Girls Soccer: Coaching carousel continues at SWR

JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO  |  Shoreham-Wading River senior Shannon McDonnell (left) scored two goals Tuesday against Sachem East.
JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Shannon McDonnell (left) scored two goals Tuesday against Sachem East.

For all the success the Shoreham-Wading River girls soccer program has had in recent years — consistently reaching the playoffs year after year — finding a steady coach remains elusive.

The Wildcats will feature their fourth coach in as many years when the fall season begins. In the meantime, Sean McDonnell has filled the role as coach of the Wildcats’ summer team in the Town of Brookhaven League. It’s a position he’s taken before when the school has struggled to get a coach set before the summer begins.

With uncertainty still surrounding who will coach the fall team — McDonnell said he wasn’t sure who would be taking over and a call to the Shoreham athletic department revealed no one has been approved by the board yet — the Wildcats simply move forward playing the next game that awaits.

On Tuesday afternoon it was the Sachem East Grey team and the Wildcats cruised to a 5-0 victory to improve to 2-1 in the summer. Sachem East has two teams in the league, the other that plays in the large school division. The Wildcats are in the small school division.

It was McDonnell’s daughter Shannon who got the Wildcats rolling when she struck for a pair of goals less than two minutes apart early in the first half. She put home a feed from Mackenzie Roberts with a run up the left side then added another shortly after.

Scoring goals is nothing new for McDonnell in the summer. Last year her 10 goals was the third most of any player in the summer league. She carried that momentum into the fall season where she led the Wildcats in goals (9) and finished second in points (16).

A midfielder/forward, McDonnell gives the Wildcats a formidable one-two punch when teamed up with Kari Quinn, a returning All-State player who’s committed to Syracuse. Quinn is not on the summer roster as she plays in the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program.

The Wildcats don’t have great numbers on the summer team and some players have conflicts with other sports. For Tuesday’s game the team had one substitute, whereas Sachem East had a full bench.

Sean McDonnell said he’s been pleased with several players and how well they’ve done so far.

Alex Amato, one of the few seniors, has helped anchor the defense at sweeper. Meghan Sherdock, who will be a junior, has played stopper.

“She’s wonderful, solid in the middle,” McDonnell said.

Emily Kravitz, who plays outside back, has also impressed McDonnell with her ability to read the game and positioning on the field.

“From what we’ve seen so far, they’re pretty solid in the back,” McDonnell said. “I’m impressed.”

Kelly Wynkoop, who started in goal as a freshman last year, has given up one goal so far in the summer.

The Wildcats added two goals against Sachem in the final minutes of the first half. Kerri Clark ripped a shot from the right side that deflected off the crossbar and down where Shannon Steimel knocked it in. Shortly after the score jumped to 4-0 after a ball deflected off a Sachem defender and in for an own-goal. Rachel Steimel scored once in the second half with an assist from Shannon Steimel. Both girls will be juniors and their younger sister Christy will be a freshman.

Last year the Wildcats were coached by Ed Colgan. The previous year Bob Vlahakis coached the team after the school could not find a coach. Andrew Moschetti coached the girls prior to Vlahakis. Moschetti took the boys head coach position starting in 2009.