In the past week, Lakeland took the field and didn’t win – twice.
The world didn’t explode, but the field hockey world, anyway, took notice.
One game was a 0-0 tie with a Darien, Connecticut. But the one that really drew attention was Saturday’s 1-1 tie with Mamaroneck.
Lakeland remains undefeated and remains The Journal News’ top-ranked team.
But Mamaroneck’s effort lifted the Tigers into a tie at the No. 2 spot.
Valhalla slipped a hair from a tie for the No. 10 spot after losing to Bronxville in a game the Broncos largely dominated in the second half.
The Vikings may be on the outside looking in but they’re right at the door. And 8-4-2 Suffern, which is starting to come on strong, also isn’t far back.
1. Lakeland: A team that’s 12-0-2 remains the top team. Deservedly so. But the impact of the loss of five All-State players from last year’s undefeated/untied team is finally becoming more apparent, particularly on offensive penalty corners, a previous strength. The Hornets have had multiple chances to cash in and haven’t. Maybe it’s a little slump. Maybe it’s a problem. Regardless, while its fans may be in shock, Lakeland, the winner of seven straight state titles, remains the area’s best team.
2. (Tie) Scarsdale and Mamaroneck: In all likelihood, one of these teams will find itself in the No. 3 spot Monday night. That’s because 13-1-1 Scarsdale, which stunned Mamaroneck 4-0 early in the season, travels to the Tigers for a must-see rematch Monday at 5 p.m. Both teams have done nothing but improve during the season. Mamaroneck is 12-1-2 with ties against Wilton, Connecticut, and Lakeland. (Scarsdale: PR 2; Mamaroneck: PR 3)
4. Rye: The Garnets didn’t look like much on paper in August, not with so many losses to graduation. But they’re now a force, and with Lakeland’s minor stumbles last week, they have to be thinking the sectional upset they didn’t get last year just might be possible this time around. (PR 4)
5. Bronxville: The Broncos have speed, stick-handling and strong game sense throughout their lineup. That was evident when they pulled away in the second half against a very good Valhalla team last week. (PR 5)
6. Horace Greeley: The 11-4 Quakers have lost mostly to the very top teams. Scoring is still a problem. Greeley should net more than two or three goals against so-so teams but isn’t doing that. Still its defense and record are strong. (PR 7)
7. Clarkstown South: With a tie against a solid but not-yet-top-10 Suffern team, the Vikings slip one notch. Still, at 11-2-1, this is a team that can do damage in sectionals. (PR 6)
8. Somers: In a perfect world, the Tuskers would face Clarkstown South, Horace Greeley and Croton so it would be much more obvious which teams belong ranked where. But Somers did as expected last week, routing Lourdes, and, with a 12-2-1 record, it’s deserving of the No. 8 spot. (PR 8)
9. Croton: The 13-1 Tigers may be the one team that isn’t getting the respect it’s due. Its only loss was to No. 5 Bronxville. But, as noted before, deserving or not of a higher ranking, strength of schedule plays against them. (PR 9)
10. Nyack: The Indians are 9-3-2. They hang on in the top 10 despite a tie last week vs. Suffern, in part because Suffern is proving it’s no pushover, also tying Clarkstown South. (PR 10T)