Author Archives: Mike Smith

About Mike Smith

Mike Smith has been with Hometown Media Group since 2007, serving as the company’s Sports Editor. Mike has been commended for his work by the New York Press Association, winning awards in 2008 for “Best Sports Feature” and again in 2009 as part of a team that put together “The Game,” a breakdown of the Harrison-Rye football rivalry, which won for “Best Special Section.” His weekly column, “Live Mike,” offers his unique insights into a broad range of topics in the sports world. He resides in Eastchester, N.Y. and spends most of his free time serving as the player-manager for a competitive men’s baseball team in New York City. Reach Mike at 914-653-1000 x22 or sports@hometwn.com; follow him on Twitter @LiveMike_Sports.

Bronxville’s Mike Calabrese controls the ball against the Panthers on Oct. 7. The Panthers fell to a surging Bronxville team that has won its last four games. Photos/Mike Smith

Rye Roundup

Bronxville’s Mike Calabrese controls the ball against the Panthers on Oct. 7. The Panthers fell to a surging Bronxville team that has won its last four games. Photos/Mike Smith

Bronxville’s Mike Calabrese controls the ball against the Panthers on Oct. 7. The Panthers fell to a surging Bronxville team that has won its last four games. Photos/Mike Smith

Boys Soccer
10/7 Bronxville d. Rye Neck 4-0
On Oct. 7, the Bronxville Broncos bested a stiff challenge from Rye Neck, beating the Panthers 4-0 at home. The win is the Broncos’ fourth straight, a good sign as the team gets ready for the postseason.

Junior striker Sam Aherne led the way with two goals against the Panthers, netting the game’s first score just 12 minutes into the first half to kick things off for Bronxville. Ferdinand Schmuck found the net with a header off a corner kick and Owen Balsiero also scored.

According to Bronxville head coach Donny Lucas, the Broncos’ ability to finish has been a strength all year long, and one of the reason the team is currently 9-2-2 on the season.

“Of course, Sam [Aherne] has been our go-to guy,” said the head coach. “But we have a bunch of guys who can score, so it’s not just him up front.”

Bronxville’s defense was stingy on Monday as well, not allowing a Rye Neck shot until the second half.

10/8 Rye d. Roosevelt 7-2
Grant Keith led the Garnets in a romp over Roosevelt on Tuesday, scoring three goals against the Indians in a 7-2 win. Teammate Will Colwell proved an excellent facilitator, dishing out three assists in the win.

Rye Neck defenders try to stop Bronxville’s Sam Aherne on Oct. 7. Aherne scored two goals to help the Broncos defeat the Panthers 4-0.

Rye Neck defenders try to stop Bronxville’s Sam Aherne on Oct. 7. Aherne scored two goals to help the Broncos defeat the Panthers 4-0.

The Garnets are looking to close out the season on a strong note, but have a number of tough games left on the schedule. On Oct. 10, they will take on a Horace Greeley squad that is coming off a season that saw them make the Class AA finals,

 

Girls Soccer
10/2 Albertus Magnus d. Rye Neck 3-0
Albertus Magnus shut out the Panthers last Thursday, fighting for a 3-0 win on the road against Rye Neck. Panther netminder Sabrina Albanese was tested often and made 13 saves against the Falcons. Kyra Berkner, Val Monaco and Jackie Henley all found the net for Albertus.

 

 Volleyball
10/1 Rye d. Scarsdale B 3-2
Against the Scarsdale B squad on Oct. 1, the Garnets overcame a shaky first game to overtake the Raiders. After falling 25-15 to start the day, Rye battled back over the next four games to pick up a much-needed win. The Garnets won the decisive fifth game 25-22.

According to head coach Melanie Flowers, a reorganization of personnel was just one thing that factored into the Garnets’ win on Wednesday.

Jaime Donnelly sends the ball over the net against the Scarsdale B team on Oct. 1.  Photos/Bobby Begun

Jaime Donnelly sends the ball over the net against the Scarsdale B team on Oct. 1.
Photos/Bobby Begun

 

 

“I did switch the line around and put a stronger hitter at the outside hitter position which gave us an advantage over the other team,” said Flowers. “We also found a way to utilize a second libero and used her in the back line which definitely helped with
our receiving.”

10/2 Rye Neck d. Blind Brook 3-0
The Panthers rolled over the Trojans on Oct. 2, beating Blind Brook in three straight games to take the match. The Panthers were led by Jackie DeCicco, who notched eight kills in the victory.

Rye’s Olivia Chavez goes for a spike on Oct. 1. Rye beat the Scarsdale B team 3-2.

Rye’s Olivia Chavez goes for a spike on Oct. 1. Rye beat the Scarsdale B team 3-2.

NOT TO BAD

Column: The fear of missing out

This year, Sports Editor Mike Smith elected to ignore an important sporting tradition of his. Now, he feels like he’s playing catch up.  Photo courtesy of MLB.com

This year, Sports Editor Mike Smith elected to ignore an important sporting tradition of his. Now, he feels like he’s playing catch up.
Photo courtesy of MLB.com

This year, I broke a longstanding tradition of mine, and boy, do I regret it.

Since my college days, I’ve made it a point to turn the first day of the MLB playoffs into my own personal holiday. Regardless of what was going on in my life, be it classes, fall practices or whatever, I would drop everything in order to park myself on the couch in the middle of the afternoon to bask in the glow of postseason baseball for about six hours.

It was like celebrating Thanks-
giving, the Fourth of July and the Super Bowl all rolled up into one, especially for a baseball nut like myself.

Once I joined the workforce, not much changed. If I had games to cover on the first day of the Division Series, tough; I wasn’t going. It was back to my apartment with some sandwiches from the Mona Lisa deli in Scarsdale and a couple of like-minded baseball fans who were similarly shirking their professional responsibilities for the afternoon.

Last Thursday, however, I did the unthinkable. I went to work.

Maybe it was the result of a lackluster championship defense by my beloved Boston Red Sox, who were, probably, mathematically eliminated
from the postseason by mid-April. Maybe it was the inevitable post-Derek Jeter retirement circus hangover. But for whatever reason, when the ALDS kicked off with the Tigers and O’s on Oct. 2, I just didn’t have it in me for another go-around. I elected to actually do my job, gasp, and found myself on the sidelines for the Mamaroneck versus Arlington football game—which was exciting in its own way—only occasionally checking my phone for updates on a game between two teams that for which I had no rooting interest.

Talk about growing up, huh?

But the funny thing about baseball is its ability to pull me back in.

The nightcap of the ALDS opener between the Angels and Royals was a doozy, for sure. The Royals bested the money-line favorites in extra innings, the first of what would be three extra inning postseason games in as many days.

Late game heroics, questionable managerial decisions, an abundance of stellar web gems and a long-suffering fan base partying on Royals’ first baseman Eric Hosmer’s dime? That’s enough drama to bring even the most baseball-fatigued fan back into the fold.

Even if the game I decided to skip—a 12-3 Orioles’ win—wasn’t an all-timer, I still feel as if I missed out on something important and now find myself playing catch-up. It would be, as if I decided not to celebrate the Christmas season this year, forgoing the tree decoration, the bad sweaters, the glut of holiday classics on TV only to wake up on Dec. 25 and find the area blanketed by a fresh snowfall—like somehow, I wasn’t worthy of the Rockwellian Christmas ideal laid out before me.

No matter what happens the rest of the way during the playoffs, I’ve learned my lesson. Never again will I cast off my baseball tradition to do something as reckless as fulfill my professional responsibilities. Deadlines are a weekly occurrence in my life.

But there’s only one October.

 

Follow Mike on Twitter, 

@LiveMike_Sports

 
A Harrison swimmer does the backstroke in an early season contests. The Huskies are currently 4-1 on the year.

Huskies clip Eagles

A Harrison swimmer competes in the individual medley event against New Rochelle. On Sept. 30, the Huskies edged out another local rival, beating Eastchester 85-84.

A Harrison swimmer competes in the individual medley event against New Rochelle. On Sept. 30, the Huskies edged out another local rival, beating Eastchester 85-84.

By Mike Smith
Harrison’s swim team topped Eastchester on Sept. 30, edging the Eagles 85-84 to grab its fourth win of the season. Of all its wins on the Huskies resume this season, the latest might have been the most impressive. 

Taking on the Eagles in a pool that features more lanes than the Huskies are used to, Harrison needed everyone on its small team to step up in a big way on Tuesday afternoon. With six lanes open during each event—as opposed to the four generally open in Harrison’s home turf and other swimming venues—Harrison’s lack of numbers was a decided handicap against the Eagles.

“Our advantage is in a four lane pool because there’s only 17 of us right now,” said head coach Phil Dearstyne. “Just about every one of our swimmers had to swim a full four races against Eastchester, and that can be very grueling for the girls.”

A Harrison swimmer does the backstroke in an early season contests. The Huskies are currently 4-1 on the year.

A Harrison swimmer does the backstroke in an early season contests. The Huskies are currently 4-1 on the year.

Stephanie Pon and Sarah Hodes, two Harrison swimmers who are used to competing in all four events at a meet, led the way for the Huskies with Hodes taking home two individual first-place finishes, in the 100-meter breaststroke and 500-meter freestyle, and Pon winning the 200-meter individual medley. Hodes and Pon also teamed up to help the Huskies’ 200-meter medley relay team take top honors on the day.

“When you have someone like Sarah who I don’t think has lost a race all year, and someone like Stephanie who can definitely handle competing in four events, you just have to look at the other team’s results,” said Dearstyne. “You have to figure out where to put girls that gives them a chance to win a race.”

With Tuesday’s win, the Huskies are 4-1 on the season.

Although Dearstyne expected his team to have success this year, he has been especially pleased with the way that his team has fared against stiff competition so far.

A Harrison swimmer performs the breaststroke during an early-season contest against New Rochelle. Harrison’s lost against the Huguenots is the team’s only loss on the season.

A Harrison swimmer performs the breaststroke during an early-season contest against New Rochelle. Harrison’s lost against the Huguenots is the team’s only loss on the season.

“As a coach, you look at the schedule and you circle the meets that you know are going to be tough ones,” he said. “We knew well ahead of time that this meet against Eastchester was going to be one of those tough ones.”

The Huskies’ schedule doesn’t ease up next week, when they hit the road to take on another top team in Bronxville. As the team gears up for the last month of the season with divisionals and sectionals in mind, Dearstyne feels that Hodes has the chance to qualify for states in a few events including the 100-meter backstroke, the 100-meter fly and the 500-meter freestyle.

“She’s definitely got the potential,” said Dearstyne. “And I know she’d like to qualify in all of them so she has a choice at states.”

Contact: sports@Hometwn.com

 

A Harrison swimmer does the butterfly. Photos/Bobby Begun

A Harrison swimmer does the butterfly. Photos/Bobby Begun

 

Charlie Tarry runs with the ball on Sept. 27. Tarry has been a favorite target of quarterback Graham Klimley. Photos/Bobby Begun

Broncos top Panthers

Charlie Tarry runs with the ball on Sept. 27. Tarry has been a favorite target of quarterback Graham Klimley. Photos/Bobby Begun

Charlie Tarry runs with the ball on Sept. 27. Tarry has been a favorite target of quarterback Graham Klimley. Photos/Bobby Begun

By Mike Smith
Coming into a Sept. 27 matchup with Bronxville, Rye Neck’s football team hadn’t lost a regular season contest in two years. That streak came to an end this weekend, however, as Bronxville topped the Panthers 40-19 at home. 

The two teams went into the half tied at 19, but a strong second half by Bronxville proved the difference maker. Graham Klimley led the way for the Broncos, completing seven passes for 189 yards and four touchdowns on the afternoon. Both Brendan Walsh and Charlie Tarry were targeted on the afternoon, with Walsh catching three balls for 128 yards and two scores and Tarry picking up the other two touchdowns on 53 yards receiving.

So far this year, the Broncos have managed to outscore opponents 127-40, and with the two toughest teams on its regular season schedule – Rye Neck and Tuckahoe – in the rear view mirror, could head into the playoffs with an undefeated record.

Brendan Walsh hauls in a pass against the Panthers. The Broncos’ aerial attack proved too much for the Panthers in a 40-19 win on Saturday.

Brendan Walsh hauls in a pass against the Panthers. The Broncos’ aerial attack proved too much for the Panthers in a 40-19 win on Saturday.

“Bronxville is a very good team, and we knew that coming in,” said Rye Neck coach Nick Ianello. “They had one defensive touchdown, added another one late with our second team in, and I think we made some mistakes that led to scores.”

Rye Neck lost star running back Jake Sevean in the first half with a hip injury, something that Ianello felt derailed the Panthers’ offensive efforts on the day. Sevean found the end zone twice prior to his early exit, with Rye Neck’s third score coming on a kickoff return by Dom Brescia. Brescia finished with 89 yards on the ground to pace the Panther attack.

Ianello is hopeful that Sevean will be back on the field sooner rather than later, but believes that Brescia—a returning all-state player—has the ability to shoulder the load until his return.

“When Jake got hurt, I think that took the wind out of our sails,” said the head coach. “We’re hoping that our trainer can work with him and get him ready to play, but we don’t really know yet.”

Robbie Westerfield rushes around the edge on Sept. 27. The Broncos improved to 4-0 on the season with a win over the Panthers in Bronxville.

Robbie Westerfield rushes around the edge on Sept. 27. The Broncos improved to 4-0 on the season with a win over the Panthers in Bronxville.

In Rye Neck’s two previous wins this year, the team did not surrender any points, making Bronxville’s offensive outburst something of an aberration against the normally stout defense.

“I think our practice habits need to improve,” said Ianello. “When you win, the way we’ve won the last two years, you can forget that it takes hard work to get to where you were. But you can get humbled real quick.”

Rye Neck will look to bounce back on Oct. 2 against Tuckahoe while the Broncos look to continue their winning ways against Valhalla.

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 

 

 

 

 

Rye Neck’s Dom Brescia looks for open field against the Broncos on Sept. 27. Brescia ran for 89 yards in a Panther loss.

Rye Neck’s Dom Brescia looks for open field against the Broncos on Sept. 27. Brescia ran for 89 yards in a Panther loss.

 
Jack Stern goes for a big gain on Sept. 27. The Huguenots’ passing attack was deadly against an overmatched North Rockland squad.

Huguenots rock Raiders

Jack Stern goes for a big gain on Sept. 27. The Huguenots’ passing attack was deadly against an overmatched North Rockland squad.

Jack Stern goes for a big gain on Sept. 27. The Huguenots’ passing attack was deadly against an overmatched North Rockland squad.

By MIKE SMITH
On Sept. 27, the New Rochelle Huguenots got some measure of revenge against the team that knocked them out of the playoff picture last year, beating Class AA powerhouse North Rockland 35-7 at home.  For the rest of Section I, this latest one-sided win is even more proof that New Rochelle is one of the best teams in the area and continuing to improve each week. 

The Huguenots were dominant on both sides of the ball on Saturday, building up a 28-0 lead at the end of the first half, and holding the Red Raiders to just 20 yards of offense in the opening two quarters.

The Huguenots have kept in step with New Rochelle’s recent tradition of defensive dominance. In four games this year, the squad has allowed just 27 points, with 13 of those coming after New Rochelle had already established dominant leads.

Offensively, the team has benefitted a great deal from the continued maturation of junior quarterback Greg Powell, who has shown great improvement in his short time under center. His evisceration of the Red Raiders on Saturday might be his best performance to date.

Senior Jon Forrest breaks through the line against North Rockland on Sept. 27. Forrest scored three touchdowns against the Red Raiders en route to a 35-7 victory.

Senior Jon Forrest breaks through the line against North Rockland on Sept. 27. Forrest scored three touchdowns against the Red Raiders en route to a 35-7 victory.

Powell hit tight end Tyler Cohen for a 13-yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter and didn’t ease up, completing 13 of his 15 pass attempts on the afternoon and picking up 164 yards through the air.

Standout running back Jon Forrest continued to show why he is one of the most feared backs in the section, finding the end zone three times and putting the game away with his last score in the middle of the third quarter.

North Rockland didn’t put any points on the board until a touchown pass with just 25 seconds to play broke the shutout.

With three games left in the regular season, the Huguenots are hoping their early success will translate into playoff glory. They should have little trouble on Oct. 3 against an Ossining team still looking for its first win of the season, but the road could get a bit harder next week, when the Huguenots take on the undefeated Scarsdale Raiders. The Raiders, who boast an identical 4-0 record to the Huguenots, will take on Port Chester, 1-3, on Thursday afternoon.

New Rochelle coach Lou DiRienzo, Jr. could not be reached for comment as of press time.

CONTACT: sports@hometwn.com 

NOT TO BAD

Column: Mr. Jinx

Graham Klimley throws a pass during Bronxville’s Sept. 20 game against Tuckahoe. Bronxville is one of a few local teams that seem poised for big things this year. Photo/Mike Smith

Graham Klimley throws a pass during Bronxville’s Sept. 20 game against Tuckahoe. Bronxville is one of a few local teams that seem poised for big things this year. Photo/Mike Smith

I don’t want to be a jinx, but taking a look at the Section I landscape right now makes me think I’m going to be pretty busy, job-wise, come November.

It might still be early in the season, but we seem to have a lot of teams in the area capable of big things, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some—or many—of those teams making a deep postseason push this fall.

Now, I’ve been pretty hesitant to put these thoughts down on paper. Last week, Mets beat writer Anthony DiComo—a friend of mine—was tweeting during a meaningless late-season game between the Amazin’s and the Astros. He pointed out to his readers that the Mets were on the verge of being the first Major League team to go an entire season without committing a single balk. It would have been a minor, yet interesting, achievement in an otherwise lost year. Alas, not two minutes later, Dillon Gee balked, prompting the dozens of Mets fans still paying attention to collectively face-palm.

But I don’t see that happening here. Not with the talent we see in our area.

Between Bronxville, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle and Rye we have four undefeated football teams alone. Tuckahoe, which has lost a game, generally doesn’t have much competition once they get to face off against other Class D teams. Chances are we’ll be seeing one of them in Syracuse in a few months.

Bronxville’s girls soccer team is similarly unbeaten and no stranger to late-November runs at states. Mamaroneck’s field hockey team is 9-0 as of press time and hasn’t allowed a goal on the year. If Rye’s field hockey squad can get past Lakeland this year—no mean feat—they could find themselves viewed as one of the best teams in the state as well.

So what does that mean for me?

It means the next few weeks will be fun, for sure.

I can’t remember a season in which this many teams, in this many sports, had such a good chance to vie for a state crown. Getting the chance to watch these teams grow into cohesive units potentially capable of winning is going to be an experience to remember.

A lot can happen between now and then.

Injuries, slumps or one bad game at an inopportune time can see a team’s high hopes dashed. It’s pretty difficult to win a section title, let alone take states. But the potential for greatness still remains for our local clubs, and that’s enough to get me excited for October.

Besides. If these teams fall short now, it will be through no fault of their own.

Just blame the jinx.

 

Follow Mike on Twitter,
@LiveMike_Sports

 
Senior Georgia Ellis looks for an open teammate against the Raiders. The Tigers are looking to stay unde-feated heading into a tough mid-October stretch against some of the area’s top teams.

Tigers stay perfect

Senior Georgia Ellis looks for an open teammate against the Raiders. The Tigers are looking to stay unde-feated heading into a tough mid-October stretch against some of the area’s top teams.

Senior Georgia Ellis looks for an open teammate against the Raiders. The Tigers are looking to stay unde-feated heading into a tough mid-October stretch against some of the area’s top teams.

By MIKE SMITH
On Sept. 27, the Mamaroneck field hockey team kept its perfect record intact, beating an overmatched Scarsdale squad 5-0 on the road. With the win, the Tigers improved to 9-0 on the season, but still have work to do as they look to repeat as Class A champions. 

Lizzie Clarke’s two goals led the way for Mamaroneck on Saturday, while teammate Sophie Despins had a goal and an assist in the win. So far this year, Mamaroneck has simply outclassed its opponents, outscoring its foes 68-0. The Tigers were undefeated in Section I play in 2013, and are looking to keep that streak alive this fall.

Last season, the Tigers’ hopes for a state title were dashed in the semifinals by Sachem East, something that has provided the Tigers with heaps of motivation this year.

Ellie Seid pushes the ball upfield on Sept. 27. Ellie is one of five Tiger captains in 2014.

Ellie Seid pushes the ball upfield on Sept. 27. Ellie is one of five Tiger captains in 2014.

“I thought we’d be a little better than we were the year before, with some good kids coming up to fill in for the girls we lost,” said Mamaroneck coach John Savage. “I think the girls have a chip on their shoulders and our goal for this year is ‘unfinished business.’”

Although the Tigers haven’t been tested much early on the season—Savage believes that goalie Jaime Schiff has only had to make three saves so far—Mamaroneck has been relying on tough practice sessions to get the team ready for the postseason. Savage said that his five captains—the most he has ever had in his 18 years at the helm of Mamaroneck’s program—have been instrumental in keeping the rest of the girls focused on the task at hand.

“[Against Scarsdale] we won by a lot, but the girls were right back at it, doing the grunt work at practice to get better,” said Savage. “These captains [Despins, Heather Gardiner, Kimi Chiapparelli and Karen and Ellie Seid], they take care of the little things that, over the course of a season, can sometimes turn into bigger problems.”

Lizzie Clarke controls the ball against the Raiders on Sept. 27. The Tigers are 9-0 on the season and have outscored opponents 68-0.

Lizzie Clarke controls the ball against the Raiders on Sept. 27. The Tigers are 9-0 on the season and have outscored opponents 68-0.

Despite the team’s flawless record, he added, there is still room for improvement as the playoffs loom. Chief among those, according to the head coach, are maintaining passing lanes and taking better approaches defensively, according to the head coach.

“There are several things we need to work on,” said Savage. “Even games that we’re winning by a lot, if we’re not doing things the right way, when we run into a team that has as much skill as we do, we could find ourselves in trouble.”

Mamaroneck’s toughest stretch of the season will kick off on Oct. 15 with a three-game set against Lakeland, Darien, Conn., and Rye. Class B Lakeland—considered by many to be one of the top teams in the state—is currently undefeated and Darien is perennially one of the best teams in Connecticut.

“Playing those three games will tell us where we are as a team,” said Savage. “We’ve been dominant so far, but you have to wait to the end of the season to find out how good you really are.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

Lizzie Clarke battles for the ball against Scarsdale on Sept. 27. Clarke had two goals in Mamaroneck’s 5-0 win over the Raiders. Photos/Bobby Begun

Lizzie Clarke battles for the ball against Scarsdale on Sept. 27. Clarke had two goals in Mamaroneck’s 5-0 win over the Raiders. Photos/Bobby Begun

 

 
Alex Parkinson hauls in a pass against Eastchester. Parkinson had three catches for 71 yards and a touchdown in Mamaroneck’s win. Photos/Bobby Begun

Tigers top Eagles

Wayne Hoffman carries the ball on Sept. 12. Hoffman and the Eagles mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t overcome the Tigers in a 33-14 loss.

Wayne Hoffman carries the ball on Sept. 12. Hoffman and the Eagles mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t overcome the Tigers in a 33-14 loss.

By MIKE SMITH
On Sept. 12, the Eastchester and Mamaroneck football teams squared off for the first time in each program’s history. Host Mamaroneck would draw first blood in this burgeoning rivalry, beating the Eagles 33-14 in a game that drew attention to some of the Tigers’ featured players. 

Senior running back Marquez Jackson-Allen torched Eastchester, rushing for 217 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson-Allen would also have an 85-yard kick-off touchdown called back on a clip in a game that showcased just how explosive the senior can be when healthy.

“He’s just a special player,” said Mamaroneck coach Anthony Vitti. “He came out, the lights were on and he was feeling good. I really think of him as the offensive catalyst of this team.”

Fellow senior Andrew Sommer lead the way on defense, recording 11 solo tackles and assisting on nine others as the Tigers maintained their shutout until late in the fourth quarter, when the Eagles finally got on the board.

Alex Parkinson hauls in a pass against Eastchester. Parkinson had three catches for 71 yards and a touchdown in Mamaroneck’s win. Photos/Bobby Begun

Alex Parkinson hauls in a pass against Eastchester. Parkinson had three catches for 71 yards and a touchdown in Mamaroneck’s win. Photos/Bobby Begun

“You can’t beat experience and [Andrew] has been a three-year starter for us,” said Vitti. “He’s a kid who puts a lot of study time into this and you’re seeing it pay off.”

Sommer wasn’t the only defensive star, however, as Vitti credited the secondary with doing a solid job in containing Eastchester’s top threat, wide out Andrew Schultz.

From the get-go, Schultz had to deal with double-teams and the extra attention of safety Alex Parkinson near the goal line.

“We knew coming into the game that there were certain kids we didn’t want to let beat us,” said Vitti. “I think our backs did a terrific job limiting him during the game.”

The loss drops the Eagles to 0-2 on the season, while the Tigers now find themselves at 2-0 with homecoming next on the schedule. The Tigers’ first-team defense has allowed just one touchdown this year and Vitti hopes to see that commitment to defense become a constant this year.

Eastchester wide receiver Andrew Schultz tries to break a tackle against the Tigers. Schultz drew a lot of attention from the Mamaroneck defense during Friday’s contest.

Eastchester wide receiver Andrew Schultz tries to break a tackle against the Tigers. Schultz drew a lot of attention from the Mamaroneck defense during Friday’s contest.

“First of all, my coaches, especially David Smith and Vinnie Tamburro, have done a great job getting these kids ready this year,” he said. “Our defense is fast, and we can hit, and I think you’re seeing the kids really start to embrace the scheme.”

Eastchester is set host Spring Valley on Sept. 20 while the Tigers prepare for their homecoming game against an unbeaten Clarkstown South team on Friday night. According to Vitti, the Tigers will need to be sharp if they hope to keep their perfect record intact.

“We could always be a little bit more crisp, eliminate some of the mistakes” he said. “We’re going to have to step up big this week.”

contact: sports@hometwn.com

 

 

Mamaroneck’s Marquez Jackson-Allen heads for the end zone on Sept. 12. Jackson-Allen finished with 217 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

Mamaroneck’s Marquez Jackson-Allen heads for the end zone on Sept. 12. Jackson-Allen finished with 217 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

 
Erin hearn controls the ball against Rye on Sept. 5. The Eagles are looking to make another deep run in the Class A playoffs this year. Photo/Mike Smith

Eagles coming together

Erin hearn controls the ball against Rye on Sept. 5. The Eagles are looking to make another deep run in the Class A playoffs this year. Photo/Mike Smith

Erin hearn controls the ball against Rye on Sept. 5. The Eagles are looking to make another deep run in the Class A playoffs this year. Photo/Mike Smith

By MIKE SMITH
Eastchester might have lost a few games out of the gate in 2014, but given the Eagles’ talent level—and their history as a top Class A team—it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the young club contending for a section crown at the end of the year. 

Eastchester beat Harrison 1-0 on Sept. 11, on the strength of a first-half goal by Gabby Ricciardi. With the win, the Eagles improved to 2-3 on the year and look to be turning the corner as the season begins to heat up.

Despite losing 11 seniors from last year’s Class A runner-up team, the Eagles have no shortage of stars, according to head coach Frank Fiore.

“We always have high expectations for the girls, even though we know that we lost a lot,” said Fiore. “We have enough talent on the team, and enough in the program that we try to pick it up every year. We’ve been a good team for long enough that nobody’s going to feel sorry for us.”

In addition to Ricciardi, the Eagles will be relying on their tri-captains, Claire Teahan and sisters Olivia and Anna Hughes, to lead the squad this year. Offensively, the Eagles are also relying on midfielder Gail Kahmen to distribute the ball and facilitate the scoring. Multi-sport star Clarissa Mejia is once again in net for Eastchester.

With a younger squad, Fiore said, the Eagles will work on controlling the ball and finding openings in opposing defenses.

“Depending on our formation, we’re going to try and work on grinding it out, keeping possession,” he said. “The girls are out to prove they belong. We’re going to be a scrappy team.”

The Eagles will have their work cut out for them this year, with teams like Rye, Harrison, Byram Hills, Pelham and Port Chester on the league schedule.

“In my mind, there are so many soccer schools in the area, I’d say this is the toughest league in the section,” said Fiore. “There’s not one gimme game on here.”

Considering the tough schedule, the Eagles’ early tests should be helpful come postseason, according to Fiore.

“I told the girls, this is a marathon, not a sprint,” he said. “It’s going to take some time to come together as a team, but once the playoffs roll around, it won’t matter if our seed might be a little lower.”

The Eagles will take on Port Chester on Sept. 20, before hosting Harrison in a Sept. 22 rematch.

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 
A Huguenot takes to the water against Harrison. The Huguenots have shown great skill in the relay events so far.

New Rochelle Roundup

 

A Huguenot takes to the water against Harrison. The Huguenots have shown great skill in the relay events so far.

A Huguenot takes to the water against Harrison. The Huguenots have shown great skill in the relay events so far.

Girls Swimming

9/12 New Rochelle d. Rye 93-77

In their first swim meet of the season, the Huguenots downed a worthy challenger in Rye, dominating the top spots in the relays to beat the Garnets by a convincing 16 points.

Christina Faust was part of the 400 and 200-meter freestyle and the 200 medley relay squads that took first place in addition to winning two individual races in the 200 and 500-meter freestyle event. Samantha Neumann also won two individual races in addition to her contributions in the relays, taking first in the 200 Individual Medley and 100-meter breaststroke.

The only two events in which the Huguenots did not come away with a first place finish were the 50 and 100 freestyle races, which were won by Rye’s Jane Curran and Hannah Simmons, respectively.

A Huguenot swimmer does the breaststroke on Sept. 15.

A Huguenot swimmer does the breaststroke on Sept. 15.

 

Football

9/13 New Rochelle d. Ramapo 34-6

New Rochelle stayed unbeaten on Saturday, outclassing Ramapo with an explosive 34-point first half. The Huguenots stellar defense shut the Rams out until the second half.

Overshadowing the game, however, was the return of New Rochelle graduate and NFL star Ray Rice who made his first public appearance since being suspended indefinitely by the NFL last Monday for his role in a domestic violence incident.

Rice, who received a warm reception from the New Rochelle crowd, watched the first half of the game from the sidelines with his wife, daughter, and several of his former high school teammates.

 

Boys Soccer

A New Rochelle swimmer competes in the backstroke against Harrison on Sept. 15. New Rochelle’s swim team is off to a good start in 2014. Photos/Bobby Begun

A New Rochelle swimmer competes in the backstroke against Harrison on Sept. 15. New Rochelle’s swim team is off to a good start in 2014. Photos/Bobby Begun

9/12 New Rochelle d. Scarsdale 2-1

New Rochelle netted a big win against its league rival on Friday, beating visiting  Scarsdale 2-1. The Huguenots drew first blood in the first half on a goal by Beni De La Rosa and increased the lead in the second half when Alejandro Oliveros collected a rebound and found the net. In the 61st minute, the Raiders were able to get on the board with a goal by Jon Dorf, but the comeback attempt would fall short.

The Huguenots are currently 3-1 on the season.

 

Girls Soccer

9/10 Scarsdale d. New Rochelle 2-1

Last week, Scarsdale edged a young New Rochelle squad 2-1 on the strength of two early goals by Zoe Epstein and Erin McDonald. The Huguenots mounted a challenge in the second half when Sophie Wolf found the net after a pass from Sabrina Salov, but it wouldn’t be enough to bury the Raiders.

The Huguenots will get another shot at Scarsdale on Friday, Sept. 19 when the Raiders travel to New Rochelle. They are also eyeing a tough Saturday, Sept. 27 matchup with the Mamaroneck Tigers.