Both the girls and boys soccer teams at West had strong seasons in 2010 – the boys went undefeated in the regular season and made it to the county semifinals before falling to Commack, while the girls played tough against some of the best competition in Suffolk County before springing an upset as the No. 14 seed in the playoffs against Northport. West boys are looking to retool and continue to win, and the girls are looking to repeat their success and get deeper into the playoffs.
Girls – Robert Schretzmayer
Boys – Tom Lips
Girls – 9-5-1, (7-5) Lost in county quarterfinals to Smithtown East
Boys – 16-1-2, Lost in county semifinals to Commack
Girls – Erin Froehlich, forward; Shannon Kennedy, midfield (torn ACL)
Boys – Ryan Schneider, D; Brian Hickey, G
Girls – Katie LaManna, Olivia Wellenger, Gabby Scirica, Talia Amarosano
Boys – Eddie Viscount, M; Michael Dovi, F; Matt Hettler, D.
Girls – vs. Smithtown East, Sept. 21, 4:30 p.m.; vs. East Islip, Sept. 26, 4:30 p.m.; at Smithtown East, Oct. 15, 1:00 p.m.; at East Islip, Oct. 19, 4:00 p.m.
Boys – at Newfield, Sept. 24, 10:00 a.m..; vs. Smithtown East, Sept. 27, 4:30 p.m.; vs. East Islip, Oct. 6, 4:00 p.m.
Schretzmayer said that the girls are as senior-heavy as they’ve been in his time at West. He believes his squad has what it takes to make a repeat appearance in the playoffs.
“Our goal every year is to make the playoffs,” he said. “I expect us to return and hopefully one up last year. I think we have a bigger hill to climb. For the first time in the years I’ve been here we’re a little more senior heavy then we’ve ever been. Even though we have a void to fill I think we have the crew to help carry us to the playoffs and once we get there anything can happen.”
Lips said the boys are a perennial contender in Suffolk County, but the team is facing the daunting task of replacing seven starters from last year including defender Ryan Schneider and goaltender Brian Hickey.
“The kids that we’re rotating in are quality players,” Lips said. “I just don’t know if they’re emotionally the same quality. They’re very good players, they’re just not emotionally bringing it. If you’re not emotionally bringing it you won’t bring anything aggressively.”
The Girls Look to Fill a Void
It’s never easy to replace an all-state forward – which is what the girls are attempting to do with the departure of Froehlich. It’s even tougher to do so when a returning all-county midfielder – Shannon Kennedy - tears her ACL during the offseason. But it’s just another challenge that the West squad looks to overcome in 2011.
“If (Kennedy) was returning I’d say we’d be pretty solid, probably really tough to beat,” Schretzmayer said. “Without her we’re still trying to fill that void."
Two players he is counting on to provide some offense are sophomore Gabby Scirica and junior Talia Amarosano.
Amarosano started to come on as a sophomore, Schretzmayer said, scoring some impressive goals later in the season. He expects her to continue to improve and provide an offensive spark for the team this year.
Boys Trying to Find the Fire
West’s first two matches before league play – a 2-1 victory over Miller Place and a 3-0 loss to Ward Melville – didn’t inspire a lot of confidence in coach Lips.
“I think what’s happening right now is the kids that we’re expecting to step up and dominate are not the kids that are dominating right now,” he said. “I’m making a lot of subs because I haven’t found someone who’s making things happen ... I haven’t found that core group. We’re getting closer but I really haven’t found it yet.”
Even two of Lips captains, Matt Hettler and Michael Dovi, who he praised as “great leaders by example and work rate,” haven’t shown the intensity that he had hoped for.
“Our team is just very quiet in general – they’re great kids, that’s the beauty of it,” he said. “The flip side is I can’t complain, they’re punctual, they do everything we ask. I just need a little bit more aggressiveness to come out for sure.”
The loss of leading scorer and four-year starter Eddie Viscount, who suffered a tear in his MCL and will miss significant time, didn’t help matters. “He’s our trigger that gets us into our offense and defense,” Lips said.
For all of that, Lips feels like his team will come around as the season plays out. “Generally for us it’s going to work out when they get their minds right,” he said. “They could possibly be living off their season from last year and thinking they’re a little better than they are. And without hard work there will be no results for them.”