In yesterday’s paper, I previewed Briarcliff and North Rockland, two historically dominant teams in the area. Accompanying each preview was a list of players and teams to watch. In case you missed it in yesterday’s paper, here they are.
Section 1 is loaded with talented players and teams, so I encourage everybody to add players and teams they will be watching and rooting for this season in the comments section.
Five athletes to watch
Brenna Brown, Sr., North Salem: Brown made the Class B all-state fourth team last year as a junior.
Katherine Burbank, Sr., Fox Lane: Burbank, a goalie, made the Class AA all-state fourth team last year as a junior ; Fox Lane head coach Fabian Videla said his team will count on her to remain consistent.
Briana Jean-Charles, Jr., Clarkstown South: The junior uses her size and strength to shield defenders and her touch to navigate the field, making her a big-time threat for the Vikings.
Lauren Miller, Jr., Briarcliff: Head coach Owen Scully said she will be a dominant force this season; the skilled junior can play forward or midfield.
Marissa Scognamiglio, Sr., Pearl River: The talented midfielder was a Class A all-state, third-team selection last season and will be counted on to score for the Pirates.
Top five teams
Briarcliff: Last year, the Bears nearly won the Section 1 Class B title game starting seven freshmen against Bronxville. Look for coach Owen Scully’s bunch to improve with big-game experience.
Bronxville: Youth will play a major part after seven starters graduated. Look for rivals Bronxville and Briarcliff to switch roles from last season.
Byram Hills: With eight returning starters, an infusion of youth, and a new up-tempo system, the Bobcats are primed to make a deep playoff run.
Clarkstown South: Despite losing Katherine Burrell to graduation, the team’s defense should continue to be stingy while its precise offense will score goals.
North Rockland: The versatility of this perennial powerhouse, led by juniors Katherine Landes and Nicole Aylmer, is nearly unmatched.
Three questions heading into the season
What is the section’s most underrated rivalry? Clarkstown South and John Jay-East Fishkill is an underrated rivalry; they have eliminated each other in the section semifinals the past two years and will face each other on Sept. 24 at Clarkstown South.
Who is a dark horse pick in Westchester and Putnam? Croton-Harmon: The Tigers had a very good season last fall under first-year head coach Jimmy Cancellaro despite losing eight seniors from the year before. An older, more experienced team may be ripe for a big run.
What is the team to beat in Rockland? Clarkstown South and North Rockland each won a game against the other last season, but for now, the Red Raiders get the edge based on past overall superiority versus teams in the section. The teams meet twice in October.