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Suffolk Top 10 (as of 10.30.11)
1. Sachem East (15-1): The Flaming Arrows lost their first game last Monday, 3-1, to Smithtown East. However, they rebound with a dominating victory over Northport two days later. Sachem East players said the loss got them refocused. They'll face the winner of the Huntington/Lindenhurst game in the Suffolk Class A quarterfinals on Wednesday.
2. Sayville (15-0): They were the only Long Island team to complete the regular season with a perfect record (Garden City had a tie). Olivia Russell had a hat trick in the Flashes' 3-1 win over East Islip. Sayville looks as equipped as ever to make a run, but they'll have to face the winner of the SWR/Miller Place game on Friday.
3. Smithtown East (14-2): The Bulls finished the season strong (corny tangent: "Strong, like bull") with wins over the teams that likely will be their toughest opponents in the playoffs. They beat Sachem East, denying them an undefeated season, and then topped Ward Melville. Memory lane... The Bulls had also beaten Ward Melville in the 2009 season finale, costing them an undefeated season that year.
4. Ward Melville (12-4): The Patriots enter the playoffs as the third seed, having lost twice to Sachem East and splitting the season series with Smithtown East. For the first time in a while, they're a bit of an underdog.
5. Shoreham-Wading River (13-3): The Wildcats lost to Miller Place in the regular season finale and enter the Class B playoffs as the No. 4. But as fate - seeding, actually - would have it, they'll face Miller Place again in the first round. Also of note: Scoring-wise, it's been a down year for Debi-Michelle Jantzen, but she's been heating up late in the season.
6. Rocky Point (12-4): The Eagles finished the season with one-goal wins over Pierson/Bridgehampton and Comsewogue. A little mettle testing going into the playoffs. For the first time in a few years, they're one of the favorites as the third seed in Class B. They'll face Southampton in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
7. Bay Shore (12-4): After a tough, 3-2, loss to Sayville, the Marauders finished the season on a five-game win streak and enter the playoffs hot. The emergence of Jacqueline Ulrich and Liz Athing has led them to a fourth seed in Class A.
8. East Islip (12-4): The Redmen cooled off a bit down the stretch, finishing the season 2-2. And before that, they had close wins over Patchogue-Medford and Lindenhurst. Still, East Islip shouldn't be overlooked and a 12-4 record is impressive, regardless. They have the No. 5 seed in Class A and their matchup vs. Northport should be good.
9. Miller Place (10-6): The Panthers finished the regular season with a 1-0 overtime win against Shoreham-Wading River. And if you know Miller Place, and that rivalry, you can imagine the confidence high they're on now.
10. Harborfields (9-7): The Tornadoes jump in the rankings by virtue of the No. 2 seed in the Class B playoffs, the fact they've been battle tested with a difficult Division I schedule, and Kasey Stolba (Suffolk's leading scorer with 27 points). They've got the makings of an under-the-radar team that could surprise in the playoffs.
On the cusp: Northport, Pierson/Bridgehampton, Southampton
*** A big shout-out for Greenport/Southold/Shelter Island. The Clippers went 10-6 and made the Class B playoffs as the No. 7 seed, accomplishing a goal the players had set at the start of this breakout season.
“We really wanna make the playoffs,” senior Erin Creedon said early this month. “We came into the preseason with that as our goal. If we could get there, it would be great. It would put the icing on the cake.”
They did it. The Clippers will face Harborfields in the quarterfinals at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.