Last November, the Dobbs Ferry girls’ cross-country team ended Bronxville’s 32-year stranglehold on sectional titles, a feat credited to a trio of finishers in the top five.
Dobbs Ferry rode a second-place performance by Phoebe Ward, as well as a fourth-place effort by Fenna Laban and a fifth-place finish by Eva DeMarco to dethrone Bronxville. The Eagles also notched a 15th-place run by Marijn Laban and a 20th-place finish from Molly Hunt.
The team ended the race with 43 points — a dozen better than runner-up Bronxville. The Irvington girls finished in third with 86 points, followed by Hastings in fourth with 129.
Ward graduated this past June, but DeMarco and Laban are seniors this fall, while Fenna Laban and Molly Hunt are sophomores. This has pushed the Eagles to the top of the list of contenders for the Class C crown once again. Added to the mix are newcomers Sara Fischer, a senior, and Alessia Bubula, a junior transfer student from New York City.
Meanwhile, the boys’ team will attempt to improve on a sixth-place sectional finish from a year ago. Like the girls, the boys have a healthy amount of returning talent, headlined by senior Sean Cadenhead and juniors Marc Lucasey and James Masterson.
“The girls are looking to win another sectional championship and the boys are looking at a top-three finish at sectionals,” head coach J.P. Kaminski said.
In GIRLS’ SOCCER, head coach Graham Smith has a dozen players back from last year’s 9-5-2 team, plus the return of senior striker Erin Hogan, who played Academy soccer last fall.
“Our top returning players are senior co-captains Abby Ward and Ashley O'Connor,” Smith said. “Abby was the leading scorer in Section I last year and returns for more.”
The coach continued, “Ashley has anchored the defense since she was a freshman and she influences everything about how Dobbs Ferry plays defense. Also returning are all-league juniors Taylor Broccoli and Chhaya Bangser, who will both play in midfield.”
Two names familiar to Rivertowns’ basketball fans return to the pitch this fall — seniors Julia Schwabe and Kayla Halvorsen.
“Julia Schwabe returns to soccer after a five-year absence and will play in goal and Kayla Halvorsen returns after a four-year absence and will play as a forward or holding midfielder,” Smith said.
The group has Smith optimistic heading into the season.
“The team will be mature this year and will have additional attacking options in support of Abby Ward,” Smith said. “The question will be how long it will take for the incoming players to gel with the team.”
In GIRLS’ TENNIS, head coach Erik Bartell rolls out a lineup of veterans.
In singles, junior Ava Solis and senior Emily Tan are 1A and 1B at the top, as the two contended for the first singles spot as the season opener neared. Junior Ira Gruprasad is locked in at the third singles spot.
In doubles, sophomore twins Kendall and Kylie Krauss sit at number one, with senior Sam Horsfield and junior Genevieve Greco in the second spot.
“We expect a lot out of the Krauss sisters this season,” Bartell said. “They have been playing a lot this past offseason, as has Solis and Tan.”
He continued, “The goal is to get better each time out and to try to win the league. After that, if we have a sectional tournament, we’d like to send several players.”
The BOYS’ SOCCER team posted a 5-11-1 season with a youthful lineup last fall.
Head coach Antonio Corrado lost Jermaine Drummond, Renato Tume, and Amar Rajani-Bangser to graduation last June, but welcomed back a long list of veterans, including high-scoring junior Gary Lee.
Also expected back are seniors David Bragg, Luis Kersten, Blake Kennedy, Alex Scott-Hansen, Nathan Baker. and goalie Sebastien Orlowski, as well as juniors Kiernan Van Engen, Samuel Gregorio, and Preston Long.
A trio of freshmen — Brandon Jaundoo, Eliot Loose, and Nicholas Doherty — also saw varsity time last fall.