By MIKE SMITH
On Dec. 7, the Rye Garnets fought to a draw with Mount Pleasant, finishing the overtime period
knotted at four goals apiece with the Panthers. Though the game might not have been the Garnets best, head coach Jason Friesen believes it’s just one step in the process of Rye finding its bearings.
Cal Hynson scored just 23 seconds into the action, but Mount Pleasant answered back as the two teams matched scores all game long. Hynson, Theo Bresolin, Mac McGovern and Matt Holmes all found the net for the Garnets, who found themselves unable to hold off the Panthers offense, falling to 1-0-1 on the season.
“I think it was a bit of a stronger Mount Pleasant team than we’ve seen, especially in recent years,” Rye coach Jason Friesen said. “But I don’t think it was that they were stronger, I think we didn’t play as well as we could have.”
In the early goings of the season, Rye is still looking to find its identity. With some upperclassmen transfers and a host of younger players, the Garnets have had mixed success this season, beating an ETB team 9-6 before the Mount Pleasant tie.
“Coming in, I thought we were going to have a younger team, but we had three kids transfer into the school district, which kind of changed the makeup,” Friesen said. “I still think we’re in the middle in terms of playing experience.”
So far, the Garnets have relied heavily on the presence of tri-captains Hynson, Connor McGovern–who had 3 goals against ETB–and Griffin Tutun, three players who have been with Friesen for years. The Garnets also have gotten an offensive boost from freshman Matt Holmes and sophomores Bresolin and Tommy O’Brien.
Goaltending duties have been split thus far between Nat Deen and Daniel Bonaventura.
“At least for a couple of games we’re going to go on a game-by-game basis with the goal tending,” Friesen said. “I’ve got a pretty good feel for what we have, but we still want to see a little bit more.”
The Garnets will square off against a solid Mamaroneck team on Dec. 10, after press time. Over the last few years, the Tigers, who are coming off a win over state champion Saratoga, and the Garnets have produced a number of memorable games. Although the two squads have a fairly heated rivalry, Friesen believes it’s still too early in the year to take away much from the outcome of the upcoming game.
“It’s definitely going to be a good test for us,” the head coach said. “It’s too early to really ask that we have all of our systems down in place, but what I want to see from these kids is the will to compete out there.”