The season may be over for the Patriots boys varsity soccer team, but they have a lot to be proud of this fall.
On Oct. 29 Ward Melville, the No. 15 seed, made it to the first round of the playoffs where the Patriots took on Commack, the No. 2 seed. This year marked the second year in a row that the boys soccer team made it to the playoffs. The Patriots lost the game, 3-1, against the eventual losing finalists. Ward Melville ended the season in third place in League I at 6-4-2 and 6-7-2 overall.
Despite the Suffolk AA playoff elimination, the team had some high points this season.
Senior Christian Bell, a co-captain who played defense, said a highlight of the year was when the Patriots were on the road playing against Patchogue-Medford on their rival’s senior night. Ward Melville scored a winning goal to make it 2-1 with under two minutes remaining. Another memorable event for Bell was during the playoff game against Commack when they tied 1-1. He listed senior midfielder Sean McNight and sophomore forward Sean LaPeters as standout players.
“McNight did all the right things and was one of the hardest working players on the field,” Bell said. “Sean LaPeters is two years younger so he’s a sophomore, being not as big and as old as the other guys, but he really stepped up big this year for us.”
Giancarlo Serratore, another of the team’s co-captains who was a wide midfielder, also named Sean McNight as one of the top players. Midseason, McNight joined his fellow seniors as one of the team captains.
“He was really consistent at every
game,” Serratore said. “He went out there and played well.”
For Serratore, the highlight of the past soccer season was a win at home, 4-3, against William Floyd Oct. 16. He said the Patriots needed a couple of wins to get to the playoffs at that point, and they had lost to the school earlier in the season. He said the team enjoyed the win especially since their rivals had a big celebration after they beat the Patriots just weeks earlier.
Both Bell and Serratore said they admired Ben Perez for playing this season despite a hip injury. Serratore said the senior defense member showed a lot of courage for his teammates by playing through the pain.
Serratore said his team worked well together during the season full of ups and downs.
“I thought the team persevered well throughout the year so I’m proud of the boys,” he said.
Linda Ward, whose son Zack plays defensive, said she has been watching the games for the last two years, and the team’s defensive line, which includes her son, Perez, Bell and Jason Flynn, deserves a shout-out due to their calm temperaments and skills at tracking the ball and anticipating the play.
“They held the line and kept almost every game within one goal,” she said. “They played like a well-oiled machine.”
Both Bell and Serratore said they will miss playing with their team members when they graduate from Ward Melville in June after playing with them for years.
“It was such a great team, and I couldn’t ask for a better team,” Bell said.