This can be the time of year when girls soccer teams begin separating themselves from the pack.
With teams getting past the midway point of the season and player chemistry constantly improving on the way to the playoffs later this month, Long Island soccer fans are starting to see who will be teams to watch as fall settles in.
Here are a few telling results from the previous week that could serve as a predictor for what’s the come the rest of the way. Along with another edition of Newsday’s Top 10 teams.
(All records and results are based on games reported to Newsday through Tuesday, Oct. 8.)
Smithtown West running through Suffolk
The Bulls clearly weren’t satisfied by just becoming the first team in program history to advance to the state semifinals last year.
Smithtown West is off to an 8-0-1 start, with its only non-victory coming a scoreless tie with Commack. The Bulls have only allowed one goal all season with a strong backline and the goalkeeping of Emily Wallace.
Last week, Smithtown West defeated Sachem East, 4-1, behind two goals and an assist from Emily Leverich and followed that with a 5-0 victory over Northport with three second-half goals from Hannah Maracina.
The Bulls have outscored opponents, 24-1, to open the season despite a tough schedule and can be considered the current favorites to win another Suffolk Class AA title.
Syosset picking up where it left off
The Braves went from a young, surprising team last fall to one that isn’t backing down as a hunted squad.
Syosset won its first county championship in program history last season, edging out East Meadow in penalty kicks to advance to the Long Island Class AA championship. Syosset (8-0, 7-0 Conference AA-I) returned much of last year’s team and added a few important pieces this fall.
Last week, Syosset responded from a 3-0 deficit to Farmingdale to win, 6-3. Avani Brandt had two goals and an assist, and Bella Romano had two goals. The Braves then defeated Baldwin, 3-1, with two more goals from Brandt, a goal and an assist from Hope Neale and two assists from Romano. Syosset has scored at least two goals in each game this season. Next up: Massapequa (9-1, 6-1).
Nassau Class A parity
All seven teams in Nassau AB-I have at least three conference victories, with no team having any more than four wins. The conference is as close as it can get, which is exactly what competitive soccer fans want to see. Garden City, Wantagh, Valley Stream South and Mepham have each won four games, and Calhoun, Manhasset and South Side each won three.
With the teams beating up on each other throughout the year, here’s some of the best games from the conference last week.
Wantagh 2, Valley Stream South 1: Morgan Flaherty scored the go-ahead goal in the 35th minute off a free kick just outside the boxh. She also scored the Warriors’ first goal off a penalty kick in the 15th minute.
Mepham 2, Garden City 1: Allura McManus and Julia Rawlinson each scored for Mepham as Samantha Kubica and Hailey Stork split the game in net and each made nine saves.
Valley Stream South 3, Manhasset 2: Mia Asenjo scored the winner with less than 15 minutes remaining for Valley Stream South. She finished with two goals and an assist and Kayla Camacho added a goal and two assists for the defending state Class A champions.
South Side had a pair of quality wins last week, first with Mia Delmond scoring off an assist by Cristina LiCalzi to break the tie in a 2-1 win over Calhoun. Earlier, Ella Delmond, Mia's older sister, tied the score at 1 with 22:02 left in the first half.
Then on Monday, Ella Delmond had a goal and an assist, and Julia Cavanagh had 13 saves in a 2-0 win over Mepham.
A tightly contested Suffolk A
There is little separation between the top six of Half Hollow Hills West, Shoreham-Wading River, Glenn, Hauppauge, Eastport-South Manor and West Babylon amongst Class A teams in Suffolk Division II.
There’s no clear favorite to point to at the moment, but here are some results to take note of:
West Babylon 3, Half Hollow Hills West 0: Georgia DiVisconti and Brianna Winkler each had a goal and an assist and Alyssa Apuzzo made nine saves in the shutout to hand Hills West its first loss of the season.
Shoreham-Wading River 2, Hauppauge 0: Ashley Borriello and GraceAnn Leonard each scored in the Wildcats’ sixth shutout of the year.
Eastport-South Manor 1, West Babylon 0: Kasey McConnell scored off an assist from Cassidy Passaro with 3:04 remaining. West Babylon and ESM entered the season as the top two teams in Division II, respectively, in Suffolk’s power point system.
Games to watch
Thursday: Centereach at Northport, 4 p.m.
Friday: Massapequa at Syosset, 4:15 p.m.
Saturday: Garden City at Valley Stream South, 12:30 p.m.
Sunday: McDonough vs. St. Anthony’s, 1 p.m. McDonough (Maryland) is ranked No. 19 in the country by USA Today. St. Anthony’s is No. 22.
Monday: North Shore at Manhasset, 10 a.m.
Tuesday: Glenn at Half Hollow Hills West, 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday: South Side at Valley Stream South, 4:30 p.m.
Newsday’s Top 10
1. Smithtown West (8-0-1)
2. Syosset (8-0)
3. St. Anthony’s (8-1-1)
4. Massapequa (9-1)
5. Smithtown East (9-0-1)
6. Half Hollow Hills West (8-1)
7. Wantagh (4-2-3)
8. Garden City (5-3-3)
9. Kellenberg (5-2-3)
10. Glenn (8-1-2)