And then there were six.
The three sectional champions will all be determined on Thursday at Mahopac High School. Already in Class A there will be a new title-holder after Suffern won it for three straight years, while both Somers and Bronxville will go for three-peats in Class B and Class C, respectively.
Scoreboard: Section 1 and NYSAIS semifinal games
Class B semifinals: Somers’ Livy Rosenzweig gets 200th goal in win over John Jay
Class C semifinals: Pearl River upends Albertus Magnus to get back to sectional finals
I’ll be at Mahopac all day, but I’ll have some help: Mike Dougherty, our boys lacrosse beat reporter, will be covering the Yorktown-Somers matchup, while Frank Beccera will be handling photographer duties for all three games. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@Szkolar_Lohud), as well as Mike (@LoHudLacrosse) and Frank (@frankbecerrajr) for updates.
One more thing: I also just joined Snapchat. I’ll also be providing updates from there, so add me at szkolar_lohud if you are there as well.
So I decided to become one of the cool kids (maybe?) and joined Snapchat. Add me at szkolar_lohud pic.twitter.com/p91WdQK85p— Adrian Szkolar (@Szkolar_Lohud) May 25, 2016
Section 1 Championships at Mahopac High School
No. 6 Fox Lane (13-6) vs. No. 1 North Rockland (16-2), 3 p.m.
Previous meeting: According to laxpower.com, these teams haven’t met since at least 2005. They did scrimmage against each other this preseason, however.
Key matchup: Fox Lane’s star goal-scorer, senior midfielder Lindsay West, will go up against a strong North Rockland defense led by senior defender Jenna Fox.
Other players to watch: Fox Lane – Gianna New, Alison Moky, Bridget Connors, Hayley Lunny. North Rockland – Kaitlyn Gutenberger, Kerri Gutenberger, Lizzie Fox, Gianna Guerra.
Scouting report: Serious show of hands – who saw Fox Lane getting this far? The Foxes have really turned up their play over the past few weeks, and executed their patient, possession-emphasized game plan to perfection to shock Suffern in the semifinals. If they are going to pull off another upset at Mahopac, they will need New to be excellent on draw controls again and get another outstanding performance from goalie Lunny and the entire defense.
Top-seeded North Rockland has the depth advantage, especially on the offensive side of the ball. For the Red Raiders, they will have to avoid the mistakes that did in their Rockland county rivals: bad shot selection and turnovers. Fox Lane did a great job countering Suffern’s athletic advantage with excellent help defense on one-on-ones, so North Rockland will have to get creative with the plays it runs.
While North Rockland can play fast, it also showed it can play slow when needed, as the Red Raiders did in their win over Suffern in the regular season. They might have to play that way again.
(Side note: It feels really weird to see a sectional final that won’t feature either Suffern or Lakeland/Panas)
Prediction: North Rockland 9, Fox Lane 6
No. 2 Yorktown (13-5) vs. No. 1 Somers (18-0), 5 p.m.
Previous meeting: These league rivals met on April 21, with Somers coming away with an 11-10 win.
Key matchup: This game will feature two of the best all-around midfielders in the area in Yorktown’s Casey Duff and Somers’ Gabby Rosenzweig.
Other players to watch: Yorktown – Katie Comerford, Rilea Fusco, Carli Mager, Ashley Stilo. Somers – Allie Arcidiacono, Izzy LaRocca, Jess Monaco, Livy Rosenzweig.
Scouting report: These teams will meet in the sectional final for the third straight year. Somers won both meetings, but will this year be different?
The last time these two teams met, Somers’ defense shut out Yorktown’s offense in the final 13 minutes to clinch the win. For the Huskers, it will be important to make sure that the offense stays consistent for the full 50 minutes. They have plenty of options on offense in Comerford, Fusco, Duff, Michelle Seger and more, so it will be more a matter of finding the best option on every possession.
Somers has not let up at all in sectionals so far, scoring dominant wins over Nyack and John Jay to get back to this point. If the Tuskers are going to get their three-peat, they will have to use their athleticism to their advantage. In particular, if Livy Rosenzweig can get room to operate, even a defense as good and well-coached as Yorktown’s will have problems. If she gets shut out, the likes of LaRocca, Sydney Ericson and Teagen Lucchese will need to step up.
With all that said, this is a coin-flip game. Yorktown has played a very tough schedule to prepare itself for this very moment, and will also be looking to end three straight years of heartbreaking sectional final losses, while Somers has done a good job of staying focused throughout its unbeaten streak.
Prediction: Somers 10, Yorktown 9
No. 6 Pearl River (13-6) vs. No. 1 Bronxville (16-3), 7 p.m.
Previous meeting: These teams last met in last year’s sectional final, which Bronxville won 17-10.
Key matchup: Hard to single out a specific player from Pearl River’s defense, but Emma Sullivan will be an important piece for the Pirates in going up against a Bronxville offense led by Michigan-bound senior attack Lilly Grass.
Other players to watch: Pearl River – Margaret Buhrmeister, Megan Foiles, Kayla Moreau, Lindsey Stephen. Bronxville – Allie Berkery, Olivia Jensen, Ellie Walsh, Mason Warble
Scouting report: Pearl River was a high-scoring team last year, but with several younger options on offense this year, the Pirates have found great success with their zone defense all season long. It was on full display in their comeback win over Albertus Magnus in the semifinals. While Moreau will likely not be 100 percent, she has plenty of help in Buhrmeister, Stephen and Foiles. The defense, however, did buckle against the likes of North Rockland and Mamaroneck during the regular season, and will need to be in top shape against a comparable team in Bronxville.
Bronxville heads into this game as the clear favorite. After demolishing Putnam Valley, Valhalla and North Salem to reach this game, the Broncos have yet to be beaten by a Class C team and have an average margin of victory of 13.5 goals in those games. With as many as seven or eight options who are all threats to score at any time, few teams in the area, let alone in Class C, can match the Broncos’ high-octane offense.
For Pearl River to keep this close, the offense will need to be efficient and keep the turnovers to a minimum. Defensively, the Pirates’ zone will need to be absolutely sure that a player is ready to slide over for help when a Bronxville player inevitably tries to go one-on-one. If Bronxville can run its offense, however, the Broncos will be on their way to a third straight sectional title.
Prediction: Bronxville 14, Pearl River 6