Greg Perry has built an enviable level of success both on and off the field during his near quarter-century tenure as Massachusetts Maritime’s Head Men’s Soccer Coach, and that legacy has certainly been enhanced with three straight post-season berths since 2013. The veteran Buccaneer mentor is set to welcome back 13 letterwinners and six starters back as he prepares for his 24th campaign at the helm this fall.
One of the hallmarks of Perry’s program has been the leadership provided to cadets in competition and on campus, and that tradition will remain solid this year with seniors Scott Matoian (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee), Thomas McCarthy (Tybee Island, Ga./Benedictine Military) and Matthew McDonough (Framingham, Mass./Framingham) serving as Massachusetts Maritime’s tri-captains in 2016. Perry, the dean of Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference coaches, describes the trio as “consistent leaders who have embraced the high expectations of this program from the beginning. They command respect with their performances on the field and their actions in the campus community—they aren’t just great players, they are great people, and their character truly represents what this team has always stood for.”
Here’s a look at how things are shaping up for the 2016 edition of Buccaneer Men’s Soccer:
FORWARD. McCarthy led the Buccaneers in scoring last season with six goals (including three game-winners) and an assist for 13 points, while junior Kevin O’Leary (Norton, Mass./Norton) added a pair of markers and a helper for five points. Sophomore William Taylor (Hanover, Mass./Hanover) tallied twice for Perry during his rookie campaign of 2015, and Perry will also look to freshmen Chris Tavernese (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) and Andrew Wayrynen (Rockport, Mass./Rockport) to contribute up front.
MIDFIELD. Sophomore Brendan Gawron (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) gained valuable experience in the middle with a pair of goals and an assist for five points in 16 contests played for Massachusetts Maritime, while junior Alan Provost (Monson, Mass./Monson) appeared in 15 matches with a pair of starts a year ago. Perry has talented newcomers also vying for midfield roles this fall, as freshmen Bryan Osorio (Providence, R.I./St. Andrew’s), Justin Le (Springfield, Mass./Cathedral), Adam Crawford (Kingston, Mass./Silver Lake), Tyler Haynes (Bridgewater, Mass./Cardinal Spellman) and Stephen Froio (Auburn, Mass./Auburn) will compete for spots as rookies.
BACK. The defensive backfield has always been a strong one under Perry’s guidance, and that will continue this season with Matoian (three assists in 15 matches), McDonough (a two-time second-team all-MASCAC selection) and junior Mick Rouette (Three Rivers, Mass./Monson) leading the way. Rouette, who has earned first team all-MASCAC accolades in each of his first two collegiate seasons of play, was also the Buccaneers’ second leading scorer in 2015 with two goals and three assists for seven points. Junior Chris Beaulieu (Carver, Mass./Thayer Academy) lends valuable experience after starting 15 of 16 matches played last fall for Massachusetts Maritime, while sophomores Zach O’Neil (Scituate, Mass./Scituate) and Nicholas Van Ness (Waldwick, N.J./Waldwick) combined to start in 14 outings, with O’Neil adding a goal along the way. Additional depth on defense will also come from freshmen Nick Kubacki (Belchertown, Mass./Wilbraham-Monson), Kyle Daly (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth South) and Jake Pforr (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) during their inaugural collegiate campaigns.
GOAL. The graduation of all-conference honoree Joe Cohen opens up an opportunity in the Buccaneer cage this fall, as junior Mike Pruchnik (Rochester, Mass./Old Rochester) and sophomore Connor Murphy (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee) will compete for that starting position. Each netminder made three appearances in 2015, as Murphy made 10 saves with a shutout in 137-plus minutes while Pruchnik recorded six saves and a clean sheet in 150 minutes of play. Sophomore James Barbour (Lanexa, Va./New Kent) will also be vying for time as Massachusetts Maritime’s last line of defense in 2016.
SCHEDULE. Perry has never shied away from playing the best in the region, and this year’s schedule is no exception. The Buccaneers’ non-conference slate includes home dates with Becker, Anna Maria, UMass Dartmouth, UMass Boston and national power Brandeis, while road clashes feature a rigorous three-match stretch at Wentworth, WPI and Nichols early in the season along with non-league outings at Salve Regina and Coast Guard. Massachusetts Maritime will host Bridgewater State, Fitchburg State and MCLA in MASCAC play and will also venture to Worcester State, Salem State, Framingham State and Westfield State in conference action.
The Buccaneers begin Greg Perry’s 24th season on Thursday, September 1st by hosting Becker in a non-league clash at Clean Harbors Stadium at 7:00 p.m. EDT.