MAMARONECK – Scoreless. A total of seven shots on net.
Monday’s regular-season field hockey finale between undefeated Rye and one-loss Mamaroneck was a classic, full of great defense, strong hits and narrow misses.
In the space of four minutes, Mamaroneck had four penalty corners midway through the second half but couldn’t score, in part because of a diving save by Rye keeper Ali Howard.
And penalty corners were called in Rye’s favor at the end of both halves, meaning the Garnets had extra time to put a shot home.
But no one did.
“We knew from the start it would be a tight game,” Howard said. “In the future, we have to work on corners. That could have led to a win. But they have great D. This wasn’t a surprise. They’ve always had a great team.”
Player of the game: A collective player of the game could be given to Mamaroneck’s team-wide defensive effort, which greatly limited Fusine Govaert’s chances. Despite coach John Savage repeatedly urging his team, “Get on her,” Govaert, who has rabbit-like quickness, agility, and superior stick skills, sometimes made her way through three or four players but, ultimately, never got close to the net as the Tigers kept her at bay.
Turning point: Mamaroneck missed a huge scoring chance with about 25 minutes to play off a corner when Fran Barchetti’s backdoor pass hit a teammate for a turnover maybe a foot in front of the Rye goal. Rye’s biggest scoring chance came off a corner with 2:34 to play but Govaert’s rocket of a shot flew over the crossbar.
Stat line: Howard had four saves and Tiger keeper Charlotte Mackie had three but that reflected only the shots that got through to them as both defenses worked hard down low, stopping shots or deflecting them wide.
Quoteable: Mamaroneck’s Gracie Fitzgerald, who had several strong crossing passes in front of the Rye net, said, “I think both teams had very strong defensive teams and the communication was strong on both sides. Both teams had great chemistry.” Of stopping Govaert, she added, “We just got very lucky to shut a player like that down.”