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Rye Boys' Soccer Team Will Draw Notice

RYE, N.Y. -- Liam Harris said the key to the Rye varsity boys' soccer team’s success the last few years is going unnoticed.

“Coach Small said we've been under the radar and we like it that way,” said Harris, who will be the starting goalie for a third year.

The Garnets might not be able to remain incognito this year after a 13-win 2011 season, second-place finish in their league and a trip to the Section 1 Class A Boys' Soccer Championships.

Rye will leave Thursday for its annual three-day trip to Boston. Coach Jared Small takes the team to this three-day scrimmage and also takes them on a tour of his alma mater -- Harvard.

“It’s really going to be beneficial because we are going to be playing soccer for three days and it will give the younger kids a lot more experience being on the trip,” Harris said. “It will also give us a good idea of what we are solid in and what we need to work on.”

The younger players will be instrumental in Rye’s season as the Garnets graduated 15 seniors, including Ian Robinson, who is playing at Rutgers, and Henry Gager, who is playing at Penn.

Harris headlines the core group of six returning seniors. Joining him are Mike Garofolo, Brandon LaBella, Jackson Reed, Ryan Ackert and Colby Ellis. Classmate Trevor Hele returns to soccer after a one-year hiatus.

The new varsity players have adapted well through the first nine days of practice. Harris said they have demonstrated a willingness to work hard and give 100 percent.

“Everyone on the team this year has a role and they will be an important part of our team,” Harris said. “Everybody will be moved around this year because versatility is one of our strengths.”

Rye wants to reverse the conclusion to its 2011 season. The Garnets had a strong regular season then were upset in the first round of sectionals by Pelham. Rye can’t wait for the season to start.

“They caught us off guard and they played better than we did,” Harris said. “We have two games in the first three days so everyone is hungry to get started.”

Rye opens the season at Blind Brook, the defending Section 1 Class B champion, Wednesday. Rye plays arch rival Harrison Sept. 7.

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