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MacArthur boys soccer banking on aggression
Kevin Mayer has the rallying cry down pat for the MacArthur boys soccer team.
"We’re all in,” said Mayer, the Generals’ senior goalkeeper who finished second in the county this season with 10 shutouts behind Carle Place’s John Guzzo (12). “Believe the whole hype. Our main team goal is to get to the county finals.”
Mayer, a co-captain, will be one of the key components for MacArthur as it heads into the Nassau Class AA postseason undefeated in both Conference AA-III (12-0) and overall (13-0).
The Generals, who captured the Conference AA-II title last season and the Conference AA-III title this year, are the No. 2 seed and will host the winner of No. 7 Syosset and No. 10 Port Washington in the quarterfinals on Oct. 30.
“Last year wasn’t a one-hit wonder,” said Mayer, who made 88 saves in 13 games. “This is a consistent, winning soccer program. We’re going to continue to get the younger players to buy into what we’re building.”
In his second season, MacArthur boys soccer coach Andy Atkins has preached aggression. Mayer, a third-year starter, has helped set the tone in that department.
“He’s very aggressive,” Atkins said of Mayer, who allowed only four goals in 2013. “He’s good in the air and good on the ground. He can play the ball wherever on the field.”
Mayer’s ability to move the ball quickly up field to teammates has enabled senior striker Frank Micieli to put the ball in the back of the net. Micieli led the Generals in points (17) with 11 goals and six assists.
“We have all the parts to win the county,” Micieli said. “You’ve got to play hard and pick your head up no matter what. Force the outside defenders to make mistakes and give them that feeling that they have nowhere to go.”
In other words, continue to be aggressive and annoy the opposition, said senior midfielder Ben Zilka, who relies on junior sweeper Greg Baumstein and senior center halfback Joe Giammarusco to carry out the initiative.
“We need to keep on breaking down teams, while playing at a high pace,” said Zilka, who Atkins said is a coach on the field who is the glue of the team. “Be very aggressive, like a tick that won’t go away. We can work hard and play nice soccer. We’re not waiting for that cheap, garbage goal.”
MacArthur has been sporting blonde mohawks the entire season. Micieli said the reasoning behind it is for more than superstition. It has now become tradition moving forward.
“It brings the team together,” Micieli said. “We like to standout.”
Atkins is banking on the Generals to stand out this entire postseason.
“You’re never going to get this time back,” Atkins said. “Therefore, there are no regrets. Leave everything out there, every second you are out there.”