After falling by one goal to Syosset in the 2012 Nassau County (N.Y.) Class A title game, Massapequa came back to become Chiefs of Section 8 in 2013.
‘Pequa picked up a 14-5 win over Port Washington.
The postseason ride ended with a 12-3 loss to eventual state champion Ward Melville in the Long Island championship game.
One of the main catalysts in the run was Craig Berge, who returns for his senior year as one of the nation’s top midfielders. He will then be continuing his career at Georgetown University.
Now, here are Craig’s perspectives on the 2014 season.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
During January our team will get out on to the field two days a week just to keep our sticks in our hands and get up and down before the season starts. We also do strength-and-conditioning training two days a week as a team. Plus, we have a lot of dedicated guys who get out when they can and get some work in on their own.
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
Our schedule is very exciting. We’re lucky enough to be able to play two of the top teams on Long Island, in Chaminade and Garden City. Those are two non-league games that all of us are very anxious to play in.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
We have a lot of guys returning, so most of the other teams know our top guys. But, I believe our goalie, Matt Valdini, can have a huge year for us. He’s been in the shadow of many other goalies ever since we were little kids, and I believe that this year he’ll make a statement and a name for himself. He has such quick hands and sometimes he’ll save some of my shots from 8 yards away leaving me in disbelief unsure of how he saved it.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
I don’t think you can point out one area on our team and say it’s a strength more than another area. Each position group has experienced players who all know what it takes to win a county championship and go even further.
I do believe the one thing that will help us tremendously is our depth. We have multiple guys who can go in at any point without causing us to miss a beat.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
Playing in Conference 1 is always tough. We’re the preseason No. 1 seed, so we know that there is a target on our backs. I think anybody can beat anybody, and I’m looking forward to playing against all of the teams in our league.
I believe we have the talent to contend with all of the other teams, and I am anxious to get back out on the field for my senior season.
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