September 13, 2006
Mariners Have Strength in Numbers
"We have good numbers this season, and I'm definitely excited about our chances," said Southampton boys soccer coach Dave Riley. "We have some talented, dedicated boys on this team. There's definitely a lot of potential here."
With a 22-player roster and the groundwork that he and former varsity head coach Sean Brand, who coached the team the past six seasons, helped install, Riley knows that the Mariners have the opportunity to do big things this fall. "Sean Brand helped build this program and now he's passed it on to me. I think that our team has the potential to be very good. We're aiming for the playoffs. But there are a lot of question marks. Are the players going to show their dedication to come together as a team and are the upperclassmen going to step up to the plate and be good leaders?
Nick Epley is a leader, a captain and a striker with a lethal foot; so lethal that he'll be pulling double duty this season, kicking for the Mariners football team. "Nick's a great player and a real leader for this team," Riley said.
Eduardo Nava, better known to his teammates as "Eddy," opted to remain in Southampton, turning down a top prep school in the off-season and the Mariners couldn't have been happier with his decision. Nava, an impact player, who is considered one of the most complete in the league, is a tremendous center/midfielder that is adept at controlling the pace of the game. "I'm really glad that he's going to be with us this season," said Riley.
Nava's brother Jose is the team's manager and videotapes each game for the team and coaching staff to break down and analyze. Riley refers to him as "a vital component who knows the game."
William Simonetti starts in goal and is described by Riley as a player that can quarterback the team and is tough to score on: "He pulls balls out of the air that look like goals." Guillermo Martinez will back up Simonetti and will likely play defense and possibly midfield. Riley refers to him as "a wizard on the field."
David Steiber, a senior co-captain is the type of player that goes full-tilt until the final whistle; a tireless worker that mans his midfield position with the best in the league. Steiber offers speed deluxe and he cannot be cornered, while also displaying good playmaking ability — and he can strike the ball equally as well when necessary.
Striker James Duryea returns for his senior season after undergoing rehabilitation for a broken leg. "Jamie was told that he'd never play again, but he hasn't missed a beat in practice and he's had no setbacks," said Riley. "He's a big player to have back."
Junior forward Vassil Gayler is an Eastern European with fire and energy that lasts throughout the game while Geoff Rewinski is a midfielder that can also play defense. "He's a super-aggressive kid and nothing shuts him down," noted Riley. Irineo Amador is another skilled striker who brings in a different style of soccer. Speed is also his specialty.
Southampton appears to be loaded defensively with co-captain Westley Lynskey playing the sweeper position, anchoring the Mariners defense in the process. Dillon Lynott is a rock solid defender/stopper; Jonathan Mendola, who played last year and is equally as tough, is a physical presence and Davin Johnson, though new to the varsity, is already appearing to be one of the team's best. "Davin's height and speed really sets him apart," the coach said. Junior Chris Warren is another strong defender and newcomers James Bergenti and Josh Dolson add depth.
Midfielders Fernando Rojas, Arthur DeJesus, Xavier Alomia, Juan Saria, Steve Garcia, Andres Henoa will all see action; giving Riley a multitude of weapons to throw at an opposing team depending on its style of play.
"I also expect our players to be good sportsmen and as ambassadors of Southampton, I'd like to see them win the sportsmanship award, as well as finish with a good record," said Riley.
"We have good communication here we're a very deep team. The guys are going to have to earn their playing time. Everyone's going to have to work hard if they want to play and I think the competitiveness is only going to benefit us."