By Sophia Ricco
Spirits are high for the Commack boys varsity soccer team which has dominated the field to stay undefeated this season.
The boy’s record stands at 12-0-1, after a 4-0 win Wednesday afternoon over Longwood. Coach David Moran gives all the credit to his players who put in hard work at practice and during games.
“The kids have played really well so far, there’s a lot of passion and camaraderie,” Moran said. “Looking to get better every day at practice with effort and passion for the game.”
Many of the team members have been playing together since they were 7-8 years old, and many of his seniors have been playing for him for four years. He admits he will be sad to see them leave next season, but feels confident the team will be able to “reload.”
“We’re really deep, we have 16 seniors who show leadership every day and no matter who we’re bringing off the bench we’re getting maximum effort from all the guys,” Moran said.
Five senior captains lead the team: Matt Cozetti, a striker, League I Player of the Year and all regional player last year, leads the team in scoring with 14 goals and six assists. Center midfielder Tyler Meotti is known to control the pace of the game. Striker Aidan Keenan is a strong forward who has scored five goals and seven assists. At a hulking 6’3’’ it is difficult for opponents to cover him. Moran calls his top two defenders “thunder and lightning.” Thunder is center back Liam Rothar, a strong presence in the middle who wins 50/50 balls and headers, playing every game like it’s his last. Lightning is left fullback Matt Newfield whose speed on the fieldis a constant threat. And goalie Brian Mirman, while not a captain, is referred to as “The Great Wall of Mirman.” He has not given up a single goal this season.
“I’m averaging about 20 kids a game, you start with 11 but have 8-9 subs, with 20 people getting in a soccer game that’s a lot,” Moran said. “Most coaches sub in one or two guys. I’m bringing in a second team that’s just as good.”
Moran began volunteering as an assistant junior varsity coach and took over as coach when he began to teach at Commack High School. He moved up to be the assistant varsity coach and was with the team the last time they won the state title in 2014. He took over as head coach in 2015. He also coaches junior varsity basketball and is an assistant varsity lacrosse coach. But he admits, soccer is his true passion to coach, even though the game requires far more endurance and quick thinking.
“Soccer is a completely different animal in the realm that there’s no timeouts,” Moran said. “So if things are going great, it’s wonderful. But if things are not going great then you have to adjust on the fly, you can’t call a timeout and change stuff.”
The Cougars look to keep their unbeaten streak alive when they travel to Sachem North on Friday, 4:15 p.m.