Over the last several years, Bronxville’s girls lacrosse team has owned their counterparts from Rye. But on May 2, the Garnets flipped the script, beating the Broncos 12-11 in an important regular season road win that could portend another playoff push for the defending Class C champions.
According to Rye coach Dennis Hurlie, the Garnets (6-5) knew they had their hands full with a Bronxville team that came into the matchup with an 8-2 record and a No. 2 ranking among all Section I lacrosse teams.
“We haven’t beat them since 2012, but I don’t know if it was an upset,” Hurlie told the Review. “I felt all along in Section I that there’s a group of really good teams, and that kind of landscape lends itself to really good competitive games.”
That Rye edged the Broncos this time around hinged, in large part, on the play of sophomore Leah Kenny, who led all scorers with six goals. Kenny’s performance, particularly in the first half, helped the Garnets erase an early deficit and head into intermission with an 8-6 lead.
“She has been just outstanding, and she has grown up a lot,” Hurlie said. “Not just with her goals, but also with her work on the draw; she was dominating in the draw circle and just kept getting us the ball back.”
Margaret Mitchell added four goals of her own for Rye, while Bronxville was led by Victoria Ruffo who also notched four goals. But Garnet netminder Amelia Cunningham made 10 stops to help Rye preserve the victory and is emerging as another underclassman who has stepped up.
“Amelia was in goal all last year but she’s taken it to another level, especially in these last eight games,” Hurlie said. “She has definitely bailed us out a few times when there have been defensive breakdowns and she has had to stand on her head.”
While the Broncos, who are eying another trip back to states, have already established themselves as the Class D frontrunner in Section I, Rye’s win on Wednesday should go a long way toward boosting the Garnet’s confidence for what should be a tough postseason stretch.
The Class C landscape is loaded with worthy contenders, according to Hurlie, so challenges such as the one his team faced this week in Bronxville should help prepare the Garnets.
“Between the heat and the level of play, that really felt like a playoff atmosphere,” he said. “We still have things we can work on and we know that in Class C, those semifinal and final games, no matter who is in them, are going to be tough.”