Pearl River came out ready to play against Class A rival Rye yesterday morning, scoring quickly and never looking back in their 3-0 home victory. The win pushed Pearl River’s record to 7-1-2; Rye is 7-2.
“They came out scoring in the first 90 seconds; it caught us on our heels,” Rye coach Rich Savage said. ”We never really got into the game, and they took it to us. We were coming off some really big games against Byram Hills and Arlington, two games that we won. We came in with a lot of confidence. It was a typical Monday morning game.”
The Pirates were up 2-0 at the half, but the deficit could have been even larger for Rye if goalkeeper Maddie Eck hadn’t made great saves to keep the score close. On one particular play, a Pearl River cross made it through to a Pearl River forward maybe five feet away from Eck. Pearl River’s player kicked it over Eck’s head; in less than a second, Eck leaped into the air to get her hands on the ball and deflected it over the crossbar.
Overall, Savage was happy with how his defense played.
”(Eck) made some key saves,” he said. ”Charlotte Tucci did a very nice job (in the back). They didn’t really score many goals off of actual plays. They got their first two off corner kicks and then the third goal late.”
The Garnets seemed unable to connect on their passes yesterday, a rare occurrence considering their great chemistry. Savage said there were positives to take from the game that could help later down the line in a possible rematch between the two team in the playoffs.
“We definitely noticed some gaps in where to attack and how to defend, and perfecting what we did right and fixing what we did wrong,” he said.
Pearl River’s defense affected Rye’s rhythm and timing with physical play and anticipation. Marissa Scognamiglio was a disruptive force all over the field, intercepting passes and bothering Rye’s midfielders and forwards as they attempted to make their way up the field. She also had two assists and a few shots on goal that made Eck work hard.
Pearl River coach Tim Peabody was happy with his defensive line. He lauded Lauren Zimnoch, Ashley Payne, and Kelly Guerci for their defensive play. He said Megan Gallagher had a great day turning back Rye’s attempts.
“She was rock solid today,” Peabody said. ”I don’t even think she mishit one ball in the back.”
Amanda DeCourcey, Annie White, Casey Walsh scored for Pearl River. White described how she scored her goal in the second half to secure the win:
“Amanda DeCourcey did great with crossing the ball in,” White said. ”On that play, she crossed it in and Missy Scogs shot it. And then I was just there for the garbage goal.”
Walsh said the win against a powerful opponent — an opponent they may face later — was important for the confidence boost it provided.
“Our goal is to win Sections, and this really gives younger girls confidence,” Walsh said. ”They don’t know how big it is; all the seniors, we talk about it all the time. That’s our huge goal- winning sections.”