Since I won’t be making predictions anymore (Why would I want to pick against Section 1 teams?!), I figured I would post some scouting reports on all of Section 1’s opponents in the playoffs.
North Rockland vs. Elmira at Vestal, 7 p.m.
Who: Elmira Express (16-1)
State ranking as of Oct. 26: 15
How they got here: Beat Corning 3-2 in Section-4 final.
What you need to know: Vestal won the program’s first sectional title in dramatic fashion, scoring three goals in the finals 20 minutes to overcome a two-goal deficit. The win was redemption for Elmira, who had fallen to the Hawks the past two seasons in the sectional final.
Who’s next: Section 9’s Monroe Woodbury in the regional finals Saturday at Middletown, TBA
Click here for the complete Class AA state-tournament bracket.
Byram Hills vs. Vestal at Alumni Stadium (Binghamton University), 7 p.m.
Who: Vestal Golden Bears (11-5)
State ranking as of Oct. 26: 18
How they got here: Beat Owego 5-0 in Section-4 final.
What you need to know: The Golden Bears fourth-straight sectional title came in convincing fashion. It wasn’t exactly a difficult run, though. Vestal and Owego were the only two teams in Class A in Section 4 this season. The Indians entered the game 4-10-1. Still, Vestal earned another sectional title despite losing 14 seniors from last season.
Who’s next: Section 9’s Goshen in the regional finals Saturday at Middletown, TBA.
Click here for the complete Class A state-tournament bracket.
Bronxville vs. Oneonta at Vestal, 4:30 p.m.
Who: Oneonta Yellowjackets (16-2-1)
State ranking as of Oct. 26: 3
How they got here: Beat Seton Catholic 2-0 in the Section-4 final.
What you need to know: An early goal in the sixth minute set the tone for Oneonta’s third-straight sectional title in the third-consecutive meeting of the teams in the sectional final. The familiar opponents will continue for last season’s state runner up as they take on the Broncos, a squad they’ve met in the regional finals the past two seasons. The teams have split, with Bronxville winning 1-0 in 2011 while Oneonta advanced in 2012 on penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 draw.
Who’s next: Section 9’s Spackenkill in the regional finals Saturday at Middletown, TBA.
Click here for the complete Class B state-tournament bracket.
Haldane vs. S.S. Seward at Middletown, 4 p.m.
Who: S.S. Seward Spartans (14-4)
State ranking: NR
How they got here: Beat Tuxedo 2-0 in Section-9 final.
What you need to know: Few things go hand in hand like S.S. Seward and section championships. The Spartans win over Tuxedo was its 13th-straight and 25th overall in program history. That dominance has also come against Section 1 opponents. S.S. Seward, which has fluctuated between Class C and D, has advanced past every Section 1 opponent it has played in the state playoffs during the streak. The makeup of this Spartans team is quite different, though, with the graduation of four-time all-state honoree Gladys Loyas, currently a freshman at N.C. State. The loss of Loyas has certainly been felt, as goal production has almost been cut in half, going from 91 in 2012 to 56 this season.
Who’s next: Section 11’s Stony Brook/Section-8 winner in the regional finals Saturday at TBA, TBA.
Click here for the complete Class C state-tournament bracket.