A team-focused philosophy has propelled MacArthur girls’ soccer to the top of the standings heading into the home stretch of the season.
A 3-1 win at Wheatley on Oct. 4 improved MacArthur to 5-0-2 in Conference AB-II with four matches remaining. The Lady Generals are 8-0-2 overall with their unbeaten run entering the week paced by multiple scorers and a stout defense.
“The key for our team’s success is the hard work and dedication the girls have put in since the summer months,” said second-year head coach Jamie San Filippo, who previously coached the SUNY Old Westbury men’s soccer program for five years. “Our motto is no player is bigger than the team and they have really bought into that.”
MacArthur entered the week outscoring opponents 34-5 and posting three or more goals in six matches. Sophomore Kara Deblaiso leads the Generals with 13 goals and five assists followed by eight tallies from junior Sara Marcano. Sophomore Skyla Looney has also aided the potent offense with four goals and one assist.
“They are a real three-headed dragon,” said San Filippo of his scoring trip. “It’s hard for teams to mark three scoring threats.”
MacArthur’s offensive explosion is balanced by a strong defense that has posted five shutouts featuring juniors Samantha Elezi and Ali Elezi along with sophomore Tara Sweeney and freshman Alyssa Accordino. Sophomore goalie Shannon Kilian has stepped up as starting goalie after splitting time as a freshman posting three saves in a 1-1 tie against crosstown rival Island Trees on Oct. 2.
Senior captains Kayla Duvenhorst and Nicole Imbrogo have provided leadership on and off the field to the largely youthful roster. Imbrogo tallied a goal in MacArthur’s season-opening 5-1 win at Island Trees on Sept. 7 while Duvenhorst shined with a goal and assist in a 5-0 victory versus Wheatley on Sept. 12.
“Kayla is definitely our most outspoken person,” said San Filippo of his co-captain. “She has really taken the younger players under her wing.”
After hosting Bellmore-JFK on Thursday at 4:30 p.m., MacArthur closes the regular season with road games at Valley Stream North and Plainedge. After winning a first round playoff game last year before falling to South Side in the quarterfinals, San Filippo hopes to get another crack a big late October game this fall. He also hopes to set the program up for a move up in conferences that will position it to consistently challenge for a championship.
“We want to get the program back to where it was in 2011 when they won a state title,” he said. “We’re trying to change the culture.”
San Filippo is impressed how the team’s 11 underclassmen are gelling with veteran players to bolster chemistry. He said the dedication to constantly improve indicates a strong future for this fall and beyond.
“I am really proud on how hard they work to get better both on the field and off,” he said. “We really are a second family.”