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Girls Varsity A Soccer Team Ends the Season with Two Shootouts

soccerteamThe Scarsdale Raiders Girls Varsity A soccer team lost a highly contested quarterfinal round game on Wednesday afternoon, October 24 against arch-rival New Rochelle, eliminating them from the Section AA playoffs. The score was tied 0-0 after 80 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes overtime, so the game was decided in a shootout. The Hugenots prevailed 4-3, earning them the victory before a raucous crowd at New Rochelle High School. Scarsdale's penalty kicks goals were scored by Carly Rubin, Allison Stafford and Olivia Bryant.

The game matched foes which had split their two games during the regular season. The Raiders won the first game convincingly at SHS by a score of 3-0 and the Hugenots exacted revenge in the second game on their home turf by 3-1. Neither team dominated the playoff game and both goalies were kept busy by a wave of attacks from the opposing team's offenses and a large number of corner kicks.

Christina Coco came up big for the Raiders in goal, at one point coming far out of the goal to dive on a loose ball that was within close range of New Rochelle's top scorer. Scarsdale's defense held up well throughout the game, with co-captain center back Sam Mancini anchoring the effort. Katy Reisman was effective running down several balls on the right wing and breaking up passes, and mid-fielder Allison Stafford did an outstanding job marking New Rochelle's best offensive player throughout the game.

On the offensive side, the Raiders had relatively few good scoring chances. Forward Riley Edlitz put a strong shot on goal late in the second half but it sailed over the crossbar. Mid-fielder Ella Ansell had an opportunity near the goal off a gorgeous centering pass from forward Nayumi Parente but was unable to connect. As the Hugenots celebrated their dramatic win after the shootout, the Raiders team was disappointed knowing that they had the ability to win but couldn't convert on the winning goal.

The Raiders' players and coaches took comfort by reflecting on an outstanding season with consistent success on the field as evidenced by an 11-4-2 record against some formidable opponents, and a closeness that developed among the players on the team who spent a lot of free time together bonding. Credit goes to senior co-captains Sam Mancini and Carly Rubin for their leadership.

The game against New Rochelle would not have occurred if not for a dramatic Raiders' win, also in a shoot-out, against division rival Mamaroneck on Saturday, October 21, before a large, boisterous crowd at Scarsdale High School. In the Tigers' game, the Raiders took a 1-0 lead in the first half off a goal by Parente off a turnover. Thereafter the Raiders dominated possession but were unable to convert.

Sophomore forward Olivia Bryant was foiled on a great save by the Tigers' goalie off a beautiful centering pass from Parente about ten minutes into the second half. Mamaroneck broke through with a header goal off a corner kick about midway through the second half. Thereafter Scarsdale continued to dominate but was unable to score, coming closest when junior mid-fielder Allison Stafford appeared to score off a volley near the goal, but the score was nullified by a foul that was called off another Scarsdale player in the box. Regulation ended with the score tied 1-1 and after 30 minutes of overtime, the score remained 1-1. The game was decided in a shoot-out 5-4, with Rubin, Stafford, Bryant, Amanda Razumna and Dana Papandreadis all converting on their penalty kicks. Scarsdale goalie Christina Coco, who came up big a couple of times for the Raiders in regulation, made a diving save to foil the fourth Tigers' shooter, and that was the difference in the game.

After the shootout win the Scarsdale players jubilantly ran on the field and celebrated with smiles, hugs and high gives abounding. The weary Raiders knew they had survived a scare from underdog Mamaroneck, a team they had beaten easily only two weeks before.

Photo credit: Jon Thaler

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