No. 9 Albertus Magnus vs. No. 2 Bronxville: The Falcons’ defense has steadily improved since the beginning of the year. Emily Motti is a rock in goal, Brianna Flores is a vocal leader, and Lauren Gruffi has held down some tough assignments this year. Albertus Magnus defeated No. 4 Kennedy at Kennedy — no small order. I watched that same Kennedy team go to Bronxville late this year and finish with a 0-0 tie. This is going to be a superb contest.
Albertus Magnus will have to contain speedy Lucy Kohlhoff. She can accelerate past defenders and get into scoring position in a flash. Killian Donohue is also a threat.
On the other end, standout defender Meredith Donovan will need to contend with Falcon Kaitlyn McNamara, a midfielder with endless amounts of energy and keen field awareness. Julia McGowan and Carly Clinton are a great combination up top, giving the Falcons versatile threats. Bronxville has a strong defense, with Charley Warble guarding the goal.
Who wins? With what has gone on in Class B this year, who knows? I’ll take Albertus Magnus winning in OT for the upset.
My colleague Adam Berger will be covering this game.
No. 8 Somers vs. No. 2 Pearl River: Somers defeated Pearl River 1-0 in the Class A semifinals last year en route to the Class A championship. This year, they took out Port Chester, No. 1 Saunders, and red-hot Byram Hills to get here. They also have home-field advantage.
But I think Pearl River will win this game.
It has nothing to do with a weakness in Somers. Top to bottom, Somers is an outstanding team, a proven champion that has beaten some of the best teams in the area this year.
My prediction has everything to do with Pearl River. I can’t see them losing. Their defense has been rock solid, shutting out Rye and Eastchester, two of the most skilled and technically proficient offensive teams I have seen this year. Marissa Scognamiglio, Casey Walsh, Amanda DeCourcey and Caitlin Noonan comprise one of the best offensive cores around.
In an incredible year for Class A, these are the two teams left standing. I believe Pearl River will win this game and the title. I will be covering this game.
No. 2 Tuckahoe vs. No. 1 Haldane: Haldane’s defense has been dominant; at one point this season, they had kept opponents scoreless for nearly 400 minutes. Cali Schweikhart is a fantastic goalkeeper.
Haldane will have its work cut out for them in stopping Tuckahoe’s Alessandra Cirillo. I feel like I typed that she scored a goal in every Tuckahoe game I personally took this year. Tuckahoe earned an impressive victory over Solomon Schechter in the semis.
Haldane shut out over 10 opponents this season, including a Yonkers Montessori Academy team with tremendous speed in the semis. I don’t believe they’ll be shutting out this Tuckahoe team, but I think they have enough offense to get the win. My prediction: Haldane 3-1.
My colleague Brian Heyman will be covering this game.