When coaches look for ways to measure success, it’s not just wins and losses that concern them: They also want proof that the team is improving in every game.
On both accounts, the East Hampton boys soccer team has been making Rich King and Don McGovern very happy.
The Bonackers improved to 7-0 in League VI play, 9-1-1 overall, after a 4-1 home win over Elwood/John Glenn on Thursday. The match with Glenn (4-2-1, 7-2-2) was supposed to be one of East Hampton’s toughest in league play to date. Instead, it was a rout—East Hampton led 4-0 with less than 10 minutes left to play and had many of its starters on the bench when the Knights scored their only goal, the first scored on the Bonackers in league play this season, and only the fifth to wind up in the net against East Hampton all year. The other four came in a 4-0 loss to Catholic powerhouse St. Anthony’s earlier in the season.
“It was the best game we’ve played so far from start to finish,” King, the head coach, said of the victory over Glenn. “We’ve been saying that the past couple of games. Don and I keep saying, ‘That was the best game we’ve played so far.’ I think we’re really starting to hit our stride.”
King went on to explain that he and assistant coach McGovern decided in the preseason to utilize a different formation on the field this year, with a flat-back four on defense rather than the traditional stopper-sweeper lineup. The team also uses a zone instead of man-to-man defense.
While the coaches figured that the new style would better suit the players on the team, they expected some growing pains as the players got accustomed to it. But if the Bonackers experienced any growing pains at all, it certainly didn’t show up in the box score, and the results on the field have been even better than King expected.
“If you’d have told me that at this point in the season we’d have nine shutouts, I would have said you’re crazy,” he said. “But we’re really happy with where we’re at right now. I think the team has a lot of potential, and we’re starting to see that potential now. Hopefully, we can keep it rolling.”
In the win over Glenn, Nick West was a force on the field, scoring twice and adding an assist. He opened the scoring in the first half, before teammate Camilo Godoy made it 2-0. That was the score at halftime, and the Bonackers tacked on two more in the second half—the first from West, before Donte Donegal, assisted by Esteban Valverde, scored the final goal.
Before Donegal’s goal, East Hampton goalie Nick Tulp made back-to-back incredible saves. Shortly after those saves, Donegal struck, and any momentum Glenn hoped to gain was snuffed out for good.
The Bonackers were scheduled to visit Mount Sinai on Monday. For results from that game, see this week’s Monday Roundup article.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 10/9, vs. Miller Place, 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 10/11, vs. Bayport/Blue Point, 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 10/16, vs. Shoreham/Wading River, 4 p.m.; Monday, 10/21, at Amityville, 4:30 p.m. (final regular season game).