BEDFORD HILLS, N.Y. — In a back-and-forth game, Rye held a two-goal edge with under a minute to play against Byram Hills on Thursday afternoon.
Claudia Hammerschmidt’s goal trimmed Rye’s lead to one with 34 seconds left. Byram Hills won the ensuing draw, but fired wide with a few seconds left and was unable to get another shot off.
No. 4-seeded Rye held on for an exciting 12-11 win over No. 7-seeded Byram in the Section 1 Class C finals at Fox Lane High School to earn its first Section 1 title since 2006.
“It’s an indescribable feeling,” said Rye’s Scarlet Sulliman, who had four goals and an assist. “I’m so proud of my team, it’s amazing. I was definitely very nervous at the end. I didn’t know what to expect, I knew it could go both ways. Byram Hills is an amazing, talented team. Our team had confidence and we definitely wanted it more. We wanted to win it for our school and our teammates.”
Emma Brinkman (2G) gave Rye a 12-10 lead with 6:48 remaining.
Rye held a three-goal edge at 11-8 after a Tori Virtue (3G) goal with 11:19 left. But Katie Byrne answered with two quick goals on assists from Alex Fritz to cut it to 11-10 with 8:30 left, prompting a Rye timeout.
“Coach basically just gave us a lot of courage,” Sulliman said of what coach Dennis Hurley said in the timeout. “He was telling us to get up and get ready. He knew we could do it for our team. He knew we had the strength, the skills and the desire to win. That timeout really made us focus.”
The Garnets led 6-4 late in the first half, but the Bobcats answered in the final 30 seconds with goals from Emily Byrne and Emma Benzie to knot the score at 6-6 at halftime.
“They’ve handled so many things and met all kinds of challenges,” Rye coach Dennis Hurley said. “This is just another one for them I think. I’m not surprised; they have a lot of poise.”
Annie Van Wagenen had two goals and two assists for Rye (13-5-2). Momo Yoshida added one goal. Maddie Kinker stopped seven shots in net.
“Our whole entire offense is amazing,” Sulliman said. “Every single person can step up to the plate. Our defense was solid, we slid to the ball.”
Katie Byrne paced the Bobcats (12-7-1) with five goals and one assist. Hammerschmidt added three goals, while Fritz had one goal and four assists. K.C. Murray made five saves.
Hurley commended the job first-year coach Gail Lozado has done with the much improved Bobcats.
“She’s done maybe the best job in Section 1 with her group,” Hurley said. “They’ve gotten tremendously better since the beginning of the season. I felt like there were a couple chances for us to make it a three or four goal game today and their team stepped up and made plays. We couldn’t get that cushion.”
The teams met twice during the regular season. Rye won the first meeting 11-6 and they played to an 11-11 tie in the second meeting.
The Garnets will face either Red Hook or Burke Catholic of Section 9 in a Class C regional semifinal on Wednesday, May 30 at Dietz Stadium in Kingston at 3 p.m.
“Our goal is to play the best we can play,” Sulliman said. “To play our level of lacrosse and to definitely play with a lot of heart and desire.”
Follow Rob DiAntonio on Twitter @MSGV_RJD