byram Hills 3-1 at home. Lia Bellizzi, Natalie Moore, and Maddy Chabot scored for top-seeded Rye, and Tatiana Saunders made six saves in net. Now the Garnets will face No. 2 seed Eastchester Saturday at Yorktown High School in the Class A finale. Rye has not lost in 25 games dating back to last season’s postseason title run.
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The Garnets are headed back to Yorktown

Unfortunately, the Rye boys’ soccer team was not able to defeat Byram Hills in the Class A Section semifinal. The fourth-seeded Garnets (9-4-5) lost 1-0 to No. 1 Byram Hills on the road. Head coach Jared Small e-mailed over the following:


Morning Round-up: Swim team finishes second at Section championships

November 5, 2009

The Rye girls’ swimming and diving team finished second to Ursuline at the Section 1 championships at Felix Festa Middle School in Nyack. The Garnets ended up with 194.50 points, 91.5 back of first place. Rye swimmers placed in the top three of three different races. Freshman sensation Melissa Fulenwider was amazing in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 53.29, which was just .18 back of the Section champ’s time. Fulenwider also tied for third in the 50-yard freestyle event. Courtney Ciardiello took third place in the 200-yard freestyle race. Check back here later — as well as in the November 20 edition of The Rye Record — for complete coverage of Rye’s stellar performance at the Section championships.