WHITE PLAINS – Liam Broderick is normally a facilitator.
In the biggest game of the season, he was a finisher, netting a career-best seven goals to propel White Plains to a 19-11 win over North Rockland in a Section 1 Class A quarterfinal. The Red Raiders gave Broderick an inch, and the elusive attackman ran off with the proverbial mile.
“This is great, more because it helped my team win than anything else,” Broderick said.
And the No. 3 seed is now one win away from playing for a sectional title, but the goal-crazy Tigers have to get by No. 2 seed Mamaroneck on Tuesday in a semifinal road game.
White Plains held off North Rockland in a wild 21-20 contest in April, so the game plan called Saturday for an improved effort on the defensive end. Red Raiders playmaker was locked off the entire game, and finished with two goals and one assist.
Steven Apicella picked up some of the slack, getting four goals and three assists, but that wasn’t enough to keep pace at the end.
“They have some guys who can score, really good players, and they scored in transition,” North Rockland coach Greg Grasso said. “You can’t give up 19 goals and expect to win games. We just have to play better.”
When the No. 6 Red Raiders (10-7) got within 12-10 late in the third, Broderick scored off a Chris Polanco assist to end the run. Johnson picked up a rebound off the post and threw in one more before the quarter ended, making it 15-10.
North Rockland attempted to lock off the big attackman, but he still got five goals and three assists.
“We practiced it all week, me getting locked off and Kevin Trapp getting locked off,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, it was me they locked off the entire game. You have to look for opportunities to score that you don’t ordinarily look for in a game because you don’t have the luxury of getting the ball.”
Tommy Avery and Trapp scored early in the fourth to give the Tigers (13-4) a seven-goal cushion. Mike Csernicky ended the run, but the exclamation point from Broderick, who scored two more down the stretch.
“With them shutting off the big guy, it left a lot of space open for us to move and dodge,” Broderick said. “It allowed us to head to the net and when there was a slide, we moved the ball and got shots.”