Here is my story on Rye’s 1-0 win against Pearl River in the Class A quarterfinals.
RYE It was only one goal, but it made all the difference in the world.
Rye’s Stephanie Klokiw’s score in the 22nd minute proved to be the difference in the No. 7 Garnets’ 1-0 win over No. 10 Pearl River in a Class A first-round sectional game Saturday.
The win ended the Pirates’ bid to repeat as sectional champions and was redemption for Rye after the Garnets got knocked out by Pearl River in last season’s semifinals.
“It’s huge,” Klokiw said of the win. “It means everything to us. Everything we’ve worked for comes down to this game, and we got it done.”
Maggie McDermott was able to poke the ball away from Pearl River goalie Emma Burnett (13 saves) and set up Klokiw for the goal.
The goal was the culmination of continued offensive pressure from the Garnets. Rye registered 11 shots, 10 of which were on goal, in the first half.
“Our goal was just a matter of hustle,” McDermott said.
Last season’s sectional champions didn’t roll over. Pearl River moved three forwards up in the second half for more of an offensive push. The change in formation produced more chances, and the Pirates possessed the ball the majority of the half and outshot Rye 8-6 in the second half.
“We knew we had to be really strong on defense,” said Rye goalie Maddie Eck, who finished with six saves, of the second half. “Our defenders really stepped up and did a great job staying composed and getting the ball out of the box. Just playing really calmly.”
Rye coach Rich Savage was happy his team was able to withstand Pearl River’s additional offensive pressure.
“We knew this was a tough draw,” Savage said. “We’re peaking at the right time. We have some of our players getting healthy that were sick. We’re excited to make a run at it.”
The road doesn’t get any easier for the Garnets, who will play Somers on the road on Tuesday at 3 p.m. in the quarterfinals. The Tuskers were last season’s sectional runner-up.
“The mindset is just to stay calm,” Klokiw said. “It’s just like any other game. We have to do what we’ve been doing all season and keep winning.”
Photo courtesy of Tania Savayan / The Journal News. For the complete gallery click here.