By Melanie Cane
At the conclusion of a stellar regular season that saw 21 of 24 Garnets score, the Rye High Soccer Girls’ Soccer team headed into playoffs with a league championship, undefeated in their league, and a top seed.
In their first game against Ardsley, October 24 Rye won 8-0 and those final three players scored, making it 24 of 24. Three days later, they beat Pelham 3-1 in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinals, the Garnets fought a very tough battle against Somers, last year’s Section runners-up. The Tuskers’ center back repeatedly kicked the ball in the air from one end of the field to the other, but Rye’s defense, led by goalie Hannah Friedrich and her twin sister, Lilly, protected their goal to maintain a scoreless first half.
Shortly after the start of the second half, the Tuskers found the back of the net with a corner kick. Rye fought back and began to play the ball on the ground, outrunning their defenders. Mia McGinty made an unbelievable surge towards the goal and was fouled in the box. Molly Broderick put a penalty shot away to tie the game. Her little brother, Tommy, who was a ball boy on the sideline, whispered, “Oh no, this is so much pressure for Molly!”
The Garnets continued to attack, and with eight minutes left in the game, Lilly Friedrich passed to Rachael Adelson, who raced down the right sideline and shot a cross to Amanda Engels who scored for the 2-1 win.
Then came the Section 1 Class A finals against defending champion Pearl River at Arlington High School in the monsoon conditions on October 29.
In the first half, neither team saw a good scoring opportunity. In the second half, Hannah Friedrich made a couple of blocking saves. Regulation ended with both teams scoreless.
Neither team scored in the two ten-minute overtimes, but Hannah Friedrich made a couple of diving, game-saving saves. Nor did either in the first five-minute sudden goal session.
Halfway into the second five-minute session, the referee called a corner penalty on Rye. It was indisputably an incorrect call. It should in fact have been a goalie kick by Hannah Friedrich, because the ball was last touched by a Pirate. The Pirates then scored to win the game. (If the game had been tied for two more minutes, the teams would have been named co-champions with the shootout winner advancing to Regionals.)
Notwithstanding the turn of events, Coach Rich Savage said he was extremely proud of his team and they should be proud of themselves. “Their goal to become Section champions fell just a little short, but everyone on the team was fantastic on and off the field. Hannah Friedrich had an outstanding game, playing with an injured leg and kicking the ball with her weak leg. She made four fantastic saves to keep the game scoreless.”
The Coach continued, “The defensive line was impenetrable. The leadership of Broderick and the Friedrich twins provided both Leah Kenny and Katie Sack the direction they needed. Sara DeGraw was difficult to mark and had a few scoring opportunities that she missed by inches. Isabel Castro held the middle of the field for the corners and Mia McGinty and Rachael Adelson rose to the occasion. Amanda Engels was solid the entire game.”
He added, “Most importantly, everyone on the bench provided the energy the team needed, both in regulation and the four overtimes, for a total of 115 minutes! This is an outstanding team on and off the field. They have a special bond and will be remembered as a tremendous team that inspired the entire community. I will miss all the seniors next year. I feel lucky and privileged to have coached such a special group of girls.”
Hannah Friedrich making a jumping save
The Garnets enjoy a team moment after beating Somers.
Molly Broderick on a breakaway
Mia McGinty running to get ball from Amanda Engels.