We're at about the halfway point of the regular season, so enough games have been played to get a pretty reasonable guage on teams. Meaning now's about a good time to start doing a weekly top 10.
1. Sachem East (8-0): There's little room for doubt here. The Flaming Arrows have separated themselves with a flawless record and impressive wins - Ward Melville and Smithtown East, in particular. If you're a subscriber to the Section XI power points system: Sachem East (146.8) leads all teams by a considerable margin. They continue to look like a team with all the components to go far in the postseason (depth, defense, excellent play at goalie and clutch scoring).
2. Sayville (8-0): They survived a scare against East Islip on Wednesday, but pulled out a 3-2 win to keep their record unblemished. Their signature victory thus far was a non-league win over Ward Melville. The playoffs will be the true test for the Golden Flashes, though. We've seen them coast through the regular season and reach the county final before. Is this the year they get over the hump in Suffolk Class B?
3. Ward Melville (7-2): The Patriots have reintroduced themselves the last couple weeks. After a rocky start to the season, they've looked more like the Ward Melville of old recently. They haven't been dominant - their last two games have been one-goal victories - but they've gotten the job done against Northport and Smithtown East.
4. Shoreham-Wading River (7-1): If you'd heard coming into this year that, eight games through the season, Debi-Michelle Jantzen wouldn't be among Suffolk's top 25 scorers, what would your projection for SWR have been? Probably not the 7-1 record they've got. That tells you about the overall talent of this team and its contributions from all over. Kaitlyn Taddeo is fourth in points, Alyssa Fleming (the field hockey rookie) is fifth with eight goals, and first-year starter Kendal Conway has four shutouts and hasn't allowed more than two goals in any game.
5. Smithtown East (6-2): A break here or there and this team could have the top spot. Here's how close: The Bulls' two losses were 1-0 to Sachem East on a goal with 6:49 left, and 1-0 to Ward Melville on a goal with 1:30 remaining. Smithtown East has been one of the elites for the longest and can never be overlooked. Built on strong defense and goalie play, they haven't allowed more than a goal in any game this season. Teams that always keep it close and low-scoring and can lull the opposition are scary in the postseason.
6. Northport (4-4): It's about the most impressive .500 record a team can have. Three of the Tigers' losses have come from Sachem East, Ward Melville and Smithtown East. Scoring has been an issue for Northport, though. They've been held to one or no goals in four games.
7. East Islip (7-1): They're a blown whistle away from being on top of Division II with a perfect record. Alexa Martino's goal with no time left would've lifted them over Sayville on Wednesday, but the score was waved off because "the ball didn't leave the circle," the referees explained. East Islip, of course, disputed the call. Sayville went on to win in overtime. But if there's such a thing as a moral victory...
8. Rocky Point (6-1): That rebuilding phase didn't last too long, huh. The Eagles are a relatively young team with a lot of talent and a good forward line. They beat Pierson/Bridgehampton, 2-0, on Monday. Their only loss was to SWR, 2-1, on a late goal.
9. Miller Place (6-3): Don't look now, but they're shooting up the Division III standings. Since that 1-3 start, the Panthers have reeled off five straight. That includes wins over Pierson/Bridgehampton, Comsewogue and Southampton.
10. Bay Shore (6-3): The Marauders are quietly having a solid season. They beat Lindenhurst, 3-2, on Wednesday (three goals off Olivia DiPalma is an accomplishment) and are on pace to surpass last season's win total of eight.