The Plainview Old Bethpage Predators, the Boys Under-14 "A" Team of the Plainview Old Bethpage Soccer Club, just completed a very successful fall 1997 season.
The boys finished with a 6-2-2 record and came in second place in Division IV of the Long Island Junior Soccer League. Coach Steve Turkish was thrilled with the team's showing in view of the fact that eight of the 18 players were playing in their first season with the Predators!
Counting league scrimmages, games and tournament games, the boys scored 39 goals from nine different players. Matt McDonald paced the attack with 16, followed closely by Harris Babic with 10 and David Popp with 4. Assists were recorded by 13 of the 18 on the roster, with Popp leading with 11, followed by McDonald with 9. Babic with 8, David Rotellini with 7 and Adam Rothblatt with 6.
Scoring goals was only one facet of the Predators game. The defense was rock solid all season as stopper Andy Turkish led a powerful and aggressive defense joined by left fullbacks Sam Smith and Matt August, right fullback Graziano Rotellini and anchored by the sweeper Eric DiGiuseppi.
The Predators had great goalkeeping all season too. Mike Blumenauer (98 saves, 1.67 goals against average) and Captain Ian Bauer (37 saves, 1.58 goals against average) teamed up for four shutouts on the season. Adam "Shaq" Shatkun also added one shutout and 13 saves in one game. Shaq mostly played in the midfield, adding 3 goals and 4 assists this season. Both Blumenauer and Bauer also scored 1 goal each when they were in the field.
Reserve players and spot starters Willie Ventura, Mike Sheridan, Edan Algazy, Aaron Goodman and Steve Bernstein also added to the attack with a combined 2 goals and 6 assists.
The Predators will have some tough indoor workouts over the winter, and will get ready to have another excellent and exciting spring 1998 season.