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MacArthur standout Arianna Montefusco enters last year of stellar career

Calhoun midfielder Ariel Tillman attempts to steal possession

Calhoun midfielder Ariel Tillman attempts to steal possession away from MacArthur's Arianna Montefusco during a game at Brookside School in Merrick on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Credit: Steven Ryan

For Arianna Montefusco, it was a sign of things to come.

Flashback to November of 2011. As an eighth-grader, she was competing in the state tournament with the MacArthur girls varsity soccer team. The Generals had tied the score at one with just over five minutes remaining in the state semifinal. Less than a minute later, Montefusco scored a goal that won the game and MacArthur ultimately captured the program's first state championship.

Jump ahead to September of 2015. Montefusco is now a senior. Her shot is more powerful, her footwork more skillful, her goals more regular. She's coming off a season in which she scored 12 goals, the most in Conference AA-I, Nassau's top ability-based conference.

So yeah, that goal she scored back in the day was certainly a sign of things to come.

"It was definitely the best experience of my life, especially that I got to experience it so young," Montefusco said. "It was great going through something like that because it prepared me."

As did her family. She played under the tutelage of her older sisters, Lucia and Maria, both of whom played varsity soccer at MacArthur. (Her younger brother -- Vincenzo, a seventh grader -- recently made the soccer team at his middle school. So, there is one more Montefusco headed through the MacArthur soccer program).

But that state tournament experience showed her what it took to succeed and motivated her to continue that success. So she got stronger. She practiced one-on-one situations. She established a more accurate shot.

She became a dynamic player who could turn on any defender, score from anywhere in the offensive half, and find the back of the net more than most.

"She always works to get herself into a position where she has a clear line to the goal, and her leg strength is incredible," MacArthur coach Kerry Schaefer said. "The two combined makes an absolute nightmare for a defense to deal with."

She was a nightmare in that state semifinal game. She has been for defenders ever since. And she likely will be when she moves on to Manhattan College next fall.

"It's upsetting leaving MacArthur after five years of being on the team," she said. "Since it's my last year, I definitely want to win as much as we can. But we have to take it one goal at a time."

Like she has ever since that sign of things to come.

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