ARMONK – Sometimes heavyweight bouts are over in the first round.
And sometimes they go the distance and exceed all pre-fight hype.
Put the Byram Hills-North Rockland girls soccer game into the latter category.
Byram Hills Kelsey Goldring (22) scores the winning goal over North Rockland’s goalie Jeanna Braunagel (1) during girls soccer game at Bryam Hills High School in Armonk on Oct. 10, 2014. Bryam HIlls defeated North Rockland 3-2.
Kelsey Goldring’s goal with 50 seconds left lifted Byram Hills to a 3-2 win over previously undefeated North Rockland Friday.
The goal was the junior’s third of the game but, obviously, the real memory-maker.
“It’s one of the best experiences I’ve ever had — hands down,” Goldring said.
North Rockland’s take was a bit different.
“It’s a huge, painful, learning experience,” coach Vinny Apicella said.
The game had a bit of everything. Byram Hills, which improved to 12-1, broke out to a 2-0 lead early in the first half with Goldring scoring on a Carly Barnett feed, then scoring minutes later unassisted as she deked a defender on a through-ball, then deked Red Raiders goalie Jenna Braunagel.
But North Rockland was able to limit the Bobcats’ through chances as the game progressed and when it didn’t, Braunagel, who had 22 saves, raced out multiple times to win races to the ball.
That, coupled with a resurgent Red Raiders offense, created the second-half drama.
Junior Amber Alfonzo, whose header was the difference-maker in North Rockland’s late-game, 1-0 win over Pearl River Thursday, scored with 27:14 left on a Naya Rivera feed.
A North Rockland blast from in tight that clipped Rachel Polack’s hand, as well as smacking her in the face, led to a North Rockland penalty-kick goal with 14:34 left by senior Julianna Cabrera.
“I feel like if we’re down, we should definitely keep our heads up and keep going. We came back. That’s phenomenal,” Braunagel said.
The stage seemed set for North Rockland to notch its 12th win, but Byram Hills goalie Emma Giardina (13 saves) robbed Rivera with a diving stop.
With overtime becoming increasingly possible, Byram Hills displayed a boost of energy in the closing minutes before Polack sent the through-ball that Goldring got to before Braunagel.
“They didn’t worry about overtime,” Byram Hills coach Mike Martino said of his team. “I knew (the goal) was coming. They looked at me and I knew it was going to happen.”
Best of the rest: Bailey McCollum had a hat trick and Allie Monteleone had a goal and an assist as host Haldane topped Hen Hud 4-0. … Melissa Righetti had two goals and Ciara Ostrander had a goal and an assist to lead visiting Somers to a 4-0 win over Carmel.