Rebels tie Pearl River, but fall to Cajuns
Published 12:00 am Friday, December 12, 2008
By RYAN ARENA
In a little under a week, the Riverside girls soccer team showed just how far its come from the beginning of the season, and just how far it must go to ascend to where it wants to be.
After a preseason 6-1 loss in a scrimmage at Pearl River, Riverside hosted their fellow Rebels team last Friday as the two played to a 3-3 tie. But the Rebels came down to earth on Tuesday, as a home date with powerful Country Day left Riverside with a 6-2 loss.
“We were overmatched. Country Day’s got too many kids that play all year long for us to match up right now,” said Riverside Coach Stephen Millet. “We’ve got a long way to go before we see players of that magnitude here.
“But I was proud that the girls keep fighting. They didn’t get down on themselves. They really stuck with it, and I was glad to see that.”
Alyssa Heckathorn and Kristen Bailey each scored a goal for the Rebels (2-2-1).
The Cajuns (6-2) led 3-0 at halftime. After Riverside scored its first goal, the score was 5-1.
The veteran Country Day players were able to control the ball on Riverside’s half of the field for the majority of the game.
“The girls managed to keep their heads above water,” said Millet. “It’s easy to see a team like Country Day really break loose when they control it like they did. It can have a demoralizing effect. Sometimes it’s hard to not completely sink against a team like that.”
Millet gave much credit to senior goalkeeper Elise Duhe, who he said played well throughout the game.
“I can see her continued growth. She’s becoming more aggressive,” Millet said. “It’s nice to see her make some saves and challenge the ball.”
On Tuesday, the battle between Riverside and Pearl River had an exciting conclusion.
Late in the second half, Pearl River appeared to save what would have been a go-ahead goal on a penalty kick by Heidi Garcich. But a Pearl River player was whistled for entering the box too soon, and a re-kick was ordered.
“I didn’t get a good look at whether she was in early or not,” said Millet. “That’s a tough call to make there, but that’s the rule.”
Garcich made Pearl River pay on her second attempt, and Riverside led 3-2.
“At that point, we just wanted to pack it in and hold tight,” said Millet.
But Pearl River was able to score just before the end of regulation to tie the game, denying Riverside its third victory of the year.
“After the last time we played them, I challenged the girls that this team would be coming down to play us in three weeks, and it would be an excellent test to see how far we’d come. I said that I wouldn’t get down on us after that loss, but I would if we didn’t stick in it next time.
“I reminded them of the challenge I set, and they rose to it. We were highly competitive, and that’s all I can ask for at this point.”
Garcich scored all three goals for the Rebels.
Millet said a major key was the play of Shelby Deslatte defensively, who defended Pearl River’s scoring leader for most of the game and helped hold her to no goals.
“She cut us up the last time for four goals,” said Millet. “This time, I told Shelby that if she goes to the bathroom, go with her. Follow her everywhere. She did, and did an excellent job.”