Before the season began, I asked coaches who they thought were the best teams in each class. For Class AA, the answers I heard were “The teams up north” and “Those Rockland teams.” John Jay-East Fishkill and Arlington were the teams I heard a lot. North Rockland and Clarkstown South rung out as major threats from Rockland.
So here we are — No. 3 Arlington vs. No. 1 North Rockland for the Class AA title. Last year, these two teams squared off in the quarterfinals with Arlington winning 1-0 in OT.
Arlington is an out-of-area school, but I’ve heard good things about Allie Pushkarsh, the player who scored Arlington’s goal to end North Rockland’s season last year.
For North Rockland, Amber Alfonzo and Nicole Aylmer anchor the defense, and goalkeeper Shannon Robinson is one of the best in the area at her position. The Red Raiders kept an incredibly potent Clarkstown South offense scoreless for 110 minutes Thursday evening, so they have a formidable defense.
Offensively, Taylor Aylmer, Isabel Zayas and Julianna Cabrera lead the way. Katherine Landes is a bundle of energy at midfield and a great leader.
North Rockland has probably been the most consistently dominant team in the area this year. I’m thinking North Rockland wins 1-0 — down-to-the-wire, the Rockland team beating the team up north.