BRONXVILLE – For the past few years, Bronxville has been the dominant Class B team in Section 1.
Having won five straight sectional titles from 2010 to 2014, with two of those seasons having ended with state title wins, it’s understandable if the Broncos might have suffered complacency last season, which ended in a tough semifinal loss to Albertus Magnus.
On Tuesday, Bronxville looked like a rejuvenated squad.
The Broncos, the top seed in this year’s tournament, took another step towards re-claiming the championship with a convincing 4-1 win over ninth-seeded Briarcliff.
“We didn’t want to overlook any teams, but we also want to stay confident because we know we’re going to play a strong game,” said senior midfielder Mason Warble. “We worked together really well, we just meshed well today. We were working really hard.”
Coincidentally, the last time Bronxville played Briarcliff was in the 2014 sectional final, or when the Broncos won their last Section 1 title.
“Knowing how strong they are as a team, we knew we had to go out there and play hard; we did that today,” said Bronxville midfielder Rachael Peacock, who scored her team’s third goal in the 28th minute on a high-arching shot from outside the box.. “We’re going to try to keep going, keep moving. There’s still more to come, nothing is guarenteed and we can’t take anything for granted.”
With Bronxville also hosting a sectional field hockey game, both the Broncos and Briarcliff got to play hooky to make the 1:30 p.m. start time.
“It was weird, but it was fun. I like getting out of school early and getting to play the game,” Peacock said “We got the result we wanted.”
Briarcliff, a traditional Class B power in the area that won three consecutive state titles from 2007 to 2009, will graduate five players from this year’s team.
The Bears got a glimpse of the future with under two minutes left, when freshman Maya Celaj scored to spoil Bronxville’s shutout.
“We didn’t get our win today, but I’m really proud of all the girls. Bronxville’s a really good team; I’m happy for them but it would have been nice to get the win,” said senior captain Amelia Leahy. “We had a pretty young team this year and we have a lot of upcoming juniors for next year. They’ll do well.”
Player of the game: Mason Warble, Bronxville. While she is committed to play lacrosse at Brown, Warble showed her soccer skills on the pitch by controlling the pace of the game at the midfield. Her pass accross the box to Catherine Faville put Bronxville up 2-0 in the 16th minute. Warble even got on the scoresheet herself, scoring on an individual effort in the 76th minute.
Turning point: In the 13th minute, Bronxville’s Gabriella Amboss fired a long ball into the box right at Briarcliff goalkeeper Emily Smoler. The freshman bobbled the ball and then tipped it across the goal line for the game’s opening score.
Quotable: “We want to start a new streak of sectional titles, so that’s in the back of our minds at the start of every game,” Warble said of last year’s semifinal loss to Albertus Magnus. “We want to win for our program, we want to get back to the finals and win.”