MacArthur in title defense mode


MacArthur’s girls’ soccer team will be well battle tested heading into the county playoffs when it looks to repeat as Long Island champions. 

The Generals are competing this season in Conference I, which comprises every Nassau Class AA and A champion from the last four seasons under a new alignment established by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. Under the new setup, MacArthur is assured of a top four seed in the postseason regardless of how the regular season pans out battling the top Nassau County programs. 

“We want to use the regular season to get better and experiment with some things to get ready for the most important season, which of course is the playoffs,” said second-year coach Steve Costello. “Every game is grueling.”

MacArthur is coming off a 2022 season in which the Generals marched through the season unbeaten and only surrendered one goal in the process en route to a Long Island Class A title triumph against Shoreham-Wading River before falling in the state semifinals to Albertus Magnus, 2-1. The Generals this year will be matched in Class AA for the playoffs under the state’s new system that creates a Class AAA for the largest schools like Massapequa and Syosset.

MacArthur’s season thus far has been highlighted by a 2-1 win against South Side on Sept. 20 featuring first half goals from senior Sara Kealey and freshman Gina Iannuzzi. Sophomore goalkeeper recorded nine saves after getting called up from junior varsity due to injuries to South Side’s other two goalies, Jocelyn Cleary and Gianna Diamentini. Senior defender Meghan Wetzel came up with the play of the game early in the first half when she cleared away a shot that appeared headed into an open net.

The MacArthur defense has surrendered just three goals so far in conference play with a backline led by returning starters Caitlin Barry and Wetzel along with Ani Anglelakis, who received significant minutes last season. Freshman Gianna Winkler is also starting with Isabelle Duffy contributing off the bench. 

The offense is anchored by senior forward Hailey Metzger and Keely, who have both registered six points on the season thus far. Iannuzzi and sophomore Ysabelle Perillo have also proven to be scoring threats. Costello is also hoping to get midfielders Amanda Lora and Amelia Molina back on the field soon after being out due to injuries. 

MacArthur will next face Oceanside at home on Thursday at 5 p.m. before hosting last year’s Class AA runner-up Syosset Saturday at 10 a.m. The Generals then travel to Garden City for a Tuesday for a rematch of last year’s Class A finals and then return home on Oct. 10 to square off against Manhasset at 1:30 p.m. A second meeting against South Side is slated for Oct. Oct. 12 in Rockville Centre at 7 p.m. 

“It’s a very special competitive group and every time they step on the field they just think about winning,” Costello said. “It’s a phenomenal group of student athletes to work with.”