St. Anthony's girls soccer coach Dave Prutting recently visited his granddaughter's school in New Hampshire and noticed that an enormous bell would ring each time one of its athletic teams won a game. He joked he'd like to have something similar at St. Anthony's.
He got his wish. Sort of.
St. Anthony's defeated St. Francis Prep, 1-0, Monday to give Prutting his 400th victory. Afterward, he was presented with a commemorative plaque . . . and a hand-held bell.
Prutting became only the fifth coach in New York state history to reach 400 wins. So in terms of career victories, not many coaches have had their bell rung as often as Prutting has.
"I've always felt that the game isn't about me, it's about the kids in the game,'' Prutting said. "It's nice to reach this, but the most important thing is the players we have and their success.''
That success continued as St. Anthony's improved to 10-0-1 in the CHSAA. Michelle Santangelo fired a shot from the right flank that hit the crossbar and bounced out to Maggie Bill, who tapped in the rebound for a 1-0 lead with 23:29 remaining.
"It feels great to be a part of his legacy and help him reach that achievement,'' said senior goalkeeper Danielle Maurice, the longest-tenured Friar, who combined with Kelly DiGregorio in the shutout. "It's great to see him reach something that so few have been able to reach.''
Prutting, who took over as coach in 1988, couldn't remember the details of his first victory. Understandable, considering it was 24 years and 399 wins ago. But he called last season's state championship clincher the most memorable of the 400.
"He's competitive and he brings that out in us,'' defender and captain Daniella Ganiaris said. "He strives not only to be the best coach but to bring us to be the best.''