Rye Country Day Girls’ Soccer

By Melanie Cane

Football players are not the only athletes prone to head injuries. Three girls on Rye Country Day’s Soccer team are sidelined with concussions. The three players are all starting seniors, one attacker and two midfielders. Their absence has forced Coach Alin Andrei to make major adjustments, including pulling up players from the Junior Varsity team.

In their home game against Greenwich Academy October 14, the Wildcats fought a tough battle against a top FAA team, but lost 2-0.

The game was action-packed, but scoreless until the final ten minutes. Both teams played with a fast-paced intensity and determination. In the first half, both teams got off multiple shots. Wildcat goalie Juliette Grasso made several diving saves that motivated her team to play even harder.

The teams hit the field with equal ferocity in the second half. The Wildcats had more shot opportunities than their foes, but were unable to finish. Senior striker Jenna Cohn had several near misses, including one from the left corner and one in front of the net. Gator goalie Ella Fugelsang made a diving stop at the left cross post and Gator defender Phoebe Casey headed Cohn’s other shot away from the net. Then senior Wildcat Maggie Sharpe hit the cross post on a breakaway diagonal rocket from the right side. Wildcat sophomores Isa Stronki and Laura Baine shot several times.

With ten minutes left, Greenwich Academy scored on a corner penalty kick. Coach Andrei said a Gator player held Grasso’s arm so she could not make the save. After the goal he switched up his formation moving one of the four defenders to midfield to aid the offense.

Unfortunately, Greenwich Academy scored a second goal a few minutes later. On that goal, a Wildcat defender accidentally blocked Grasso from picking up the ball when she was shielding the ball with her body.

Tri-captain Therese Mooney was proud that her team never gave up. “We proved to ourselves that we could dominate. The younger, less-experienced players on offense are willing to give up the glory of scoring and selflessly pass the ball, but we are working on that!”

Mooney praised Stronski for an excellent game at midfield, and sophomore Laura Baine for being aggressive and creating scoring opportunities.

Coach Andrei thought it was a very well-played game. “Our defense, especially Maddie Zuber and Juliette Grasso, who played the best game of her career, carried the team.”

Jenna Cohn in front of the Greenwich Academy net

Maggie Sharpe moving the ball in midfield