By MIKE SMITH
On April 3, the Rye girls lacrosse team met up with rival Harrison, battering the Huskies to the tune of a 17-1 win for their second victory of the season.
Although the season is young, the undefeated Garnets have been flawless so far, as the veteran squad is eager to improve on last year’s finish.
Against Harrison, junior Charlotte Tucci led the way, scoring five goals–including her 100th career goal–but, for Garnet coach Dennis Hurley, the big takeaway was the play of Rye’s defense in the one-sided game.
“The goals were easy to come by for our team,” Hurlie said. “Of course we didn’t want to run up the score, but we can still play great defense like that and not allow them to score.”
With every player returning from last year’s team–save graduated senior Scarlett Sulliman, who missed the second half of the 2013 campaign with an injury–Hurlie knows that, offensively, the team won’t struggle this year, but he is still looking to see improvement in the defensive unit.
That improvement, he said, has to come from increased game experience.
“Defense is where we have the most new players, and we need to shore it up as we move forward” Hurlie said. “You can only do so much in practice, but I think we’re going to grow as the year goes on.”
Hurlie believes that, with standout goalie Micheline DiNardo in net, the defensive unit will have the confidence need to work on its craft.
“I told them they don’t have to be perfect,” Hurlie said. “They just have to keep improving.”
At 2-0, the Garnets are set for a tough week ahead as spring break looms.
On Saturday, the Garnets will head up to north to take on a tough Albany Academy squad at Union College. Next week, they have games lined up against out-of-section powerhouse Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Yorktown.
“This is going to be a good test, and I’m looking to see how we play, even from half to half,” Hurlie said. “With little scouting on these teams, if they start running stuff we aren’t ready for, I’m looking forward to seeing how we adjust in-game.”
As the team moves forward into the bulk of league play, Hurlie said, the veteran squad will eye a return to the playoffs and a deeper run then it had last year.
“We’re going to keep on getting better as the season goes on,” Hurlie said. “I think we’re going to be a very good lacrosse team by the end of the year.”