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The Raiders Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse team just completed a season in which they went undefeated in their league, achieved a league title, and made their way to the New York Section 1 Semifinals. The Raiders ended the season with an overall record of 14-3-1, and were 11-0-1 in their league. The Raiders continued their momentum from a successful season last year, which included a league title and a journey to the Section 1 Finals. With 15 returning players and 23 players total, including four who are playing collegiate athletics next year, the Raiders were a force to be reckoned with again this year.

From the beginning of the season, coaches Cece Berger and Dennis Hurlie had goals to win the league, return to sectionals, and make it to section finals. At the start of the season, the team traveled to Disney World in Orlando, FL to practice and compete at the Wide World of Sports athletic complex. The team achieved a bond on and off the field that co-captains Kimmy Leone and Jennie Pechman fostered throughout the season by planning team events like dinners and barbeques. “Spending time together off the field definitely translated into real improvements for our team on the field,” said junior offensive player Carly Levine. “Once we became more comfortable with our teammates, it was much easier to trust each other on the field and we were able to play more cohesively as a team.”

This season, the leagues were realigned and the power leagues of the past, in which teams played the most competitive opponents for their respective levels, were replaced by new league groupings. The new league clusters, in which Scarsdale was grouped with Bronxville, Edgemont, Hastings, Mamaroneck, and White Plains, were based solely on geography. Coach Cece Berger believes that the shuffling of leagues left her team with a schedule of league games that was not challenging enough to sufficiently prepare the Raiders for sectionals.

Last year, the Raiders’ league matched them up against powerful teams such as Rye, Greeley, Mamaroneck, and Bronxville. This year, on the other hand, the Raiders played games of widely varying levels of competitiveness. Opponents Mamaroneck and Bronxville were the only teams that remained in the same league as Scarsdale through the league shuffle for this season. Some of the Raiders’ other league games were blowouts, where the Raiders outscored opponents by scores such as 17-6, for example, in their April 20th game against Hastings. During other, more competitive league games, the Raiders faced fiercer competition. These games were beneficial for the Raiders, as the contests provided the team with the opportunity to play against more advanced teams, thereby learning to advance their own level of play. The Raiders’ games against league opponents Mamaroneck and Bronxville resulted in more even scores, such as 20-18 in the Raider’s league finale versus Mamaroneck on May 13.

Berger asserts that this season’s league groupings did not prepare the Raiders for sectionals well because they didn’t have as many opportunities to play challenging teams as they did last year, in the power league. “This year, it was almost like a physical roller coaster for us,” she explained. “We had an easy week before Bronxville, then we had to beat them to win the league title” in one of the Raiders’ most challenging games of the season. The week before the Raiders’ second game against Bronxville, they played three less challenging league opponents, whom they outscored by a total of 47-19. It is difficult for a team to bounce between easy and challenging games because there is a heightened pressure and different team dynamic on the field during a fiercely competitive game. This atmosphere can hardly be prepared for except by playing other advanced opponents. “Consistency suffers when there’s not a constant level of competition each week,” said Berger.

In non-league play, the Raiders were 2-2 against crossover opponents Nanuet, Greenwich Academy, Rye, and Hackley. With the leagues realigned this year, Berger planned for Scarsdale’s non-league games to challenge the Raiders and prepare them for the goal: section finals.

At the end of the regular season this year, the Raiders had a record of 13-2-1, and were the #3 seed for the New York Section 1 tournament. Scarsdale breezed through Sectional Quarterfinals, defeating the #6 seed Ursuline by a score of 19-6 on May 22. On May 25, the Raiders faced the #2 seed Fox Lane in the Sectional Semifinals and fell by a score of 16-12. At halftime, the score was 10-6. Right out of the halftime huddle, the Raiders scored almost immediately to make it 10-7. Then, Fox Lane capitalized on Scarsdale’s numerous turnovers and went on a scoring streak to bring the score to 15-8.

The Raiders showed their heart and determination when, halfway through the second half, they turned up their level of play and scored 4 goals in just one minute and sixteen seconds. With about five minutes left to play, the score was 15-12. Fox Lane added another goal to make it 16-12, the final score. “I think that we could beat Fox Lane,” said Berger. “They’re beatable, and that wasn’t our best game. Not to take anything away from them, because they were a good team and capitalized on our mistakes.”

Berger added, “Scarsdale lacrosse wouldn’t have the program it has if it weren’t for its players who are willing to take time in the off-season to dedicate themselves to the sport. Our girls who pick up their lacrosse sticks between seasons and participate in winter league, summer tournaments, fall ball, and even simply wall ball, allow our team to leap off of strong fundamentals every season and spend time on more intricate, team aspects of lacrosse.”

My own family appeared in the Scarsdale Police Blotter this week and here is our story. Our neighbor has very large pine trees on her property, bordering our driveway and looming over our house. They are 5 -6 stories tall, and top heavy, as many of the lower branches have snapped off. In the big storm in March, one of these trees broke in half, hitting the back of our house and totaling our car. After the incident, rather than express any remorse, our neighbor complained about the necessity of cutting up the fallen tree limbs.

We needed new gutters, roofing, fascia boards, railings, masonry and patio furniture as well as a new car. The bill was hefty. We are still in the process of getting everything repaired. We called an arborist who confirmed that the remaining tree shard and additional trees are dangerous and need to come down.

Per the instructions from the Village we sent a registered letter to our neighbor with the report. She feels that the trees are “natural” and does not wish to take them down. Last Saturday night, the winds kicked up again and another branch fell through our dining room window, shattering the glass. We pulled the branch out of the dining room and placed it in the street in front of her home. Her insurance company will not pay for the damage and she has done nothing in response to our letter, except to call the police to complain about the branch in front of her home.

We’re hoping the wind and the rain never kick up again … but given the frequency of the “100 year storms” in Scarsdale that’s not likely. Any advice?

Michael’s Gourmet Food Shop, a favorite sandwich and cheese shop on Spencer Place in Scarsdale Village, is in transition. The shop will be closed for the next few weeks as it undergoes a transformation to Good-life Gourmet. The new site will be a café serving sandwiches and coffees and will also offer take-out and catering. Jason Cairo of Michael’s is joining forces with Executive Chef Eric Korn who runs Good-life Gourmet catering in Peekskill. Korn will be cooking daily specials at an off-site kitchen and these meals will be offered in the café and available for take-home dinners.

The current location will be renovated to add more tables for dining in the café. While it is closed, Michael’s is still available for catering orders, so feel free to call.


Michael’s Gourmet
13 Spencer Place
(914) 723 – 3024

What can you do to address the current energy crisis, reduce our carbon footprint, save money, conserve natural resources, and be good stewards of our planet? Find out at Sustainable Scarsdale Day, this Saturday May 15 at SHS.  Students from all Scarsdale schools will exhibit green projects related to their sustainability studies. Scarsdale organizations will be present to share valuable information for residents. Green businesses will also be present to talk about their products and how they benefit the environment.

Two workshops have been organized, one to help residents understand different energy options available to them and the other to discuss environmentally sound water management practices for suburban homeowners.

The Scarsdale Board of Education and the Scarsdale Village Trustees invite you to attend this informative event which will be held from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday May 15 at Scarsdale High School. At 1:00 pm, five new trees will be planted, one for each elementary school as part of the district’s 225th anniversary celebration.

For more info, phone 874-5095 or email Dan Hochvert (, Jill Spieler (, or Steven Frantz (

Enrolling in the Scarsdale Adult School’s Defensive Driving course will save money over the next three years on your auto insurance bills. It could save your license, but it will definitely teach techniques that may save your life!

The law in New York State requires that principal drivers who complete this course receive a 10% discount on automobile insurance for the liability, collision and no fault premiums for 3 full years. In addition, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles will deduct four points from the driving records of all who successfully complete the course. The Defensive Driving Course can be taken once every 18 months for point reduction.

Driver Improvement Programs will be instructing the sessions and is a member of the National Safety Council. Upon completion of this two-session course, participants will receive a certificate to present to their insurance company for the three-year discount.

The course is offered Two Thursdays, starting 5/13 from 7-10 pm at Scarsdale High School. The cost is $60. To register, or for information on all course offerings, visit Questions? Call 723-2325.

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