After a disappointing end to the spring season with a first round playoff exit, the MacArthur boys’ soccer team is fueled for a far deeper run this fall.
The Generals marched off to a 7-0-3 start entering the week on the heels of a 5-2-3 campaign that was played in the spring instead of fall 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A 2-0 loss to eventual county champion Great Neck North on April 20 marked the second straight season MacArthur was bounced in the opening round of the postseason and 10th-year coach Andy Atkins hopes his new youthful team is primed for a return to championship contention.
“We are one of five teams in Nassau County still undefeated and it is with a very young team with eight underclassmen starting,” said Atkins, who guided MacArthur to a county title in 2014 just two years after taking over a program that endured back-to-back winless seasons. “The kids are learning each game and hopefully we keep maturing through the final third of the season.”
MacArthur, which posted recent undefeated regular seasons in 2017 and 2019, kept its unbeaten streak alive this fall with a dramatic 1-0 home win against Great Neck North last Friday on a late goal by sophomore forward Christian Perez Franco with just 3.2 seconds left off a pass from Jason Tordy.
“We brought him up as a freshman in the spring, which I rarely do, which was a big learning experience,” Atkins said of Perez Franco, who is the team’s leading goal scorer with five. “This year we don’t really look at him as a sophomore as he is really an upperclassman and is definitely playing like it.”