Bronxville’s perfect season is no more as Ossining upped its record to 10-1-1 with a 2-1 win over the Broncos behind Jalay Knowles’ 15-save performance and a Grace Scorcia penalty-kick goal in the closing minutes.
There was even more drama in Armonk. Photographer Carucha Meuse (whose Byram Hills celebration photo is above) and I saw a whale of a game as the one-loss Bobcats defeated previously unbeaten North Rockland in the last minute behind third goal.
Some of Carucha’s photos from that game, as well as my game story, some extra notes and other recaps from Friday follow.
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.
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. (Photo below of Alfonzo with Taylor Aylmer after the goal.)
“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.”
Notes: Apicella liked both teams’ efforts. “Our kids are very, very smart players. They were able to adjust (at halftime),” he said. He particularly liked sophomore Brianna Williams’ defensive play. Of the Bobcats, he said, “They have an excellent offense and are excellently coached. They played tough even (when) it was not going their way, they kept battling.” … Although not on varsity last year, Braunagel recalled that North Rockland came back from a four-goal deficit in one game. … This is Goldring’s first year on varsity and she’s making the most of it with several hat-trick games. Of Polack’s through-ball that turned into Friday’s game-winning play, she said, “I just went for it. I tried to get something on it.” …
Besides the ball to the face, which required her to briefly leave because her lip was bleeding, Polack got hammered to the turf several times and was sometimes slow to get up but stayed in the game. The game was physical (at right, Bobcat Jessica Kennett (l) battles Red Raider Isabel Zayas) with Apicella yelling at the refs about one of his players being kicked in the face and Martino furious nothing was called when Giardina was hit and shaken up while jumping for a ball not long after the North Rockland penalty kick. Giardina was required to leave the game after the school’s athletic trainer and AD went out to check on her but she returned on the next out-of-bounds ball. … Pre-game, Martino remarked, “It’s only a game. You’re supposed to have fun. It’s a big one but it’s only a game.” Moments later, he was urging his team to settle down, which is quickly did. … Goldring was impressed with North Rockland. “They’re definitely an amazing team but we knew that before we played the game,” she said. … Said Martino, “North Rockland came out with a full head of steam in the second half, like the true champions they are.”… Of his team’s ability not to crumble when North Rockland tied things, Martino said, “They reacted well and held their composure. They stuck to their game plan.” … Byram Hills’ only loss this season was earlier in the week by a goal to Pearl River with the Pirates’ game-winner coming with only 2:10 left.
Ossining 2, Bronxville 1
The drama continued at Bronxville where Knowles and Scorcia came up big in a game that featured two penalty kicks.
After a scoreless first half, Gabby Hagerman gave Ossining a 1-0 lead, scoring in the 65th minute off an Abby Squirrell feed.
But four minutes later, Lucy Kohlhoff’s goal knotted things.
Of Knowles’ 15 saves, none was perhaps bigger than her stop of a penalty shot in the 72nd minute.
Bronco netminder Charley Warble, who had four saves, couldn’t duplicate that when Scorcia was awarded a penalty shot six minutes later.
With the loss, Bronxville falls to 13-1.
Haldane 4, Hen Hud 0
Bailey McCollum had a hat trick and Allie Monteleone had a goal and an assist as host Haldane topped Hen Hud 4-0.
Sara Labriola had 11 saves for Haldane.
Somers 4, Carmel 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.
Shoshana Bedrosian also scored.
Emma Danvin had five saves for Carmel.
Julia O’Sullivan stopped three shots for the Tuskers, who are now 14-0.