CROTON, N.Y.— Sixth-seeded North Salem (7-10) played a solid second half in its first round playoff match at third-seeded Croton-Harmon, but a rocky first half doomed the Tigers in a 17-7 defeat in the opening round of the Section 1 Class D playoffs.

“These kids have hustled their way and improved since Day 1,” North Salem coach Matt Garrity said. “It’s great to see that the athletes are starting to buy into the program.” 

A sluggish start certainly made an impact, since North Salem trailed 6-1 after the first quarter and 10-1 at halftime.

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“It’s tough when the kids are playing their hearts out in sectionals and we had a couple of calls not go our way,” Garrity said. “Croton-Harmon was able to capitalize on our mistakes.”

Committing six penalties and allowing Croton-Harmon star Kyle Morrison to score 12 goals sank North Salem’s upset chances, but the offense picked up the beat after the break.

Zach Prisciandaro led the pack with three goals, including the team’s only tally during the first half. Alex Diamond added a goal while Will O’Leary scored and passed for an assist.

Shane Behler recorded a goal and an assist, as Dylan Starace notched a goal and an assist too. Goalie Alex Ely stopped four shots.

“[The kids] all got on the bus with a positive attitude and will not take a day off in the offseason,” Garrity said. “This junior class is extremely excited to improve the program next year and change the culture.”