Rye Boys Varsity Soccer stalked the Panthers in Ardsley on Thursday for a 2 – 1 win.
“This was a solid result against a difficult opponent in a challenging environment,” said Rye Boys Varsity Soccer Coach Jared Small. “It was great to see a couple guys make their season debuts in crucial moments of the match and help lead us to a well-earned win. The commitment with which we pressed the opponent all over the field was inspiring and I think we’ll be able to take a lot from this one.”
Niklas Hofmann scored what proved to be the game-winning goal off a free kick in the 64th minute to lead Rye to a win in its first league match of the season.
The game was an even affair, with Rye coming out on the front foot and securing the first dangerous opportunity in the 9th minute. Ollie Lincoln applied strong pressure on the left side of the midfield, and Rye caused an Ardsley turnover. Kaden Zion and Kieran Traynor executed a tidy give and go before Zion played a through ball to the left side of the box for Tommy Broderick, whose shot on goal was saved by Ardsley goalkeeper Leo Blank.
Broderick would open the scoring five minutes later, converting a Zion corner kick for the 1-0 lead. Less than four minutes later, Ardsley dispossessed Rye in the Panther defensive half and worked the ball up the field. A clever ball over the top of the Rye backline created momentary confusion and Ardsley’s Evan Kurian took a calm touch before finding the right side of the net to even the match at 1-1.
Kurian looked poised to put Ardsley up a goal in the 19th minute when he found himself 1-on-1 with Rye goalkeeper Max Crothall, but Crothall dealt with the threat admirably with a diving save to his left. Rye responded with an opportunity of its own as Broderick backpressed from his advanced position, won a ball at midfield, and sent Joseph Chai towards goal with an excellent through ball. Chai managed to get a solid shot on goal but Blank was well-positioned to make the save.
The second half so more of the same, with the teams trading scoring opportunities. Rye right back Jack Gilroy put in a number of high quality tackles to prevent potential scoring opportunities, and center midfielders Tyler Triolo, Shun Nagata, Kasen Scarperi, and Peter Wilmot all contributed to a strong engine room throughout the day.
Hofmann’s free kick winner in the 64th minute set the scene for an intense final 15 minutes, with Rye defender Sjef Smits entering the match to secure the backline. Crothall’s 5th and final save of the afternoon was a reaction save to his left at the right post to turn away a headed set piece and preserve the win.
Watch the replay. The team is now 4 – 1. The Garnets travel to Eastchester on Saturday for a 5:00pm game.