No wins, no goals, but Monarchs still have fun
BOB LIEPA PHOTO
Bishop McGann-Mercy goalkeeper Roger Young has been one of the busier players for the Monarchs this summer.
MEDFORD — Anyone looking for wins or goals will not find them from the Bishop McGann-Mercy boys soccer team. But the Monarchs don’t have something else, either: a bad attitude.
The Monarchs have an 0-8 record in the Town of Brookhaven Summer League and have been outscored by 51-0, not that one would know it by speaking with them. When the Monarchs talk about this summer season, they talk about the strides they have made and the upbeat approach players have taken.
“Actually, we’ve had a very successful summer season because this is the second year we are together with a new coach, and we’ve shown a tremendous amount of improvement,” said Matt Cappiello, the team’s summer league coach. “There’s a lot of encouragement.”
The Monarchs have taken their share of lumps in this, their second year in the summer league. With a team that includes a number of inexperienced players, they have suffered three 8-0 losses — to Elwood/John Glenn, Center Moriches and Westhampton Beach — as well as a 7-0 defeat to Bayport-Blue Point. On Monday evening the Monarchs were outshot by 22-1 in a 6-0 loss to Mattituck at the Patchogue-Medford Youth Soccer League Complex. The McGann-Mercy defense and its goalkeeper, Roger Young, were under pressure virtually the entire game. It was a typical day for the Young.
“Roger’s working overtime,” Cappiello said. “Most of the games we’re playing defensively, so our defense is working 75 percent of the game, so it’s becoming very difficult for us to get the ball into the offense to get the offense going.”
But the Monarchs could, nonetheless, see a positive in the experience.
“Of course I’m working more and my marking backs are working more and of course my keeper, Roger, is working a lot more,” said Sean Cappiello, a senior sweeper and the coach’s son. “But I feel since this is pretty much a huge practice field, we’re going to get a lot more experience. This will really prepare us for our season.”
“It would be nice to have goals and a couple of wins, but in the end it really doesn’t matter,” he continued. “It’s just practice for all of us.”
Justin Da Silva, a senior center midfielder/striker, said players are building up their conditioning and progressively growing. “It hurts a little bit, you know, the pride, but it’s all in good fun,” he said. “At least I’m having fun doing it. The score really isn’t a big part, but it would help to get some goals, something.”
Do the win-loss record and the goals scored and allowed statistics matter?
“Not right now,” the 6-foot-2 Young said after his nine-save performance against the Tuckers. “Right now it’s just to get the younger players gaining experience at the varsity level.”
Young said it is more important for his team to learn positioning, how to mark a player and communicate effectively on the field.
About half of the Monarchs were members of the school team that went 0-14, 0-12 in Suffolk County League VII, in the 2009 the school season. Sean Cappiello, Carl Dickensen and Da Silva are the only seniors.
“They want to get better, and if we have players who want to get better, we are going to get better,” said Matt Cappiello.
The name of the game for the Monarchs is a three-letter word: fun.
“We’re all having fun out here,” Young said. “That’s really what counts in the end — having fun.”