BOB LIEPA PHOTO
Bishop McGann-Mercy defender Carl Dickinson chased a bouncing ball during Friday’s game, with Southold’s Brian Hallock not far behind him.
The Bishop McGann-Mercy Monarchs can’t worry about wins, goals or any other statistics, for that matter. They haven’t progressed to that point as a boys soccer team yet.
“Stats, I guess they matter to certain people, but at the moment we don’t have a lot of stats to look at,” said Sean Cappiello, a senior midfielder and team captain.
Unless, of course, one is talking about losses. The Monarchs have seen enough of those. They haven’t won a game since 2008 when the team went 1-12-1. Then again, wins have always been hard to come by for the Monarchs over the course of their four-year varsity history. Going into yesterday’s home game against the Center Moriches Red Devils, McGann-Mercy held a 5-48-3 record at the varsity level. That includes losses in their first three non-league games this season.
But the Monarchs say progress is being made. Louis Manoussos, who is in his second year as the team’s coach, said the Monarchs underwent excellent conditioning during the off-season and are playing with pride and passion.
“I’m very proud of my kids,” he said. “They’ve come a long way. They want to learn and they want to gain the respect of other coaches and other kids as well, and that’s important for us.”
McGann-Mercy’s losses this season have come to the Port Jefferson Royals, 8-0; the Smithtown Christian Crusaders, 5-3; and, most recently, to the Southold First Settlers, 4-0, on Friday at Harold T. Murray Memorial Field in Riverhead. The Monarchs led, 2-1, in the game against Smithtown Christian.
“One thing stood out,” Manoussos said, referring to the first three games, “every game we got better. The results are irrelevant.”
Friday’s game was McGann-Mercy’s final non-league tuneup before it begins a challenging League VII schedule in which it will tangle with the likes of established teams such as the Center Moriches Red Devils, Mattituck Tuckers and Hampton Bays Baymen.
“We have the common goal, and it’s to improve,” Cappiello said. “We are getting better. We’re going forward.”
The Monarchs made an impression on Southold Coach Andrew Sadowski, who took notice of their work ethic and the play of their goalkeeper, Roger Young. Although outshot by 15-7, the Monarchs had their share of possession in Southold’s half of the field. They managed only two shots on goal, though, by Ryan Walker and Damian Duda, both of which were saved by Preston Jolliver.
Still, it was a respectable showing against a traditional soccer power. “I’ve seen Southold beat some teams like 12 to zero,” said Cappiello.
Manoussos said the Monarchs just need experience. Cappiello said: “I think we just need one thing to happen just to boost our confidence, just realize, ‘Wow, we can do it,’ and go out and do it. … We just need a spark.”
The statistics will follow.