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Brentwood is again the soccer team to beat

From left, Brentwood varsity boys' soccer players Mario

From left, Brentwood varsity boys' soccer players Mario Ruiz, Jonathan Interiano, Jeffrey Medina and Ever Torres pose for a group photo during a break in team practice at the school. (Sept. 10, 2012) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The story remains the same in Suffolk Class AA boys soccer. Can anyone beat Brentwood for the championship? Despite not winning a league title the last three seasons or being seeded higher than four the last three, the Indians have won four consecutive county titles.

This might be the best Brentwood team in years. Brentwood returns 10 starters and last season ended with a loss to eventual state champion Hicksville in the Long Island championship.

The defense is led by senior Jeffrey Medina. The front line is explosive with sophomore Ever Torres, who had 18 goals as a freshman, senior Johnathan Interiano and senior Carlos Escobar. Senior midfielder Mario Ruiz returns to form a strong nucleus.

Commack will be strong again with senior midfielders Chris Bowden and Lee Manchio and senior John Lopes anchoring the defense.

Half Hollow Hills East could potentially start 10 seniors. Senior forward Tyler Kirschner is one of the best players on the Island. Senior midfielder Jeremy Manus and senior defender Kris Ruiz will play key roles.

Sachem East has a good core returing, but did lose three players to the U.S. Soccer Academy. The defending League I champions are led by senior defenders Zach Galluzzo, Rob Caldwell and Lourenso Santos.

Ward Melville will be boosted by the return of senior midfielder Anthony Passiatore, who missed most of last season with a back injury. Senior goalkeeper Jack Bruckner and sophomore midfielder Michael Balzan are ones to watch.

Northport could be a threat with senior midfielder Ryan Egan and senior defender John Glancy.

West Islip, which reached the final last season, will have to replace 37 goals. Senior goalkeeper Sean McAllister and senior defender Danny Kane lead the way.

Senior defenders Drew Madarasz and Dillon Santorelli lead Smithtown West.Half Hollow Hills West lost four players to academy play. Senior midfielder Nick Mercardante and sophomore forward Kobie Fraser are ones to watch.

Deer Park is a sleeper after making the playoffs for the first time in six seasons and nine starters return. Senior forwards Keith Marro and Matt Montanez and senior defender Marley McLain form an experienced nucleus.

East Hampton, the defending Class A county champion, is led by senior midfielder J.C. Barrientos, and sophomore midfielder Nick West scored six goals as a freshman.

Sayville aims to make it 18 consecutive postseason appearances behind senior forward Rob Hammerle and junior midfielder Cory Santangelo.

Shoreham-Wading River is a senior-laden group with nine starters back. Senior forward Charles DeMaio should get a lot of scoring chances with a strong midfield of seniors Greg Canellys and Matt O'Gorman.

Mattituck goes for its third consecutive Suffolk Class B county championship with five starters back. The midfield is strong with seniors David Burkhardt and Tyler Connell.

Center Moriches lost in the final and returns eight starters. Junior Kevin O'Brien and senior Nick Tyson anchor a strong defense and junior forward Jake Sweeney will provide a lot of offense.

Southampton went undefeated in the regular season but lost in the semifinals. The defense is led by junior Stefan Djurasic and his twin brother, Milos, anchors the midfield.

Port Jefferson looks to repeat as state Class C champions and returns 17 players, including every starter. Senior forwards Blake Bohlen, who scored 26 goals last season, and Vincent Antonelli (25 goals) provide the offense in front of senior goalkeeper Gabe Davis.

Southold returns seven starters, including senior forward Evan Miller and senior midfielder Sean O'Donnell.

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