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Girls Varsity A Soccer Team Continues its Surge as the Playoffs Approach

ElcikElizabeth Elcik takes the ball up the sideline against New RochelleLate in September, having played a very difficult early season schedule and with nearly half the season behind them, the Scarsdale Girls Varsity A soccer team found themselves with an unexpected 1-6 record. Given pre-season expectations, the team knew it was underperforming and that with eight league games remaining in the regular season schedule, it was time to step up and let the considerable talent on the squad take over. Recognizing that all six of their losses occurred in close, highly competitive games against formidable opponents, the coaches and players never wavered in their belief that they could turn their season around.

Since that point, the team has played two games against Ursuline, one against New Rochelle and one against Mamaroneck. After a forfeit by Mount Vernon, the team’s current record stands at 6-6, with the two most recent wins coming as shutouts, with the Raiders outscoring their opponents in the last four games by a combined score of 13-3.

Suddenly, goals which had been hard to come by early in the season are arriving in bunches and the occasional defensive breakdowns have been replaced by consistently solid play that has limited opponents’ shots on goal. An illustration of the team’s progress was the Friday, October 5 game vs. Ursuline, who the Raiders had defeated on a dramatic last minute goal at Ursuline a little over a week earlier. Heading into the second Ursuline game, which was played at SUNY Purchase, the expectation was for a tough battle, as Ursuline sought to avenge its heartbreaking loss.EllaElla Ansell wins the ball against a New Rochelle mid-fielder.

Instead, from the opening whistle the Raiders dominated play, cruising to a 4-0 win behind three goals by senior co-captain Riley Edlitz and one by senior winger Elizabeth Elcik. The mid-field, led by senior co-captain Allison Stafford, helped the Raiders dominate possession throughout, limiting opportunities for Ursuline to possess the ball in their offensive end. Forwards Olivia Bryant and co-captain Nayumi Parente-Ribeiro continued their strong play, with several runs down the sideline and effective crosses that created multiple scoring opportunities. Seniors Kelly Rutherford and Ella Ansell played with energy and effectiveness, cutting off balls repeatedly and helping start offensive rushes. Forwards Jaeda Dean and Amanda Ruzumna, each of whom had scored goals in earlier wins, continued to augment the offensive attack, with defenders Meghan Quirk and Tory Von Redden anchoring the back line.

With three games remaining on the schedule, and with talented sophomore mid-fielder Jojo Denion expected to return from an injury, the Raiders appear back on track as the playoffs approach. The objective now is to prolong the current winning streak to obtain the best possible playoff seeding. The playoffs are scheduled to begin late during the week of October 15 and Scarsdale10583.com will be there to cover it.

Photos by Jon Thaler - see more here.

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