The girls soccer season is at hand, even though Labor Day has yet to occur.
But before Saturday’s games, below are two more, short team previews.
Tappan Zee was a force last year, going 14-4-3. Loss number four didn’t occur until the Section 1 semifinals vs. eventual section champion Byram Hills.
Still, coach Bill Lynch said, “”I think we’ll be very competitive.”
“It’s yet to be seen but the potential is there. They’re untested,” added Lynch, who has headed the Dutchies for a decade and a half.
Tappan Zee will look for leadership from its on-field quarterbacks, midfielders Paige Nevins, a senior, and Emily Sanchez, a junior.
Whether it approaches last year’s success may depend on one thing.
“It’s a matter of how the pieces fit,” Lynch said.
The Dutchies open Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Saunders.
Tappan Zee hardly has a patent on question marks.
This season’s roster includes six seniors, three of whom started last year. One hugely important one will be goalie Alynne Jeanty.
“She has improved dramatically each and every year,” Osterhoudt said.
The Panthers’ big gun should be junior Remi Manna, one of the section’s top players, who joined varsity as a freshman.
Osterhoudt is looking for more than goals from Manna.
“I’m hoping she’ll finally be able to voice her leadership skills. The kids are going to feed off of her,” he said, describing Manna as not just an elite player but a good, coachable kid.
As is tradition, Pleasantville will open its season playing in the Mount Pleasant Cup, which also includes Valhalla, Westlake and Briarcliff. The mini-tourney begins Wednesday and concludes with the consolation game and final Saturday.
Briarcliff, which is expected to be one of the area’s strongest teams, is favored but Osterhoudt isn’t making plans to play in the consolation just yet.
“Obviously, we want to start strong and try to win the cup and get better day by day and make sectionals,” he said.
The pre-school-year start of games is curious and will no doubt be a topic of conversation among coaches, athletic directors and the schedulers at BOCES. Some coaches, players and parents, who might have been looking forward to a Labor Day weekend escape, will instead be at fields throughout our area.
The 2014 high school girls soccer season opens today with the following games:
Irvington at Yonkers Montessori, 11 a.m.
Sleepy Hollow at Tuckahoe, 11 a.m.
–Nancy Haggerty: @HaggertyNancy