RCS girls march towards sectionals
By John Bernhardt
Syn-er-gy. (n) Also called synergism. The working together of two or more things, people, or organizations, especially when the result is greater than the sum of their individual effects or capabilities.
Something special is going on with the Lady Rockets in Roxbury. It’s not complicated. It’s not unreachable. It’s not dependent on raw athletic ability or extraordinary playing skills. Yet, finding it and putting it to work is rare.
When you do, players and teams realize a surge of energy, a rush of motivation, a sense of magic in the air. Synergy – in working together, ordinary people can perform extraordinary feats. They can run a little faster, kick a little harder, lift things a little higher, a little farther, toward excellence.
Roxbury’s magical soccer reformation continued last week. The Rockets battled two of the toughest teams in the Delaware League, Davenport and Stamford. The Wildcats were undefeated in league play with Stamford breathing fire on the Wildcats’ heels only one game behind.
The stakes were high for the Rockets. Roxbury needed to win both games to keep their fading Mountain Division title hopes alive. Wednesday, with their defense leading the way, Roxbury fought like warriors, giving Davenport more than they expected and playing the Wildcats to a scoreless regulation time tie. Davenport would dash Roxbury’s upset hopes scoring twice in overtime and presenting their legendary coach, Ray Preston, with an emotional 400th career victory.
“I was worried about how we’d respond to the disappointment,” said Roxbury coach Lisa Faraci. “I told the girls I hoped we hadn’t peaked, I hoped we had something left.” Did they ever.
Saturday, Roxbury squared off against Stamford, a team buoyed by Downsville’s Friday night upset over Davenport throwing the Upper Division race into a tie. Stamford needed to beat Roxbury in their final league match to earn a piece of the title.
The fired up Indians were all over Roxbury in the first half. Rachel Voorhis and Erin Hull netted first-half goals putting the Rockets in an early hole. “Our girls continued to play with desire. They continued to play with heart. They continued to give maximum effort,” praised Faraci. “They won’t give up.”
Roxbury stormed back. Fifteen minutes into the final half, Allyce McIntosh settled a cross volleyed from right in front of the Roxbury dugout then tipped the ball into the nets. The Rockets trailed, 2-1.
Only 5:30 remained when Christina Chiarappa lofted a pass from the exact same spot. Kaylee VanLoan was positioned perfectly and her scoring strike knotted the score at 2-2.
“We have some girls with experience who understand what we’ve been working for, who believe in themselves, who really work hard and it’s paying off,” marveled Faraci.
Thirty-one seconds after VanLoan’s score, the Rockets pounced again. This time Kennedy Faraci carried a throw-in deep into the Roxbury end and drilled a low, hard, shot into the nets for the game winner.
The win spoils Stamford’s championship try. Roxbury finished 5-2-2 in Delaware League play. The Rockets are 7-4-2 overall. For the first time in many years, the Rockets will extend their season into the post season by playing in the Section IV playoffs.
It was basketball coaching great Phil Jackson who once said, “The strength of the team is each individual member, and the strength of each member is the team.” The Lady Rockets have figured that out.