VIDEO: Rye Country Day’s Julia Massaro and Taylor Regan.
RYE Fast starts haven’t been one of Rye Country Day’s strengths this season.
That’s why it was no surprise that the No. 2 Wildcats were clinging to a two-goal lead at halftime of their New York State Association of Independent Schools’ semifinal against No. 3 Holy Child Monday.
The second half proved to be a different story, though, as Rye Country Day scored five of the first six second-half goals en route to an 18-11 win against the visiting Gryphons.
“We just kind of needed to warm up and get going,” Wildcats coach Georgette Summers said. “We’ve had some slow starts this season, but once we get going, if the kids have confidence…we’re good to go.”
Rye Country Day junior Julia Massaro said nerves had a bit to do with the Wildcats’ lackluster start.
“We knew that we weren’t playing our game,” said Massaro, who finished with a goal and two assists. “We were kind of nervous. I think that we just realized we had to play our game. Everyone came out. We got pumped.”
Rye Country Day’s Taylor Regan had five goals and two assists in the win, which puts the Wildcats in the NYSAIS final for the first time since 2009. Eight other Wildcats recorded at least two points in the victory.
“I though it was a really good team effort,” Regan said. “Everyone contributed. Not only did we have a strong offense, but our defense really stepped up today.”
Summers said the concept of everyone playing together as a team is something she’s stressed to the girls all season.
“Everyone has a role, and everyone needs to accept their role,” Summers said. “I think, from driving it home to them all season, I’m hearing them take that as something that we do well.
Rye Country Day will face No. 1 Hackley, the two-time reigning champions, in the final Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. at Manhattanville. The Hornets defeated the Wildcats 14-7 on May 6.
Massaro, Regan and Summers all said Rye Country Day has grown in the two weeks since the loss.
“I think coming off of another big, team win everyone’s ready,” Massaro said. “Everyone’s ready to contribute, and I think it will be a completely different game.”
Hackley 14, Poly Prep 3: In a NYSAIS semifinal at No. 1 Hackley, Sammy Mueller had four goals and three assists in the win over No. 4 Poly Prep. Laurel Cassidy added three goals and four assists.
Rye Country Day 18, Holy Child 11
Hackley 14, Poly Prep 3
Photo courtesy of Joe Larese/Journal News.