The Byram Hills Bobcats won the Conference III-League C title, defeating Rye 3-2 at Rye Thursday.
“In the past, we’ve had a really great matchup with Rye,” Byram Hills senior defender and co-captain Melissa Fuerst said. ”So we really wanted to come and prove that we were better on this day.”
Freshmen Carly Barnett scored two goals and sophomore Nicole Hoffman had one goal and one assist in the win. After taking a 1-0 lead into halftime, the Bobcats scored their second goal five minutes into the second half and appeared to have control of the game.
But resilient Rye got back into the game on a goal by junior Julia Buffone, making it 2-1. Barnett scored her second goal of the game a few minutes later to make it 3-1, but once again, Rye responded, this time with a goal by junior Rachel Egan in the 73rd minute.
“We just had to stay calm and work as a team,” Byram Hills senior goalkeeper and c0-captain Meagan Barnett said. ”Once they scored, it was very much that we needed to play together, get the ball out, and I think we did well with that.”
Barnett finished with seven saves. Junior Annabel Stanley and sophomore Remi Godner each had one assist on the day.
Senior midfielder and co-captain Emma Benzie talked about her team’s approach to each game this season.
“This season, we’ve just been taking it team by team,” she said. ”Just playing one game at a time.”
Rye coach Rich Savage said he was happy with the way his players responded to being down two goals twice, especially with the absence of senior forward Audrey Love in the second half after she was kicked in the head making a tackle in the first half.
“We missed her the whole second half,” Savage said.
Savage said he did not know how much, if any, time Love would miss.
Savage said sophomore Charlotte Tucci and junior Addie Chabot played standout defense in the game. He also lauded junior forward Kate Whiston for generating offense.
With the playoffs one week away, Byram Hills did a lot of good for themselves when it comes to seeding.
“Rye’s had our number for a number of years,” Byram Hills coach Bryan Horn said. ”We’ve always called it a rivalry, but I don’t know if they’ve looked at us as a rivalry because they’ve had our number. We talked about winning this league and how it would lead to a high seeding in Sectionals. I’m proud of the girls. We came out and played what I thought was our best game of the year.”