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THIELLS, N.Y. — Clarkstown South's Kris Alleyne is widely regarded as the best goalie in Rockland County. On Wednesday at North Rockland High School, another name entered the conversation: Brian Michella.
The senior netminder certainly proved his worth in the Red Raiders' 7-3 upset win over the Vikings, coming up with 11 huge saves. Michella was especially impressive in crunch time, blanking Clarkstown South's offense over the final two quarters of play.
“I definitely don't get as much hype as some other goalies, but I definitely feel I can get up to their level,” said Michella, who also posted a 21-save performance in a 7-6 double-overtime loss to Weston (CT) back on April 14.
Thanks to Michella's strong play, North Rockland (8-4) has relinquished just 4.5 goals a game this season.
“(Michella) played great today and is an outstanding kid,” Red Raiders sophomore attackman Nick Haubner said. “He's improved lately and is holding us up right now. He's doing fantastic.”
It was a huge win for the Red Raiders, who entered the game having lost three of their lost four. Clarkstown South, meanwhile, saw its six-game winning streak come to an end.
“I think we surprised everyone expect the guys on our team,” Michella said. “This win is big for our program in general. We are one of the top teams in the county — without a doubt.”
Offensively, Haubner and Adam Burlew paced North Rockland with two goals apiece. John Dugan (1G, 2A), Ryan Johnson (3A), Tom Ginty (1G) and Ron Crover (1G) rounded out the scoring.
The Red Raiders, who trailed 3-2 at the break, ran away with in the second half, outscoring the Vikings 5-0 to seal it. Crover evened the game at 3-3 with 10:49 left in the third quarter and Haubner provided the go-ahead goal one minute and 21 seconds later. Burlew, Ginty and Haubner added a goal apiece in the fourth quarter.
“We were just moving the ball and looking for openings,” said Haubner, who capped the scoring with 6:40 left in the fourth quarter. “We got a couple of cross-field passes and right-in-front-of-the-net plays to get the goalie moving around a little bit. It was also just running, keeping our legs moving to get away from the big defenders.”
Joseph Buzzetti, Justin Said and Stephen Morris led Clarkstown South with a goal apiece. Vinny Bernardone and Colin Quinn each added an assist. Per usual, the Rutgers-bound Alleyne turned in an impressive performance with 13 saves. Clarkstown South netted all three of its goals in the second quarter.
North Rockland will look to pull off another statement-making win in its next game against White Plains on Friday. Clarkstown South hosts Section 9's Minisink Valley next on Saturday.
Clarkstown South 0 3 0 0 3
North Rockland 1 1 2 3 7
NR (8:27) John Dugan unassisted | 1-0 NR
CS (9:30) Justin Said from Vinny Bernardone | 1-1
CS (4:42) Stephen Morris from Colin Quinn | 2-1 CS
NR (4:00) Adam Burlew from Dugan | 2-2 *
CS (1:22) Joseph Buzzetti unassisted | 3-2 CS
NR (10:49) Ron Crover from Dugan | 3-3 *
NR (9:29) Nick Haubner from Ryan Johnson | 4-3 NR
NR (8:14) Burlew from Johnson | 5-3 NR
NR (7:18) Tom Ginty from Johnson | 6-3 NR *
NR (6:40) Haubner unassisted | 7-3 NR
* Indicates manup goal