The Rye High Boys’ lacrosse team welcomed their cross-town rivals from Rye Country Day May 7 to a playoff tune-up under the lights at Nugent Stadium.
By Mitch Silver
The Rye High Boys’ lacrosse team welcomed their cross-town rivals from Rye Country Day May 7 to a playoff tune-up under the lights at Nugent Stadium. It was the last home game — designated “G-Day” — before the home side would begin their Section 1 Class B effort as the No. 3 seed.
At the same time, Coach Matt Rosolen’s visitors would use the tilt as preparation for their own Fairchester Athletic Association playoffs. With each side riding a six-game winning streak, it looked to be the game of the year, if not the century. And so it was, for the first 24 minutes.
Billy Chabot, one of three Chabots on the field for Rye, open the scoring less than a minute into the game, when he came left around a double pick and underhanded a shot past the Wildcats’ Sean Price in goal.
Max Manning evened the score by stuffing in a point-blank shot moments later. Middie Tommy Chai put Rye Country Day up when he netted one up top with 39 seconds left in the period. After the first quarter, shots were even at six all.
Garnet junior Teddy Aquilino made it 2-2 80 seconds into the second period, but Manning pounced on a bad clearing pass three minutes later and scored into an empty net. Ryan Kirkpatrick brought Rye level when he took a short feed from fellow junior Bobby Douglas halfway through the period.
With the Garnets starting to dominate the faceoff circle, the home side went up late on a Kirkpatrick blast from ten yards out to Price’s left. The half ended at 4-3, though the shots — 17 for Rye and eight for Rye Country Day — gave a truer picture of the run of play.
At halftime, Rye’s coaching brothers, Brian and Scott Dooley, made a few slight adjustments to deal with the visitors’ zonal defense, anchored by Matt Farber and Will Dodge. The changes paid off… big time. Rye proceed to score at the 5:35 mark, at 4:50, 4:45, 4:09, 1:31, 58.3, and with just six seconds left in the third — a seven-goal blitz that finished the contest for all intents and purposes.
After the final whistle, Coach Rosolen ruefully noted that, with the Garnets winning practically every faceoff, “We hardly saw the ball the whole third quarter. Except when we were taking it out of our net.”
The final period was more of the same, though senior Justin Weissman scored a highlight-reel goal two minutes in with a balletic jump and turn in the air before whipping the ball past Rye captain Daniel Bonaventura. Final score: 14-5, with the Garnets outshooting the Wildcats by 34-14.
“We haven’t played anyone as fast, as athletic, and as technically sound as Rye is,” Coach Rosolen said afterwards. “You hate to lose, but it will stand us in good stead in our own FAA playoffs.”
And so it has. With junior Tommy Chai scoring four times against Hamden Hall and Manning and Weissman three each, the Wildcats went up 6-2 after the first quarter of their semifinal game Monday, May 16. It was 9-8 in the third stanza before the Wildcats clawed back three unanswered. Even so, Hamden Hall had the ball for the last minute of the game, needing only a single score to tie. But thanks to a stout defense and Sean Price’s ten saves in goal, that late HH score never came. The 14-13 win set up Coach Rosolen’s crew for the championship game against St. Luke’s, played post-press time.
The Garnets beat Somers 9-8 in a first round playoff game May 19. Brendan Dugan scored the game winner with seven seconds left off an assist by Hynson.
John Jay ended Rye’s playoff run May 21 with 13-3 victory, leaving Rye 12-6 for the season. Coach Brian Dooley said, “John Jay played very unselfishly and were tough to stop. But, I’m proud of our boys and their growth during the season.”