Rye Boys Varsity Soccer soared over the Eastchester Eagles on Saturday with a 1 – 0 win at Nugent Stadium.
“This was a really memorable day and we did a lot right,” said Rye Boys Varsity Soccer Coach Jared Small. “We were tough and committed to defending, at times brilliantly creative in the attacking phase (especially on the sequence that led to our goal), and pragmatic when we needed to be.”
Rye and Eastchester battled for 80 minutes in the rain at Nugent Stadium. Eastchester entered the match with an 11-0 record and the #3 ranking in the NY State Class AA polls while the Garnets brought a five-game winning streak to the table.
Rye started fast, with Kaden Zion immediately testing Eastchester goalkeeper Ronan Melli with a free kick to the upper left corner in the 2nd minute. Melli made the save, and within a minute Eastchester found itself on a promising counterattack. Declan McLaughlin drove down the left side of the field towards the Rye goal and was ready to unleash a shot before Rye’s Jack Gilroy slid and deflected the shot. Eastchester maintained the momentum by earning a free kick from 30 yards in the 5th minute. Rye’s wall was precise and brave, absorbing the full brunt of McLaughlin’s free kick to prevent the shot from reaching goalkeeper Max Crothall.
By the 10th minute, Rye put together the match’s most promising scoring opportunity when Kasen Scarperi send a long clearance from the defensive third to midfield. Tommy Broderick won possession and found Kaden Zion on the left side of the midfield. Zion cut inside and drove towards the center of the box, drawing two defenders before depositing a return pass to a hard streaking Broderick. With only the goalkeeper Melli to beat, Broderick placed a shot towards the lower left that seemed destined for the back of the net until a Melli kick save kept the match knotted at 0-0.
Eastchester again stormed down the field, with McLaughlin finding himself facing goal from 12 yards out on the left flank. He uncorked a screamer high and to the near post, but Crothall made the point blank save.
Less than a minute later, Scarperi threw the ball in to Kieran Traynor in the midfield. Traynor passed to Triolo, who played a line-splitting pass into Zion. Zion quickly connected with Broderick at the top of the box, while Traynor made a brilliant third man run a few yards away. Broderick tapped a perfectly weighted pass to Traynor in the right-center of the box, and Traynor beat a diving Melli low and to the left for what would prove to be the match’s only goal.
Eastchester and Rye would each have one more golden opportunity in the first half. McLaughlin’s 17th minute screamer was turned away by a sprawling Crothall and Broderick’s inspired run through the center of the Eastchester defenders leading to everything but a goal.
The second half offered fewer clear cut scoring chances until Crothall parried an Eastchester shot over the top bar in the 64th minute. Gilroy and Shun Nagata helped contain Eastchester winger Jacob De La Parra and Rye center backs Niklas Hofmann and Lex Cox were masterful in their aerial game and decision making, limiting McLaughlin’s opportunities to create scoring opportunities. As the match built to its dramatic conclusion, Rye center midfielder Tyler Triolo made a series of crucial tackles and inspired defensive runs. Chase Pepper and Takumi Otani were also strong in their defending from the outside midfield positions.
With Rye clinging to a 1-0 lead in the 80th minute, Eastchester made one final push on the final corner kick of the game. With 4 seconds remaining and all 11 Eagles in the box, Rye was able to clear the ball and prevail with a hard fought 1-0 win.
The Garnets are now 10 – 2. Watch the replay. The team travels to New Rochelle for an 11:00am game Monday.