Poly Prep’s soccer program left any complacency behind on the field at Manhattanville College following another disappointing championship game defeat.
The Blue Devils won the school’s first Ivy League crown last season, but came in overconfident to the private school state final against a Hackley team it had beaten twice during the regular season.
Poly Prep was shut out and suffered its second-straight defeat in the title game. The loss created a sense of urgency in the returning seniors.
“We can’t let it slip again,” senior defender Eddie Zaykowski said. “We don’t have any more opportunities after this.”
Poly’s strength will be its middle field, where it has the most depth, and a potential star in Dayo Adeosun. The junior is in the best shape of his career, is fast with the ball, and showed the ability to set up his teammates in a scrimmage against Monsignor Farrell.
Adeosun will have plenty of help around him in the returning Jake Barry, Griffin Walsh, and Jotham Thodryil. Adeosun was a support player last season, but this year he will be asked to impact the game in a much bigger way.
“This year he needs to be a little more of star,” said Blue Devils coach Gerry Stone.
The Blue Devils will have to replace stars in the scoring department with the graduation of Levi Stern and Alden Von Ziegesar. They will look to senior Will Griffo and junior Austin Sansone to provide goals this year. Griffo scored twice against Farrell, and could be a key to Poly having a more balanced attack.
“If he plays like that throughout the season, we are winning it all this year,” Adeosun said. “If Austin can’t finish and Griffo can finish for Austin that will be awesome.”
Defensively, Poly has two of the league’s best in returning goalie Mike McAloon — a three-year starter — and Zaykowski. They will be tasked with trying to bring together a young defense that includes junior Nick Saia and senior Alec Jones. The two stars have liked what they have seen so far from the group.
“They will be a big part of the team this year,” McAloon said. “They played good club soccer, so they know what they are doing. It’s just confidence in this league.”
The strength of the group has Poly thinking about completing what it left unfinished last season by taking home a division and state title. The team will do so by remembering not to take anything for granted.
“This year, we have to work at being confident, but also knowing that we can’t go in there way too confident,” McAloon said.