Matt Carr defends, John Guzzo protects the net and Dylan Klein rips it home. All three seniors understand their role and are getting it done.
That's been the formula for success for tthe Carle Place boys soccer team, which sat atop Conference ABC3 at 6-0 going into Thursday's game against Clarke.
Latest HS sports stories
"Stick your first tackle, let them know you're there," said Carr, who plays center back. "Keep it on the ground and clear it out. Don't ever complicate things."
It's made life so much easier for Guzzo, who led Nassau in shutouts with eight going in to Thursday's game. "To see my name at the top of the list feels good," said Guzzo, who had allowed only one goal, in a 1-1 tie with Garden City. "I've made a couple of nice saves here and there, but I wouldn't have it if it weren't for my defense. It gets kind of boring back there, but I'm fine with it."
Klein, has six goals and nine assists.
"It's about my second step," said Klein, who called his speed his greatest attribute. "It's my ability to make my runs and use my speed to exploit that space. I do my best to make every run I make."
Carle Place is on quite a run dating back to last season, a season in which it captured its first Class B title and first county crown since winning the Class C title in 2003. Now, it wants to win it's first conference championship since 2005 and go deeper into the postseason.
To get it done, Frogs coach Allen Foraker has his players thinking defense, defense and more defense.
"We always talk about keeping your head on a swivel, meaning see the man and the ball," said Foraker, who is in his 11th season. "It's going to sound boring, but the key for us moving forward is we are going to have to keep playing consistently and defend well as a team. Holding our opponents to minimal shots."