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You can be champions without winning the championship trophy; that was the lasting gift the 2010 Raiders field hockey team gave to us. The team had its best year in over a decade, finishing with 15 wins, 3 losses and 2 ties. While the double overtime loss to defending Section A champion Mamaroneck was disappointing, that game will go down in Raiders history as one of the most exciting and hard fought contests of all time. In the playoffs the team displayed their resilience and, more importantly, showcased all that they had learned. They were a team that supported each other throughout the year, both on the field and off. They played hard, they played clean and they played for the love of the sport.

The season saw the emergence of talents at all levels. The senior tri-captains, goalie Emily Knapp and midfielders Kathryn Peruski and Carly Levine, set the tone for the team – serious during the game, and fun after the game.

Margot Ehrlich came into her own as a top scorer and freshman Caroline Knapp finished the season as the second leading goal scorer and as the assist leader. The defense, led by Ciera Howard and Lia Cromwell and ably assisted by Hannah Duggen, Kiki Yewer and Julia Mayer, often stood as a block. The offense, including freshman Sydney Malsch and Katie Colella, who helped to open up opponent’s defenses.

The highlights were many. First and foremost, this was the team that gave Coach Rosenthal her 100th win, in a game against White Plains. Who can forget the magic when junior Victoria Green stepped onto the field and scored a rare hat trick, or senior Julia Hirsch’s two-goal trick in one game after having scored goals in two other games, as a substitute forward?

Then there was the picture perfect passing that resulted in the equalizing goal against perennial powerhouse Briarcliff. Ehrlich's clever pass through the defender's legs was gathered in by Knapp who then whipped her own crossing pass in front of the net, just beyond the reach of the last defender, for a streaking Malsch to one-time past the diving keeper and into the back of the net. The three titanic battles against archrival Mamaroneck need to be added to the list as well.

A quick recap of the Sectionals is in order. The Raiders went in as the Section A third seed and overcame a determined Carmel team in the first round by a 4 to 2 margin. Next up was Fox Lane in the quarterfinals, where the 2009 Raiders were knocked out of the competition. This year proved to be different with Scarsdale holding on for a 1-0 victory. Goals were scarce as the potent offense was having difficulty finding the net. Yet, in this game the defense stepped forward and did not break.

The team advanced to the semifinals where they faced second seeded John Jay of East Fishkill. The two teams battled each other unrelentingly for the entire sixty minutes of regulation time. With no goals for either team, the game moved into sudden death overtime. Supremely confident of their inevitable victory and having won the coin toss, John Jay elected to give the Raiders the first possession. It proved to be a fatal error, as John Jay never got the ball back. Led by Peruski and Levine, the Raiders marched down the field, eventually securing a penalty corner. Malsch inserted the ball to Peruski then dashed toward the net in time to lift Peruski’s shot past the goalie. Sudden death took only 90 seconds and the joyous Raiders raced onto the field to pile up in a victory celebration.

For the first time in over a decade, Scarsdale was in the finals, which were held at Manhattanville College on November 7. This time the underdog Raiders faced Mamaroneck for the Section A championship. They met on a cold, windy day for a memorable game. Though Scarsdale played with passion, Mamaroneck drew first blood with a wicked shot off a penalty corner that slammed into the lower left corner of the net. Six minutes into the second half, Peruski returned the favor with an identical blast off a Scarsdale corner. The game settled into a desperate struggle as each side looked for a way to avoid overtime.

Overall, the offensive chances began to favor Mamaroneck. The Raiders were finding it difficult to create good scoring opportunities from their counter-attacks. With her fearless play in the net and her able direction of the defense, Knapp kept Raider hopes alive against the ever-increasing Mamaroneck onslaught and forced the game into overtime. With everything on the line, each team looked for a chance to score. Again, though, Mamaroneck created the better scoring chances Knapp foiled every attack with a seemingly never-ending series of sparkling and acrobatic saves. With seconds left in the first overtime period, Knapp forced a second overtime period by denying a two on none breakaway. With three and a half minutes gone in the second overtime period and yet another penalty corner called against Scarsdale, Knapp made a sliding save on a hard bouncing shot from the top of the circle, upending an attacking Mamaroneck forward in the process. Unfortunately, the loose ball was then fired past her desperation dive and eluded a Scarsdale defender before banging into the back of the goal.

With that, the Raiders season ended. They were runners up to the Section A Championship.

It would be wrong to let the result of this final game define the season or the team. The 2010 Raiders team was inspirational and credit should be given to their remarkable coaches, Sharon Rosenthal and Genette Zonghetti. The players believed in themselves and went farther than anyone had hoped. They understood that when one needed help, their teammates would be there. They never gave up, and they never feared a more skilled or seasoned opponent.

They also knew how to have fun, whether it was at team breakfasts, crazy game day dress ups or their song and video presentations at the annual flockey dinner. Finally, they knew that there were things beyond field hockey that were worthy of support, as they showed by their participation in the Walk for the Cure, sponsored by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

In the end, they reminded us all of the great things that can be achieved by working together and trusting each other. While the season did not end as they had hoped, they represented Scarsdale with pride and distinction.

Contributor Charles Knapp is a Scarsdale Raiders Field Hockey parent.



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shsectionaldIt was a sweet night for the Scarsdale Raiders soccer team on Saturday November 6, when Scarsdale, the #1 ranked team met John Jay High School of East Fishkill, the #2 team for the sectional final title.

Hundreds of spirited fans came to cheer on the team, chanting over and over again “I believe we will win.” Among the crowd at SUNY Purchase were parents, students and former SHS soccer players and fans.

They didn’t have to wait long for Scarsdale to score, what would be the only goal of the game, during the first half. The Penfold brothers worked together to win the game. The goal was made when junior Tomas Penfold scored after an assist from his older brother, Andres Penfold, an SHS senior.

shsectionalbDuring the second half of the game, John Jay pressed hard to right the score but was held off by a strong Scarsdale defense and goalie Sam Cannon. Scarsdale had a number of opportunities to score again during the second half as David Alemany fired a left footed rocket that rebounded off the upper cross bar of the goal.

When the clock finally wound down with a final score of 1-0 for Scarsdale, the team gathered in a celebration pile on the field and the spectators came down and gathered around them.

In the words of a Scardale parent in the stands, "We were the better team and played like it -- with contributions from everyone on this special team that includes a core group that has played together for a few seasons. The high school and entire community should be really proud of these young men for such a great accomplishment."

This is the first year since 1976 that Scarsdale will play in the New York State tournament, where they are scheduled to meet Vestal on shsectionalaTuesday November 9 at 7 pm at SUNY Purchase.

Photos by Sarah Schuman



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rokitofunariThough the Scarsdale Raiders girls team had many new players this year, the season ended successfully when three teams went to the conference tournament and one doubles team proceeded to the consolation final of the sectionals, vying for a place in the state tournament.

Three Raider’s doubles teams competed in the conference tournament at Veterans Park in Ardsley. These three teams included the three Rokito sisters, twins Ariel and Shelby, who are SHS seniors and their younger sister Lindsay, the only freshman on the girls Varsity A team.

For the Conference tournament Stephanie Henkoff and Lindsay Rokito lost in the first round to a the top-rated Edgemont team of Christine Ho and Casey Rogovin who ultimately beat a Scarsdale team in the sectional tournament to win a place at the state tournament. Singles player Ciara Williams teamed up with Shelby Rokito who succeeded in their first round, but ultimately fell in the second round to the Iwasaki sisters of Edgemont, Kozue, a senior, and Tomo an eighth grader.

Singles players Michelle Funari and Ariel Rokito teamed up and went far. In an exciting run, they succeeded to the finals of the conference tournament where they beat Edgemont’s number one team of Ho and Rogovinin in three sets, 6-2, 2-6 and 6-2. Having won the conference tournament, they were given the third seed in the sectional tournament.

Funari and Rokito got off to a strong start at the sectional tournament, which was also held at Veterans Park in Ardsley. They won their first round match against Carmel 6-1, 6-0 and in their second round defeated a team from Yorktown Heights, 6-3, 6-2. They ran into trouble in the semi-final where the Hendrick Hudson team of Rachel Buckner and Danielle Hardman beat them 6-1, 6-2, but were entered into the consolation final to vie for a spot at the state tournament in Syracuse. That’s when they met up with Edgemont’s Ho and Rogovin who Funari and Rokito had defeated to take the conference title. This time, they lost 6-3, 6-4, finishing fourth in the sectionals. Ho and Rogovin will go onto Albany and we will be eager to find out how they fare at the states.

Pictured above: Michelle Funari and Ariel Rokito


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penfold1An exciting week for the top-seeded Scarsdale Boys Varsity A Soccer Team. The Scarsdale Raiders met New Rochelle in the quarter-final match on Tuesday November 2, a tough, close game, which Scarsdale won 1-0. The stands were filled with fans who cheered on the team and Andres Penfold who scored the sole goal in the game on a penalty kick.

The competition was fierce and early in the second half of the game, Scarsdale won a penalty kick, causing the New Rochelle team to get very aggressive. One of the New Rochelle players punched a Scarsdale player, inciting another New Rochelle player to throw a punch at another Scarsdale player.

In a proud moment for the Raiders, the Scarsdale players stayed totally cool and did not respond to the aggressors. The Raiders refused to be baited into a fight, and they stepped away from the New Rochelle players. The referees gave New Rochelle a yellow card, their second in the game, and Scarsdale showed discipline and restraint and left the playoff game as the victors.

The team has now advanced to the semi-finals where they will meet Mahopac at Scarsdale at 2:30 on Thursday November 4th. If they defeat Mahopac, they’ll be onto the finals at Purchase College on Saturday. See you in the stands.

Pictured above: Andres Penfold



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backyardsportsBackyard Sports will be hosting their first annual Basketball Blowout on Saturday, November 20th at SUNY Purchase.

The Basketball Blowout will provide free training clinics and skill contests open to coed players (K-3rd grade). It will also feature instruction from the Backyard Sports coaches. For older players, there will be a 3 on 3 basketball tournament for 4th-12th grade.

Backyard Sports provides weekend and after school sports instruction and game play for boys and girls ages 4-16 years old. Since 2005, Backyard Sports has been the leading provider of community team sports programs in Westchester County.

The programs are designed for every child that desires a positive and healthy sports experience by using a unique approach that combines the highest level of instruction with equal emphasis on human development skills.

Enjoy a great day of basketball along with exhibits from local merchants.

For more information on Backyard Sports and also to register for the 3 on 3 tournaments, visit


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