1. Will Ward Melville repeat?
The Patriots were Suffolk Class AA co-champions last season and have seemed just as impressive this fall at 11-1-4 to earn the No. 2 seed.. Elyse Munoz sets the tone from the end line in goal and Rachel Ehrlich anchors a defense that has only allowed multiple goals once all season. Abby Foster has 12 goals and seven assists, and Amelia Pirozzi has a goal and 11 assists.
2. Northport with another strong season
The Tigers have been one of the top programs in Suffolk in recent memory, and this year is no expectation as Northport enters the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in Class AA following a 12-2 season. Jamie Inzerillo has 12 goals and four assists, and Marryn Gruhn has six goals and eight assists. Lisa Kovacs leads the backline as one of the top defenders in the county. Northport enters the playoffs on a six-game winning streak, with multiple goals in five of those contests.
3. The Smithtown West attack
The Bulls can beat you multiple ways. Stephanie Schubert has 11 goals and 10 assists, Hannah Maracina has 15 goals and four assists and Nicole Mennella has eight goals and four assists this season. No. 3 Smithtown West could be returning to its Suffolk Class AA championship ways this fall after a 12-2-1 season in Class AA.
4. The Gianna Amendola takeover
This Rocky Point standout has been dominant on the field this fall. Amendola leads Suffolk 31 goals, according to stats reported to Newsday, and also has seven assists. She has led Rocky Point to the top seed and a 16-0 regular season as the Eagles seek their first county title since 2001 and first Suffolk Class A title in program history, according to Newsday records. Alexandra Kelly also has 10 goals and 17 assists.
5. East Islip magic
East Islip has its own impressive scoring trio in Kate Alexander (10 goals, 14 assists), Dylann Trahey (nine goals, eight assists) and Jenna Borelli (seven goals, five assists). The team’s lone loss came in a tough 3-2 contest to Rocky Point. East Islip will be in the center of the Suffolk Class A championship picture as the No. 2 seed after a 12-1-3 season in Class A. East Islip last won a county title in 2008, according to Newsday records.
6. Shoreham-Wading River in the hunt
The Wildcats have been a team to keep an eye on in recent seasons in the Suffolk Class A playoff picture and this one is no different. No. 4 Shoreham-Wading River (10-4) plays a strong defensive game and has only allowed multiple goals in a game once all season in Class A.
7. Potential game-changers
A few players you’ll want to keep your eye on throughout the playoffs:
-- Madison Apicella, No. 4 Sachem East (Class AA): The first-team All-Long Island selection last year led Sachem East to a Suffolk Class AA co-championship last season. She had 13 goals and six assists this season and will be a key piece of a Sachem East team looking for another deep postseason run.
-- Ciara Brown, No. 8 Half Hollow Hills West (Class A): One of the top sophomores on Long Island, Brown had 22 goals and three assists this season. If Hills West can win its opening-round matchup, Brown against Rocky Point’s Amendola will be an intriguing offensive matchup to watch.
-- Anastassia Gallego, No. 13 Brentwood (Class AA): She has been a key piece to turning Brentwood into a postseason program the last two seasons. Gallego had 17 goals and 10 assists and her teammate, Amparo Sanchez Molina, has 13 goals and 13 assists this year.
-- Madison Micheletti, No. 5 Islip (Class A): The first-team All-Long Island selection last year and five-year varsity starter led Islip to a county title last season and is capable of doing it again. The Old Dominion commit had 11 goals and nine assists this year.
-- Gianna Paul, No. 11 Whitman (Class AA): The Alabama commit is one of the most electrifying players on Long Island. The track state champion has breakaway speed and game-changing ability with 20 goals and seven assists despite constant additional defensive attention. She can will the Wildcats on a postseason run with her presence alone.
8. Suffolk Class B playoffs
Babylon, winner of the last two Suffolk Class B title, goes directly into the Class B final as the top seed. Ashley Bell leads the Panthers with 20 goals and six assists, with Olivia Tuccillo adding four goals and 10 assists. With the state tournament back in the picture this fall, Babylon has eyes set on an extended postseason run.
9. There will be one winner
With no Long Island or state championships last season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no reason to go to penalty kicks to determine if Sachem East or Ward Melville would advance beyond the county title game. That won't be the case this fall as the state tournament returns. The Class AA and Class A finals will be on Nov. 2 at North Babylon High School. Class AA begins at 11 a.m. and Class A is 1:30 p.m. The Class B final will be Oct. 30 at Shoreham-Wading River High School at 4 p.m.
10. The CHSAA postseason
St. Anthony’s, winners of the last four CHSAA titles, appears as strong as ever and possesses another deep and balanced lineup with championship aspirations. The Friars will be the top seed in the CHSAA playoffs in a season that included multiple tough non-league matchups against some of the top programs in the area. Olivia Perez had nine goals and nine assists, Ashley Kozlowski totaled nine goals and three assists and Emily Riggins added seven goals and four assists for St. Anthony’s.
Sacred Heart, Kellenberg and St. John the Baptist won’t make anything easy for the Friars, though. They have all played St. Anthony’s tough during the season and have defeated each other along the way. Some players that will make a key difference in the postseason run include St. John the Baptist's Meghan White (six goals, four assists), Kellenberg's Taylor Argentina (eight goals, one assist) and Sacred Heart's Kelsie Price (seven goals, two assists).
Suffolk Girls Soccer playoff schedule
Class AA on Saturday
(16) Newfield at (1) Northport
(15) Floyd at (2) Ward Melville
(14) North Babylon at (3) Smithtown West
(13) Brentwood at (4) Sachem East
(12) Connetquot at (5) Smithtown East
(11) Whitman at (6) Sachem North
(10) Huntington at (7) Commack
(9) Centereach at (8) Longwood
Class A on Friday
(9) Comsewogue at (8) Half Hollow Hills West (winner plays at No. 1 Rocky Point Tuesday)
(10) Harborfields at (7) Sayville (winner plays at No. 2 East Islip Tuesday)
(14) Miller Place at (3) Hauppauge
(13) Deer Park at (4) Shoreham-Wading River
(12) West Babylon at (5) Islip
(11) Eastport-South Manor at (6) Kings Park
Class B semifinal October 25
(3) Center Moriches at (2) Southampton
The winner plays (1) Babylon in the Suffolk Class B final at Shoreham-Wading River High School on Oct. 30 at 4 p.m.
The CHSAA playoffs
The semifinals are Oct. 29 with the final Nov. 2 at St. Joseph's College. Matchups are still to be determined.