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Brady Cummings leads Shoreham-Wading River boys soccer to fast start

Shoreham-Wading River's Brady Cummings drives on the net

Shoreham-Wading River's Brady Cummings drives on the net while being pursued by Miller Place's Momin Rafiq on Oct. 2, 2019. Credit: Daniel De Mato

The Shoreham-Wading River boys soccer team has gotten off to a fast start this season and Brady Cummings is a major reason why.

At 9-2, the Wildcats have already surpassed their Suffolk VI win total (8) from last season. As for Cummings, it took him two games to surpass his goal total from last season (6). Now, he is tied for the most goals in Suffolk County with 19.

“It’s been great to watch Brady grow as a player over the last couple of years,” Shoreham-Wading River coach Russ Mitchinson said. “I played him all over the place; he has been a midfielder, played up top and I played him as a defensive stopper because of his speed. But he has always been really focused on the things that he has needed to work on to make him that attacking threat he has become.”

Cummings hasn’t been bothered by switching positions. In fact, he enjoys it.

“I get a nice feel for different positions and I can do different things from different areas,” Cummings said. “At right midfielder, I feel like I have gotten the ball more and been able to just run up the sidelines and put the ball in the box. 

“At striker this year, I have been scoring. I also play [central defensive midfielder] at the end of games because I can just run around and take the ball away from guys. But we have a lot of players on this team who can play wherever is needed.”

Mitchinson said Cummings’ scoring ability has kept them in every game.

“It’s exciting to know that there is always a chance no matter what the score is or how the game is going,” Mitchinson said. “Just knowing there is a guy like him on the field for us, it really gives you the hope that anything can happen at any time.”

The senior came up big, scoring both goals in the team’s 2-1 win against John Glenn on Sept. 12. Glenn coach Lou Hanner took notice of Cummings.

“Brady is the hardest working player in the league,” Hanner said. “He works really hard to get the ball and he is great with his back to the goal. Obviously, he can finish as well.”

While Cummings has scored 18 of 43 goals for the team, he is confident in his teammates' abilities to score as well.

“We all know how we play and we all have faith in each other's ability to perform on the field,” Cummings said. “When someone makes a mistake, we know it won’t happen again and we pick them up for the next play.”

Mitchinson said Cummings understands his role as captain, alongside James Dacos, Jake DePaoli and James Rose, is crucial to the success of the squad. The captains’ confidence in their teammates has been crucial to the Wildcats getting back on track after back-to-back losses to Amityville and Sayville.

“One of the things we have hammered home, is that it’s the 11 guys on the field who are putting the ball in and keeping the ball out,” Mitchinson said. “It’s a total team effort and Brady, along with everybody else, has bought into that.”

After losing 1-0 to Islip during the first playoff game a year ago, the captains said they came into this season with extra motivation.

“We realized that we didn’t want it to happen to us this year,” DePaoli said. “So we come out every day and work hard, push everyone to do better and hopefully by game day, we are ready.”

Cummings said the team has improved tremendously during his four years on varsity. They have been able to do that by playing year-round soccer together in order to enhance their skills and boost the team’s chemistry.

“The four years that I have been on the team, the team has just gotten better every year,” Cummings said. “We have gone from my freshman year where we won two games to making the playoffs the next year, and doing better the next year. This is just the year we have to finish it off.”

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