If you are wondering if any area fall teams have a chance to go far in the state playoffs the best place to look may be Class D soccer.
The Frontier League and Northern Athletic Conference, combined, have 10 of the 40 Class D soccer teams that are ranked in this weeks state poll.
The highest-ranked local team is the Copenhagen girls, who are No. 2, followed by Chateaugay at No. 3. Heuvelton is No. 7, Parishville-Hopkinton is No. 17 and Hammond is No. 20.
The top boys team this week is No. 4 Harrisville, which may fall after a 3-2 nonleague loss to Thousand Islands on Tuesday. Copenhagen is No. 7. Madrid-Waddington is No. 12 and Chateaugay is No. 14. Immaculate Heart Central is ranked 15th.
Of course before any local soccer team can worry about how far they go in the state playoffs, they have to reach the event first, and that will be a big challenge for the high-ranked Frontier League squads. Section 10 consists only of the Northern Athletic Conference so, barring upsets, one of the ranked teams among the boys and girls will participate.
But the challenge is tougher for Copenhagens girls, who happen to be behind another Section 3 team in the state poll, defending champion Poland, which entered this week with a 12-2 overall record. Polands boys, which are 12-0, are also ranked No. 1 in the state.
If any coach in the area knows the challenge presented in defeating the Poland girls team it would be Chateaugays Steve Lang, whose squad fell 3-2 in double-overtime to Poland in last years state title game.
Chateaugay (12-0-1 overall) has produced a dominant team again this season. The Bulldogs have outscored the opposition, 71-5.
We lost nine seniors (last year), so thats a lot of experience gone, Lang said. I had nine kids coming back and even though they all didnt start, they played intricate roles. Everybody wants it to happen again, but were going one game at a team to see if we can keep advancing. Were not even in playoff-mode yet.
What will make the Bulldogs a tough team to face in Section 10s upcoming playoff opponent is the balanced scoring the team features.
Danielle Charland leads the team with 17 goals and nine assists (entering this week), and Hannah Cook has scored 15 goals with 13 assists. Katie Beach has eight goals with 16 assists.
You can mark Hannah if you want, but (Tuesday) we scored four goals and she didnt have a goal or assist, Lang said.
But as dominant as Chateaugay was last year, and through the first 13 games this season, the Bulldogs cant relax once the playoff starts. They learned that on Sept. 28 when they played to a scoreless tie with Heuvelton in a nonleague game at Clarkson University.
This is going to be a war, Lang said of the playoffs. Its not just Heuvelton, but Parishville-Hopkinton and Lisbon and Hammond and anybody else. Its going to be a very exciting playoffs, for the boys too.
Poland may be the defending state champions, but Copenhagen has put up numbers this season that should make any coach preparing for them nervous.
The Golden Knights (14-0) have outscored their opponents 85-6 and sophomore Claire Stackel has scoring numbers most teams cant match, with 37 goals and 26 assists. Emma Roberts has 15 goals and 16 assists for Copenhagen, and Alicia Evans is also in double figures with 10 goals and five assists.
SEASON OVER FOR EAGLES
After seven games, the Clifton-Fine girls soccer team had to call it a season due to a lack of numbers caused by injuries.
It was a rough fall for the Eagles, who never won a game and scored only one goal, which came in the first game of the season. Clifton-Fine gave up 46 goals in the seven losses. Clifton-Fine has forfeited the remainder of its games.
The Eagles actually played a few of their final games with smaller numbers and Harrisville agreed to play them seven-on-seven in a game that the Eagles lost 1-0.