After winning its first outright league title in 27 years, the Huntington varsity boys’ soccer team has reaped post-season honors.
Six players and head coach John Pagano have garnered awards. The Blue Devils compiled a 12-3 2 record, including 9-1-2 in league play. The team was captained by Nat Amato, Mike Abbondandelo and Freddy Amador.
Pagano was named Suffolk League III Coach of the Year. Huntington’s longtime sideline mentor was assisted by Jason Suarez. The duo has collaborated in the building of a winning program that is expected to remain competitive for many years to come.
Amato, Johnny Tucker, Eren Aydin and Alex Rivera all captured All-Conference recognition. Amador and Abbondandelo were named All-League. Several of the players are still vying for All-County honors. An announcement is expected soon.
Amato has been the team’s magnificent goal keeper for three seasons. The senior tallied six shutouts this fall. “He’s one of the best in the county,” said Pagano, who added the teenager has been the “backbone of the team.”
Abbondandelo and Tucker’s contributions didn’t show up in any box score, but the talented pair cemented the Blue Devils’ defense. Abbondandelo’s consistent and spirited play was relied upon by his teammates. Tucker is a fierce competitor that earned the respect of opponents
Aydin starred as Huntington’s creative midfielder and led the team with six goals and four assists. Fred Amato was another key player, notching a team high seven assists.
“The team exceeded expectations,” Pagano said. “We were unranked in the pre-season poll and won the league championship.”
Next fall’s team is expected to be very competitive. The Blue Devils will be returning eight starters.