NYACK — When the Class AA playoffs began last season, Clarkstown North was stuck sitting at home.
The Rams managed just three wins in 2013 and were left on the outside looking in, but that will not be the case in 2014. Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Nyack guaranteed that North will get to go to the big dance.
“It’s amazing right now because last year we didn’t make it, and now this year it’s a great opportunity to show all of the teams what we can do,” junior midfielder Marco Mastrorilli said. “We’re going to go out there and play our best.”
The Indians controlled possession and outshot Clarkstown North 5-1 in the opening 20 minutes, but the Rams (6-7-1) weathered the storm and struck first when Mastrorilli charged goalkeeper Jackson Munn on a loose ball and managed to tap it in.
North goalie Jacob Tomanelli made a huge diving save from in the 43rd minute on Nyack striker Hector Sandoval and North’s Cole Spagnoli hit a post in the 58th.
The score remained 1-0 until Walter Funes booted in a long goal on a counter attack that caught the Indians (5-7-1) off guard in the 71st minute.
“That relaxed the team a little bit because we were rushing a lot,” Mastrorilli said of the second goal. “It made us settle down.”
Tyler Yassky cut Nyack’s deficit to 2-1 with a free kick goal in the 74th minute, but the Rams were able to hold on for the win.
“As soon as we beat Suffern 2-1 (on Sept. 12), we felt that as a team, we were starting to click and everything was going the right way for us,” senior defender Chris Osorio said. “Hopefully that pays off and we can make a deep run in sectionals this year.”
• This was a very hard-nosed game, one that got a little chippy towards the end, and that seemed to suit Clarkstown North just fine. The Rams don’t necessarily have a standout striker or flashy skill player, but they worked hard and found a way to win. Last year was a humbling experience to go 3-13, but they’ve doubled that win total and proven that they can beat quality teams with wins over Suffern, North Rockland and now Nyack. “Overall, I just think that we’re playing better as a team,” Osorio said. “Everyone is working hard, everyone is committed to training, and it’s really paying off with the wins.”
• Nyack definitely had a few weapons with Sandoval up top and Yassky in the midfield, but North did a solid job of containing them and limiting their opportunities. “Really, we were just trying to play aggressive to the ball,” Osorio said. “We don’t want anyone getting hurt out here, but for us to limit the goals that they scored, we just played aggressive to the ball.”
• The Rams also received a steady performance from Tomanelli in goal. He finished with seven saves. “Jacob had a great game,” Osorio said. “He made many saves and kept us in the game a lot of the time. I’m really happy with how he performed.”
• North has one league game remaining with Suffern, which has been the hottest team in the league recently and just moved up to No. 8 in Class AA. The Rams upset the Mounties in their first meeting, and Mastrorilli said they’re relishing those opportunities. “These are great teams, and beating them gives us confidence for the next game,” he said. “We go out there stronger and better, and know we can compete with these teams.”
Best of the rest: Jonathan Ortega scored the overtime winner on an assist by Osvaldo Almiron to help White Plains pull off a 2-1 upset win at John Jay-East Fishkill, which is currently ranked No. 2 in the Lohud Boys Soccer Rankings. … Griffin Robins scored in Blind Brook’s 1-0 win at Scarsdale. … Juan Rivera had a hat trick in Fox Lane’s 7-1 win over Gorton at Tibbetts Brook Park. … John Scrima made three saves and 11 different players had a goal or assist in host Pearl River’s 6-0 win over Nanuet, which locked up a League II-C title. … Aidan Datene had a hat trick and an assist in Hen Hud’s 6-1 win over visiting Croton-Harmon. … Luis Morales scored twice for host Port Chester while Matthew Neuberger and Linwood Grob each scored for Horace Greeley in a 2-2 tie. … Anders Spittal scored for Putnam Valley in a 1-0 win over visiting Brewster. … Brendan Roche assisted on goals by Zach Levy and Jordan Salama in Pelham’s 2-1 win at Edgemont. … Ari Leffell assisted on goals by Noam Goldberg and Daniel Kohen in Solomon Schechter’s 2-0 win at Westlake. … Peter Hoffmann had two goals and an assist in Haldane’s 3-2 win at Hamilton. … Leo Gomes had a goal and an assist for host Rye while Michael Antonelle and Nicholas Giardina each scored for John Jay in a 2-2 tie. … Kenny Aviles and Ellis Sanchez each scored in host Albertus Magnus’ 2-1 win over Roosevelt. … Liam Pettit scored twice in Yonkers’ 2-1 win over Mount Vernon at Fleming Field. … Joe Millard and Ryan Langkafel each scored in host Carmel’s 2-1 win over Lourdes. … Andy Barrera scored twice in Saunders’ 3-2 win over visiting Yonkers Montessori. … Joneri Marin scored the golden goal for Lincoln in a 3-2 overtime win at Ramapo. … Cristian Lazaro had a hat trick and two assists for host Peekskill in a 5-3 win over Woodlands. Weston Maxwell had a hat trick for the Falcons. … Litha Kweta and Ian Konigsberg each scored twice in Scarsdale B’s 4-1 win over Riverside at Quaker Ridge School. … Will Bennett scored twice for host Somers in a 2-0 win over Pleasantville.
Here are all of the scores that we received from Tuesday:
Clarkstown North 2, Nyack 1
White Plains 2, John Jay-East Fishkill 1, OT
Blind Brook 1, Scarsdale 0
Fox Lane 7, Gorton 1
Pearl River 6, Nanuet 0
Hen Hud 6, Croton-Harmon 1
Port Chester 2, Horace Greeley 2 (no OT due to darkness)
Putnam Valley 1, Brewster 0
Pelham 2, Edgemont 1
Solomon Schechter 2, Westlake 0
Haldane 3, Hamilton 2
Rye 2, John Jay 2, 2 OT
Albertus Magnus 2, Roosevelt 1
Yonkers 2, Mount Vernon 1
Carmel 2, Lourdes 1
Saunders 3, YMA 2
Lincoln 3, Ramapo 2, OT
Peekskill 5, Woodlands 3
Scarsdale B 4, Riverside 1
Arlington 3, Mahopac 0
Somers 2, Pleasantville 0
Hastings 2, Yorktown 1
Keio 4, North Salem 1
Photos and video by Peter Carr/The Journal News