The MacArthur boys’ soccer team enters the home stretch of the season with a league title in sight.
The Generals are unbeaten through 12 matches and near the top of the Conference A1 standings at 4-0-4 in league play. Despite the winning ways, eighth-year head coach Andy Atkins sees potential for bigger strides as the playoffs near.
“We have a very well-rounded team,” Atkins said. “I still don’t think we have put the whole thing together.”
MacArthur is coming off a 1-1 tie against Long Beach on Columbus Day morning that was the resumption of a previous game where the Generals held a 1-0 lead after 15 minutes before the match was called. The regular season concludes with road matches Wednesday at Garden City and Friday at Great Neck North.
A first place finish is within reach largely due to the dominant offensive play of senior midfielder Danny Conigliaro, who has followed up his 10-goal junior season with 15 tallies and eight assists entering the final two regular season games. The reigning two-time All-County honoree is having a career-scoring season despite moving from the strike position to a midfield role.
“He is killing it,” said Atkins of Conigliaro, who netted all three of MacArthur’s goals in a 3-2 win at Calhoun
on Sept. 17. “He is doing everything he has to do.”
Conigliaro leads a balanced offensive attack that features multiple scoring threats in Vincenzo Montefusco, Dustin Genco, Tim Weber and freshman James Eden. In a 1-1 tie with unbeaten New Hyde Park last Saturday, Eden scored off a 35-yard cross from Conigliaro to tie the score and mark just the third goal it had given up this season.
MacArthur’s defense has stepped up of late surrendering just four goals in a five game stretch dating back to Sept. 19. The backline features Joe Traenkle, Peter Soguero, Sean Dempsey. Kyle Wagner, and Joe Misuraca. Senior goalkeeper Ryan Bray has held the fort in net with three shutouts.
“He has been solid,” said Atkins of Bray, who recorded six saves in the tie with New Hyde Park. “It is a great group effort back there.”
After a crucial road match at Garden City, MacArthur concludes the regular season Friday at Great Neck North for a 4:45 p.m. kickoff.
The Generals are battling with Garden City and New Hyde Park for the Conference A1 title, which would garner one of the top four seeds for the upcoming Class A playoffs. Winning the conference is one of the chief missions for a team full of veterans who entered the season with extra motivation after missing out on the postseason last year just a season removed from reaching the 2017 county finals.
“Our goal is to win the conference,” said Atkins, who has guided MacArthur to its first county title in 2014 in in his third season after taking over a program that was coming off back-to-back winless seasons. “We can grab it.”