Rye Neck Girls’ Soccer

By Mitch Silver

Last weekend, Rye Neck held its annual Homecoming Gala, a two-day orgy of sports and more sports played in front of the hometown fans. Fueled by free eats served up by volunteer parents on the school’s outdoor basketball courts, the crowd Saturday morning saw the Panthers’ field hockey squad edge Edgemont by a 1-0 score. Then they simply moved one field over and settled in to watch Head Coach Amy Bushnell’s girls host the Hendrick Hudson Soccer team.

The first half was all-even on the field, and on the scoreboard. Senior Sophia Wice, last year’s high scorer, opened the Panthers’ account just four minutes into the game by heading in a corner kick from sophomore Natalia Ruscitto. Hen Hud came back. In fact, they should have been ahead at the 27:30 mark, but they missed the second of two sitters at the left goal post.

The Sailors eventually cashed in with 18:23 left in the half when Alyson DeSclafani launched a high shot that went just under the crossbar and over the outstretched fingers of Rye Neck’s eighth-grade keeper, Sophia Capparelli. Capparelli would come up with a huge save six minutes later with a last-second grab near her right post, one of 14 shots she stopped on the day.

At halftime, Coach Bushnell tweaked a few assignments. “Hen Hud was sliding their weak-side midfielder over, creating some confusion in terms of finding a mark,” she said after the game. “We broke it down: if we could win the next 40 minutes on an extremely hot and humid day, we’d win the game. The girls dug deep in the second half, and gave it their all until the end.”

Literally. After a second Wice score on an assist by fellow captain Maggie O’Malley, it wasn’t until the last minute of play and an insurance goal by freshman Anna Murphy that the Panthers could finally chalk up the win.

Their coach didn’t even try to contain her enthusiasm. “With the thrill of Homecoming and a crowd that was large, loud and supportive, it was exactly what we needed to help give our girls that extra push. The team is off to a fabulous start!” That start includes wins over Dobbs Ferry, Pawling, and Yonkers Montessori Academy, as well as a pair of forfeits from Keio.

Senior Sophia Wice nets Rye Neck’s first score through a throng of Hen Hud defenders.

Sophomore Natalia Ruscitto executes a neat bit of ball control.

RHS Field Hockey

By Melanie Cane

The story of Rye High’s September 14 matchup against Nyack can be told in the statistics. The Garnets had 17 corners, the Indians had none. Rye took 25 shots, Nyack one. The Garnets won 5-1.

Rye began the game with three corners and two scrambles in front of the net, which they failed to convert. Then at 19:25 Nyack scored on a long shot, catching Rye’s defense off guard. After that, the Garnets maintained possession for the rest of the game.

The Garnets’ first goal came off a corner at 16:09. Lanie Agosta passed to Lotje Rogaar who passed the goalie on the right side. Seven minutes later, KJ Langer passed to Caitlin Antonizzi who scored on a tip in. The Garnets had several more corners in the half, but could not convert because the Indians crowded the net.

On the first play in the second half, Hanke Govaert retrieved the ball off the faceoff and dribbled down the field to score unassisted by shooting through the defender’s and goalie’s legs. Rye had four more corners before they scored again. Off a penalty corner, Rogaar passed to Govaert who drove the ball into the circle and pushed it into the left corner of the goal. Kelly Ott scored the final goal on a tip in off a corner play.

After losing to Lakeland in their season opener, the Garnets beat Somers and Nyack.

Coach Simon Hochstenbach praised his team for “playing hard and making adjustments. We created a lot of chances and penalty corners.”

Rye Country Day Boys’ Soccer

By Mitch Silver

A year ago, Head Coach Cristiano Pereira’s boys finished on the wrong side of a .500 season at 5-7-3. This year, despite losing standouts Felipe Gomez and keeper Noah Swan, they’re playing as if 2016 was just a bad dream.

The Wildcats opened on the road September 6 and beat Brooklyn’s Poly Prep 3-2 on two late goals by senior co-captain Cole Price, the winner coming with only five minutes left. The team wouldn’t play again for nine days, but when they did, they made two more Price goals, both sparkling breakaways, stand up against Fieldston. The game gave junior goalkeeper Mick Bronsky his first shutout.

Three days later they were at it again, disposing of the French-American School by a 3-1 score. Out-possessed by the visitors, the Wildcats were the beneficiaries of a Cole Price free kick lofted 36 yards until it nestled just inside the far post. When Coach Pereira asked if it was a pass or a shot, Price replied, “You’ll never know.” Juniors Lucca Piccinini and Brett Robinson joined Price on the score sheet as Bronsky stopped ten shots on goal.

The next day, a banged-up group of Wildcats, who were missing senior defender and co-captain Matt Molinelli, hosted a squad from Columbia Grammar. The visitors were nursing a 2-1 advantage when Price struck again, tying the score with ten minutes to preserve the team’s unbeaten record.

“They’re resilient,” Coach Pereira said. “They get down, but they don’t give up. You can go far in this game with that kind of attitude.” The Wildcats will only have to go as far as Dobbs Ferry to play The Masters School tomorrow at 1 p.m.

Defender Nishan Shehadeh works the ball out of the back as teammate James Leake (#11) looks on.

Speedy Cole Price will score one of his two goals against Fieldston as soon as the ball comes down.

Garnets Trounce Eastchester, 35-7;

Next Up: Unbeaten Yorktown and Archrival Harrison

By Mitch Silver

Who comes up with these schedules? After losing a 21-14 heartbreaker to Somers, last year’s Class A State champs, and then clobbering a solid Eastchester team 35-7 last Saturday, the Rye Garnets have two more mountains to climb in what’s starting to feel like the Himalayas. They travel to play undefeated Yorktown and all-everything back Brett Makar Saturday, September 23 at 1:30 p.m. before meeting the Huskies in Harrison for a special rivalry renewal Sunday, October 1.

The story up till now: Rye opened the season with a sloppy 34-12 win over Byram Hills before a second-half comeback fell short against the mighty Tuskers.

<<Girls’ Sports Roundup>>

By Melanie Cane

<<Holy Child Cross-Country>>

In their first meet at Sherwood Island on September 13, the Gryphons came in fourth out of seven teams. The top three finishers were Claire Furio, Sophia Flissler, and Emily Clemens. 

Assistant Coach Christine Farrell summed it up as “A good race overall and a great way to start the season. Each runner identified skills to work on for upcoming meets.”

Having finished second in the league last year, the team has its sights on the league championship this year. Head Coach Cassie McWilliams and Farrell will look to the three senior captains, Flissler, Molly Semprevivo, and Annie Ryan, for assistance.

<<Rye Country Day Field Hockey>>

The Wildcats have won their first three games, and they’re feeling pretty good about that. They bested two competitive New England teams, Cheshire (3-1) and Kingswood Oxford (4-2), before besting Holy Child September 14 by a score of 5-1.

“Our win against Holy Child was terrific,” said an exultant Coach Georgette Summers. “The girls played a great game and as one complete unit.”

She added, “The team is really coming together and improving with each game,” said Coach Georgette Summers. “With only six returning players, it’s been important to build trust and get the new players on board with our philosophy.”

So far, the standout players have been Paulina Harasimowicz, Olivia Friedberg, Alana Jones, Elizabeth Friedberg, and Gemma Green.

Their next game is at Gunnery on September 23.

By Mitch Silver


The Rye Neck harriers — including lone female runner Anna Boswelle (center) — pose with Coach Myla Allen, left, and her short-but-very-demanding assistant before their first meet.

Myla Allen welcomed team captains Mitchell O'Brien and Genki Ono and co-captain Brendan Tuohy — along with fellow seniors Raymond Rivituso, and James Lord — to tough August workouts that she hopes will reap results when the stopwatches are ticking down. During a break she said, “A successful season will depend on hard work, dedication, and a positive mindset. Our goal is to win all of our dual meets.”

The starter’s pistol went off this past Wednesday when the Panthers traveled to Westlake High School for their first competition of the fall.

<<Field Hockey>>

Meet the 2017 edition of the Rye Neck field hockey team. Assistant Coach Amy Magaletti and Head Coach Marissa Kluber flank the girls.

Longtime Head Coach Beth Gulotta has given way to Marissa Kluber, who played field hockey and lacrosse at Mercy College while earning her degree in Psychology.

She’ll need that degree to help instill a winning state of mind for a program that’s been no better than .500 the past couple of years. Captains Daisy Jayson, Kaylee Sanabria, and goalkeeper Sonia Finkenberg should help in the process. Coach Kluber said, “We have a lot of solid players. Our returning seniors have been good role models for our young team.”

The sticks began to clash yesterday when the Panthers took on Croton-Harmon post-press time. The locals will host Hastings tomorrow at 2.


Rye Neck seniors, back row from left: Joosep Juhkam, Ben Galerne, Frencesco Branca, Pedro Peter Cueto, Zach Gibbs, and Derick Ramirez. Front row from left: Danny Morningstar, Kenny Soriano, and Shikhar Saran.

Junior Tyler Simon runs for some of his 100+ yards against the Blue Devils.

Head Coach Nick Ianello, in his 15th season at the helm, lost most of his skill players on offense to graduation. Among them was one of the best running backs in Westchester, Gio Maffei, along with the starting quarterback and leading receiver. So it wasn’t a surprise when they fell to non-league Haldane in their opener last Saturday, 20-7.

There were bright spots all over the field, however. Senior QB Pedro Cueto threw for 48 yards and ran for another 79, including the team’s only touchdown. Junior Tyler Simon broke off a 38-yard run in addition to catching a couple of passes for more than 100 all-purpose yards. Then he turned around and made a game-high 20 solo tackles on defense. Freshman Evan Falco picked off a Haldane pass and brought it back 30 yards.

Assistant Coach Mark Poniros summed up the challenge of meeting league foes Albertus Magnus, Dobbs Ferry, and Woodlands in the weeks to come. “Success will depend on hard work at practice everyday and staying healthy.” Tomorrow they’ll host another non-league foe in Pine Plains from Duchess County at 1:30 p.m.

<<Boys’ Soccer>>

 Rye Neck Boys’ Soccer seniors are, from left: Joshua Goldin-McCarthy, Conor Flood, Donovan Dunning, Christopher Ortiz, and Jack Sheldon. Tom Bermingham was absent.

The 16-3 Panthers who lost to eventual state champion Hastings 1-0 in the Sectional finals last year have largely left for college. Those thirteen graduates include three of the four starting defenders Noah Klur, Fraser Shaw, and Tim Kelley center midfielder Pierre Klur, striker Reed Peterson and Luis Galeano, who played all over the field.

In addition, co-Head Coach Frank Gizzo has left to spend more time with his young family. Fortunately for his partner in coaching, Bryan Iacovelli, the school has gained a worthy replacement. Ivan Martinez was Section 1 Player of the Year for the Panthers in 2010, earning first team All-State honors as an attacking midfielder.

The seniors pictured above will have to provide the team chemistry that has been so crucial to the Black Cats’ success. Rye Neck opened its season by hosting Westlake this past Wednesday post-press time and will be home to arch-rival Blind Brook tomorrow at 2 p.m.

<<Girls Soccer>>

Rye Neck Girls’ Soccer seniors are, back row from left: Jess Sevean, Maggie O’Malley, Sophie Gibson, and Emily DeLillo. Front row from left are: Jessica Santoli, Sophia Wice, and Marissa Santoli.

Head Coach Amy Bushnell began her first year as Panthers’ Head Coach by counting her blessings. “The leadership and experience of our 11 upperclassmen, coupled with some very talented newcomers, make us a big threat this year.

“In goal, we are strong and deep with senior Marissa Santoli and 8th grader Sofia Capparelli. In front of them, seniors Jessica Sevean, Jessica Santoli, and Sophie Gibson — along with junior Georgia Meyers and freshman Stephanie Santoli —will provide a very strong, gritty defense. At midfield, freshmen Anna Murphy, Maddy Murray, and Naomi Young are phenomenal additions to juniors Isabella Vidales and Liz Farassat. Senior Emily Dilillo and our senior captain Maggie O'Malley will anchor the midfield with their playmaking abilities. Senior Kathleen DaSilva tore her ACL, but her vocal leadership on the sideline has already been a huge help to her teammates.

“Up front, captain Sophia Wice returns for her senior year and is hungry for more goals after leading the team a year ago. Sophomore Natalia Ruscitto adds additional strength and speed up top, along with a tremendous ability to score and cause havoc for opposing defenses.”

The Panthers opened the season yesterday at Dobbs Ferry. They’ll travel to Yonkers tomorrow to take on Montessori Academy.

<<Girls’ Tennis>>

Rye Neck seniors who will lead the Panthers are, from left: Beatrix Cress, Lindsey Sexton, Nina Buetnner, and Elizabeth DeGeorge. Alana Proudian was absent.

Veteran Head Coach Mark Canno gave a rundown of his team’s prospects for the fall season. “Clemence Balzano, one of the top players in Section 1, moved to London with her family. That will be a huge loss. Our number one will be freshman Lucy Friedman, who has been playing tournaments all spring and summer and should have a great season. I think she has a great shot to go to at least the quarterfinals at Sectionals and could make states by next year. 

Captain Alana Proudian will play 2nd singles in her sixth year on the Varsity team. She had a great run to the Conference doubles title with Clemence last year.  Delaney Park, who is showing huge improvement, will play 3rd singles.

“Our other two captains are seniors Lindsey Sexton and Beatrix Cress. They will join with Anna Nakagama and Nicole Pereira at 1st and 2nd doubles. Two newcomers are ninth grader Natalie Goldberg and eighth grader Katie Lipman, who will play 3rd doubles. Our 4th doubles team will be senior Nina Buettner and sophomore Sarah Paumier.

We have a solid group, but our league has very deep teams, so it will be challenging.

They hosted Edgemont Wednesday post-press time, and will travel to Bronxville today at 4:15.


 Rye Neck’s squad is ready to face the season.

With a few injuries preventing her from settling on her rotations, Head Coach Kristin Desio enters her 13th year at Rye Neck with a new Assistant Coach. Dana Trani returned to graduate school this month, so Physical Education teacher Jamie Collareta joins the Panthers.

The team lost only three seniors to graduation, though one of them was libero and court general Samantha Yannuzzi, who will be hard to replace. The team opens their season today with a long road trip to Putnam Valley, the first time they’ve ever played the Tigers up in Putnam County.