SCARSDALE – The last week has been a tough stretch for Rye.
After starting the season 9-2, the Garnets had lost their last three games by a combined four goals, including an 8-7 overtime loss to Mamaroneck last Saturday and a 9-8 loss to Hackley on Monday after blowing a 6-1 halftime lead.
Abby Abate made sure that the streak wouldn’t extend to four in Friday’s game.
After Rye gave up the tying goal with 1:19 left, she got a pass from Margaret Mitchell straight off of a free position. The senior midfielder weaved to her right and buried a shot past Scarsdale goalie Angie Burns for what would be the deciding goal in a 10-9 win.
“It was really all Margaret Mitchell, who had the perfect assist to me; I just tried to move the goalie as best I could to put it in,” Abate said. “Three in a row, losing by one or two, is demoralizing. Right now, this win feels amazing; we worked really hard to earn it.”
While the Garnets at times struggled with possession playing in rainy conditions, senior goalkeeper Micheline DiNardo came up big in goal. She made nine saves, including several high-danger chances.
“It’s hard to play in the rain, but we knew we had to win,” said DiNardo, who is committed to Georgetown. “It’s a huge deal to beat Scarsdale, we knew we had to come in and play our best,”
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Maybe more important than stopping the losing skid, the win was a positive result for a team heading into the playoffs next week.
The Garnets will close out their regular season against Tappan Zee on Saturday morning.
“We’re really starting to gel; after those three losses, we knew we were due for a win,” Abate said. “We’re really started to get our chemistry going. We weren’t playing as well in the beginning of the season, and now we’re really starting to pull it together.”
The game was the regular-season finale for Scarsdale. After starting the season 10-0, the team went 3-3 over the last six games, mainly against Section 1’s top teams.
The team also honored its three seniors – Eliza Brosgol, Michaela Nicholas and Gillian Lubin – after the game.
“This is our best season yet, and it’s really because of the senior leadership, they really keep everyone focused,” Scarsdale head coach Genette Zonghetti said. “Rye went after the ball a lot in the second half, ground balls and everything. They beat us to a lot, and we have to want that more.”
Player of the game: Abby Abate, Rye. One of the team’s captains, Abate took charge after being held scoreless in the first half. She was able to finish the game with a team-high four goals.
Turning point: After a long possession in which Micheline DiNardo made three saves in five minutes, Scarsdale tied the score at 8-8 on a goal from Lily Steckel with 11:31 left. With 7:13 left, Amanda Hartzell, who had left the game six minutes earlier due to an injury, juked out a Scarsdale defender and finished to give Rye a 9-8 lead.
Stat line: Mitchell added two goals and an assist for Rye, while teammate Molly DeCaro scored twice. Ellie O’Callaghan also scored. … For Scarsdale, Erin Nicholas had three goals and an assist, Jilly Mehlman had two goals and two assists, Brosgol scored twice, Chessy Greenwald had a goal and an assist and Burns made eight saves.
Quotable: “We had a tough part of the schedule coming into the later part of the season; it’s hard to play our league teams back-to-back and always win by a bunch of goals and then come in against strong competition,” DiNardo said. “We definitely had a wake-up call, and we’re starting to build our chemistry and it’s all coming together.”