MacArthur’s women’s soccer team has kicked off a new era this season with a new head coach who will look to bring their longstanding success on the pitch to the pitch.
Steve Costello, who has run the MacArthur baseball program since 1994, took over the Lady Generals after former longtime head coach Jamie San Filippo took a job as athletic director in the Carle Place school district. Costello will look to continue the momentum left behind by his predecessor, which included a county title in 2019 and a finals appearance in the spring of 2021.
“It was a great experience and I’m enjoying every minute of it,” said Costello, a former high school soccer player. “It’s great to work with the girls.”
Costello credited coach Ryan Snyder with being a key catalyst in leading the team early in the transition. Snyder was a first-year assistant last season and knows much of the team.
“He’s really the mastermind behind the operation because he knows the staff and he was instrumental in organizing everything,” Costello said of Snyder. “He was hugely important to get things off to a good start.”
Costello inherits a team coming off a 12-6 season that ended in a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime loss to Manhasset in the Class A semi-finals. The Generals lost top scorer Hailey Hnis to the graduation, but returned plenty of attacking firepower to veteran midfielders Kaitlyn Tung and Hailey Metzger. Versaille Tung will also act as a striker when needed while Metzger can also be a force up top.
Senior goaltender Lexie Thompson is the mainstay of the defense after recording eight shutouts last season. It is entering a third consecutive season.
“She’s a great leader, a great athlete and a great communicator,” said Costello of Thompson, who recorded nine saves in a 0-0 draw with South Side on Sept. 7. hasn’t even graduated yet and we miss her already.
The backline ahead of Thompson is led by senior Ava Angiulie, a Queens College hire and sophomore Caitlin Barry, who started as a freshman last season. Junior Meghan Wetzel and senior Hallie Bray are also key elements of the defense.
The team started the regular season shorthanded with a few injuries, but Costello hopes the depth will improve soon. The Generals travel to Manhasset on Thursday for a rematch of last year’s semi-finals before facing rivals Garden City on Saturday at 2pm.
The generals face off in a tough AI Conference, which includes Garden City, South Side, Manhasset, Mepham and Plainedge. Costello said the team is aiming big as it seeks to claim the Class A title and possibly win States for the first time since 2011.
“It’s hard to do and there’s luck and injury and all those things,” Costello said. “I think if you asked any girl in the team what her long-term goal was, I think they would all be disappointed if the season ended in a loss, regardless of level.”