Newsday’s Kenny DeJohn previews Sunday’s Long Island championships, also known as the state regional finals, following an exciting week of county final matchups. Note: All rankings, analysis and statistics are current as of noon Friday.
Class A: Massapequa vs. West Islip
The three-time Nassau champs play a West Islip team that has won three of the last four Suffolk titles. Massapequa has a rock-solid defense led by Erin Tierney and Sophia Cardello, while West Islip’s offense has big-time speed in Jaden Hampel and Danielle Marino.
The Lions’ defense is nothing to slouch at, either, with goalkeeper Lauren DiStefano making the key saves that propelled them to an upset over previously undefeated Northport in the county championship game Thursday night.
This should be close.
Class B: Manhasset vs. Eastport-South Manor
These two teams took drastically different paths to the Long Island title game. Manhasset rolled through Garden City, 14-5, and ESM needed Kasey Choma’s goal in overtime to dispose of West Babylon, 8-7.
That doesn’t mean Manhasset is an unstoppable force, and it also doesn’t mean ESM struggles offensively. The Indians use a variety of weapons on offense, which makes them hard to defend. The Sharks rely on several options as well, so this could be an offensive slugfest.
The key in this game is Manhasset’s Krissy Kowalski, who has been a stalwart between the pipes. If she can come up with big saves, Manhasset could advance.
Class C: Cold Spring Harbor vs. Mount Sinai
Two somewhat opposite styles clash for the Class C crown. Mount Sinai plays a ball-control game, using clock and staying patient until a scoring opportunity arises. Cold Spring Harbor does the opposite. Once the Seahawks win the draw, they’re off to the races.
The pacing of this game should fall somewhere in the middle, though Mt. Sinai coach Al Bertolone said that his Mustangs can play fast, too. Mt. Sinai’s stable of lockdown defenders will be tasked with stopping an offense with four legitimate scorers in Caroline DeBellis, Sophia DeRosa, Grace Tauckus and Katherine Faria.
Mt. Sinai has won four of the last five state Class C championships; the Seahawks have come up just short a few times in recent memory.
Class D: Carle Place vs. Mattituck/Southold
A rematch of last year’s Long Island Class D final, Mattituck / Southold is again the favorite after a 15-5 win last June.
These two rosters are essentially the same as a year ago, with the team’s stars just gaining another year of experience in the process. The Tuckers rely on the Hoeg sisters (Mackenzie and Riley), as well as supporting players like Jane DiGregorio and Chelsea Marlborough.
Carle Place will have its hands full stopping the Tuckers’ offense, which rallied for nine straight goals against them last season. But the Frogs are riding a high after Abby Selhorn won the county championship in overtime, so anything can happen.
Newsday’s Top 10
1. Mount Sinai (Last week: 1)
2. Manhasset (2)
3. Eastport-South Manor (5)
4. Cold Spring Harbor (6)
5. West Islip (unranked)
6. Sacred Heart (7)
7. Mattituck/Southold (9)
8. Massapequa (unranked)
9. Northport (3)
10. West Babylon (4)
Sunday’s Long Island finals at Islip
Noon — Cold Spring Harbor vs. Mount Sinai
2:30 p.m. — Carle Place vs. Mattituck/Southold
5 p.m. — Massapequa vs. West Islip
7:30 p.m. — Manhasset vs. Eastport-South Manor