BONACKERS 5, MONARCHS 1
Before the start of Monday night’s non-league game at McGann-Mercy High School, East Hampton coach Mike Vitulli reminded his players how since a victory to begin the season, the Bonackers had dropped three straight. All without scoring a goal.
The time for laughing and joking needed to end once the game started, Vitulli told his team.
The Bonackers got the message, erupting for three goals in the first 14 1/2 minutes of the game en route to a 5-1 victory under the lights to keep the Monarchs (0-5) still searching for that elusive first victory.
Monday’s loss was a lesson in how lack of communication or a simple miscue in the defensive end can quickly lead to a breakdown.
“The five mistakes that we had on defense, they capitalized and scored on,” said Mercy coach Meaghan Macarthur. “Those five plays we fell asleep on they took advantage of it and scored.”
The Bonackers struck first on a goal by Amanda Seekamp, who finished with two. A pass from the right corner into the box was misplayed between Mercy goalkeeper Juliana Cintron-Leonardo and a defender in front of her. Some confusion as to who would play the ball allowed it to slip through to Seekamp, who tapped it in for an easy goal.
Seekamp added another goal when a ball was accidentally headed right to her in the box and she drilled the ball inside the left post.
Macarthur said some injuries on defense has forced players into different roles, which contributed to some of the communication problems.
“There’s two parts to communication — the actual talking and then the listening,” she said. “Getting that second part of listening isn’t the easiest. I can’t hear out there what they’re saying, but you can tell when they’re not communicating or listening.”
The Monarchs have a young goalkeeper in Cintron-Leonardo, who is still just a freshman. While she’s shown off plenty of athleticism in making great saves, she also needs to be more assertive on the field.
“A lot of times she’s getting screened and she can’t see the ball,” Macarthur said. “And that’s when the goals happen.”
The lone goal for Mercy came off the foot of sophomore Claire Sullivan, who has provided most of the offense in the early part of the season. She delivered a booming free kick from the left side about 30 yards out that sailed into the far post just less than three minutes after East Hampton scored the game’s first goal.
The free kick was awarded after an East Hampton handball.
Macarthur said when Sullivan gets those opportunities, she has an open door to let the ball fly on net.
“She has the ability to shoot from 40 yards out,” Macarthur said. “It’s crazy. She’s powerful and she knows how to place the ball.”
It was Sullivan’s third goal of the season, which is half of Mercy’s season total.
“She’s getting to be a really smart player and once she learns to control the ball and keep her head up more than she already does, she’s going to be dangerous,” Macarthur said.
The game remained tied at 1 for only 43 seconds after Sullivan scored. Seekamp scored her second to make it 2-1 and then 2 1/2 minutes later Karen Vega scored to make it 3-1.
East Hampton added two more goals in the second half for the final score.
Macarthur said the Monarchs need to continue putting all the little things they’ve worked on together to get that first victory.
“We can’t have any lapses in judgement and need to be more confident in ourselves as a whole unit,” she said.
The Monarchs get their next chance Friday afternoon when they host The Ross School as part of a boys/girls doubleheader on homecoming weekend.