Hudson Valley Sports Report


Which Teams Lead The Pack Prior To The First Official Practice?

By Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

High school boys soccer in the Hudson Valley is like death and taxes – you know we’re going to have several teams in the state playoffs and contending for a title every year.

Who could that be in 2018?

Any one of a handful of teams.

As we enter the waning days of July and draw closer to the August 13 start of official practices, we roll out the preseason Hudson Valley Sports Report Power Rankings for the 2018 season.

This is largely based on last year’s results and what we know so far through the early practices, as well as returning players.

10) JOHN JAY – The Patriots earned a No. 5 seed last year in the Section 1, Class AA tournament but were upset by No. 12 Scarsdale in the first round. That’s an early exit but you can never discount the pedigree of the program.

9) TIE, RED HOOK and DOVER – Both teams made it to their respective Section 9 championship games, not a surprise for the Raiders but a great storyline for the Dragons last season. Can they continue to make noise?

8) GOSHEN – The Gladiators were tremendously talented last year, won the Section 9, Class A title, beat Byram Hills in the first round of states, and then lost to eventual state champion Vestal. Normally, a team that good would be higher on this list but Goshen graduated all-state midfielder Tom Stickley, center back D.J. Mungo and 34-goal scorer Jeremy Pantoni. Worse, uber-talented freshman Zemi Rodriguez decided to transfer to a private school.

7) TIE, S.S. SEWARD and JOHN A. COLEMAN – Top-seeded Seward convincingly won the Section 9, Class C title with a 6-0 shutout of Millbrook, and then went on to beat Solomon Schechter in the rounds of states before falling in the quarterfinals.  Coleman made it to the Section 9, Class D finals and fell to Mount Academy, but the Statesmen return HVSR Dream Teamer Brandon Davenport.

6) MONROE-WOODBURY – A 1-0 overtime loss in the sectional title game was the difference between the Crusaders going to the state playoffs and Warwick winning the Section 9, Class AA crown. Christian Garner, maybe the area’s best one-on-one defender, and goalie Dylan McDermott return.

5) RHINEBECK – The Section 9, Class B champs lose leading scorer Quinn Graziano but return Noah Lortie, who had 15 goals last year including a score in the sectional title win over Dover.

4) MOUNT ACADEMY – The Eagles were the Class D co-state champions last season. (Don’t ask. NYSPHSAA’s policy is that if two teams remain tied after regulation and two 15-minute overtime periods, it goes in the books as a shared state title.) That was a solid team, but it will have to learn to play without Thomas Huleatt, a 31-goal scorer last year.

3) WARWICK – Tremendous season in 2017, winning the Section 9, Class AA championship before falling to Yorktown in the first round of the state tournament. It’s going to be difficult to replace two all-state players, however, in Sam LaTorre and Eric Ormsby.

2) BEACON – The Bulldogs are coming off one of the best seasons in school history. Beacon had just two defeats last year – a one-goal loss to Arlington in a non-league game and a 2-1 overtime loss to top-seeded Byram Hills in the Section 1, Class A semifinals. HVSR Dream Team Offensive Player of the Year Devin Lambe is back for his senior season, as is second-leading scorer Alex Druckenmiller, as is standout defender John Mesnick. Oh, and of course, Dream Team Coach of the Year Craig Seaman. Loaded.

Devin Lambe

1) ARLINGTON – Consistent scoring is going to be an issue, as it was last year, but you know Arlington – reload, not rebuild. This was the undefeated, third-ranked team in the state last season until the Admirals were beaten by Yorktown in the Section 1, Class AA semifinals. HVSR Dream Team Defensive Player of the Year Kevin Klausz is back in goal this year to lead the team. All he did last year was post 13 shutouts.

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