By Daniel Tugender
MONTICELLO November 26, 2002 If the members of the Monticello boys varsity soccer team had played every game this past season like they did in their final contest, the season might have turned out differently.
In the last match of the season, the Panthers beat Valley Central by a final score of 2-0.
Unfortunately, this victory gave the Panthers only their second W of the year as they finished with an overall record of 2-16 and 1-9 in OCIAA Division III.
Coaches John Maranzana and Kevin OShea agreed that the Valley Central match was the highlight of the season, with Maranzana saying that it was a nice cap to a tough season.
One reason for the Panthers difficult season was the move up to face Class A competition.
Prior to the 2002-2003 academic year, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHAA) revised its formula for classifications. The figures are based on the enrollment numbers for each public high school, but limited to grades 9-11. Thus, in terms of student population, scholastic athletic teams are classified as AA, A, B, C and D with AA being the largest schools and D schools the smallest.
The coaches and the players had a difficult time adjusting to the stiffer competition during this past season. Despite the complicated year, the Panthers always played hard and gave it their all.
Senior Jon Meddaugh was the leader both on and off the field for the Panthers.
He gave 100 percent all year, Coach Maranzana stated.
Coach OShea added that for next years team, losing Jon is the biggest disappointment.
Fortunately, Monticello still has plenty of talented players, including forward
Krystian Krol and goalkeeper Ryan Meddaugh. Krol, a freshman, had nine goals on the season to lead the team. Meddaugh, a sophomore, improved dramatically throughout the year and was touted as the most improved player by OShea.
Monticello also had four juniors that played a lot of minutes this season, something that should help the team improve its win total in the 2003 soccer season.