CORTLAND, N.Y. — The Rye girls lacrosse team made a statement in its first two New York State Public High School Athletic Association playoff games, outscoring its opposition, 35-8.
Red Hook (Section 9) and Albany Academy (Section 2) could not stop Rye's lethal and versatile offense, while the Garnets defense stifled both teams.
Rye will look to continue its excellent two-way play on the grand stage — the state's final four — beginning with a semifinal against Honeoye Falls-Lima (Section 5) on Friday at 9:30 a.m. at SUNY-Cortland. The other semifinal will pit Shoreham-Wading River (Section 11) against Syracuse's Christian Brothers Academy (Section 3) at 9:30 a.m. The winners will meet in the title game Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
In 2006, when Rye last won a sectional title, it also advanced to the state's final four.
Rye's offense this year has been led by Emma Brinkman, Tori Virtue, Annie Van Wagenen and Scarlett Sulliman. Rye's often overshadowed defense has also been outstanding, led by goalie Maddie Kinker.
"Everyone has been working together, doing their jobs and not allowing many shots," Brinkman said. "When teams have gotten shots, Maddie has made some big saves for us."
Rye spent the week preparing for the step up in competition. Brinkman said Rye coach Dennis Hurlie did a lot of fine-tuning this week.
"We're all excited about the game coming up, but coach told us that the teams we're about to face are going to be even better," Brinkman said. "He told us that we will have to play at a really high level if we want to win this, and we want it."
Brinkman, who will attend Bates College in the fall and play lacrosse, is enjoying this run with classmates G.G. Fitzgerald, Van Wagenen and Virtue. The quartet was also pivotal on Rye's field hockey team, which was a Section 1 Class B finalist last fall.
"It has so much fun to experience all of this together this year and the past four years," Brinkman said.