The unbeaten season didn’t have a perfect ending for Riverdale/Kingsbridge.
The second-seeded Tigers lost 3-2 to No. 5 Baruch College Campus High School in the PSAL Class B girls’ soccer championship match on Saturday at St. John’s University. All five goals came in the first half.
“It’s extremely tough,” said Virginia-bound forward Samantha Rosette, who scored the first Riverdale goal and assisted on the second. “I think we really thought we could take this game. I think we deserved to take this game, playing-wise, mentality-wise, character-wise, I think we showed everybody in this stadium that we were the true winners of this game, and it was unfortunate that we didn’t come out the champions.”
The Tigers, who are in their second season down from the ‘A’ division, won four playoff games by a combined score of 22-1 to get to the final. They then saw Baruch star Daniela Zirpolo score three times to put Riverdale in a 3-0 hole.
“We figured that to make it to this point they had to be a quality team, so we did expect something like that could happen,” said Riverdale coach Julienne Krause. “But it did probably throw us off our game a little bit since we haven’t really experienced that all playoffs or all year.”
Zirpolo’s third goal came in the 27th minute. Rosette scored in the 29th minute to make it 3-1, and then Natalie Aracena found the back of the net in the 30th minute to cut the advantage to 3-2. Minutes later, the potential tying goal was waved off by officials.
“It all happened in the beginning,” Krause said. “I guess we were just all very excited, a little bit of nerves. And we just gave so much that we were both exhausted by the second half from playing so hard in the first half.”
Although Riverdale came up short, it was still an impressive jump from losing in the second round in the 2014 playoffs.
“I’m so proud of them,” Krause said. “They had an amazing season. From the first day of preseason towards August we were working towards this and our goal was to be here because last year we lost early on in the playoffs, and this year we wanted to go all the way. I’m so proud of them that they accomplished that.
Although the Lady Tigers are losing some players, including Rosette, the future is bright.
“I think we will miss our three seniors very much,” Krause said. “They helped turn this into a program and helped inspire these girls to learn how to get here. I think they also taught us something with it that the underclassmen won’t forget.”