Orange Live Sports Writer
Sponsored by Resnik and Resnik, P.C.
Amity boys soccer coach Mike Marchitto is not one to talk often in superlatives or boast excessively about his team or his players. As a rule, Marchitto keeps things quite in perspective, so when he says, “I haven’t been this confident about my team in 4 years. If we put everything together and play up to our potential, we could compete with Hand, Guilford , Xavier Cheshire, and Shelton for the ( Southern Connecticut ) Conference championship.”
Last fall, the Spartans finished with a tepid 6-9-1 record and Marchitto made no secret of his disappointment with those results.
“We were not as good as we should have been,” he said.
Only 2 key members of that team graduated in June (Eliott DeMelier and Jessie DePetro) so the 2012 Spartan booters (led by senior Co-Captains Jon Sutton and Sean Beaulieu) are loaded with experience.
According to Marchitto, “This is a solid team that has no superstars—believe it or not, that’s our biggest strength.”
While veteran Noah Safain was expected to once again be back in the nets, during the off-season, he left the team to play for the Southern Connecticut Premier Academy team. Despite the unexpected loss of his experienced goalie, Marchitto doesn’t feel his team has lost a beat. Stepping into that void is much-improved junior Griffin Volta, who guarded the net last year for the Spartan junior varsity team.
“ Griffin has played out of his mind during the pre-season,” Marchitto said. “I can’t tell you how pleasantly surprised I am with his play. Other coaches who have watched our scrimmages want to know where we found him!”
Seniors Austin Duffy and Ian O’Brien-Cannon (an off-season transfer from California ) are the inside fullbacks. Flanking them are outside defenders Sutton and sophomore Tyler Ronne. Amity has a host of midfielders on its roster. Among that group are seniors Joe Guerra and Ricky Mayer on the outside along with junior Joe Babbitt, sophomores Dean Schwartz and Jeremy Conn inside. Marchitto feels very confident that junior forward Justyn Broderick will make his presence well known to opposition defenders.
As he prepares for Tuesday afternoon’s season and home opener against the Career-Hillhouse coop team, Marchitto said, “This is a great group of kids and a very solid team. It’s been hard to make cuts. My roster is at 23 right now and I may not make further cuts. If we play the game the way it should be played–not let in a lot of goals, keep possession of the ball and maintain our attack, we should be very successful this fall.”