By John Boell
Meet the players who earned Newsday's All-Long Island honors in boys soccer for the fall 2020 season played in the spring of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Newsday Player of the Year: Lorenzo Selini, Newfield, Midfielder, Sr.
Selini started as a set-up guy. Then he became Newfield’s step-up guy. The Hofstra-bound Selini owns the school record in assists for both a single game (5) and career (55).
Throughout his time with the Wolverines, he slowly became a great finisher. His goal output improved every season -- 7 goals as a freshman, 8 as a sophomore, 12 as a junior, and 16 this season as he guided Newfield to a Suffolk Class AA final appearance.
So, what makes the two-time Newsday Player of the Year so special?
"His vision on the field," coach Jamie Santiago said. "His soccer IQ and his ability to make all of his teammates better."
He had at least a point in every game this season except one, and guided Newfield to its first undefeated League II crown (11-0).
"If you give him time he will pick you apart," Santiago said. "He's always a threat and can deliver a ball from 40 yards with ease."
Santiago called Selini "the best kid I’ve ever coached" earlier this season.
"I can’t wait to watch him in college," added the 16th-year head coach . "He’s so humble, and he’s such a rare and special talent, and not just a soccer talent, but a great young man with integrity and character."
The four-year varsity standout was arguably the best defender in Nassau this season. The center back could take an entire side of the field out of play for the opposition. Bonilla helped the Comets reach the Nassau Class AA final. "I thought he was the best player on the field that game," coach Scott Starkey said. "He’s really one of the most athletic kids I've ever coached."
Gio Fabiano, Carle Place, Forward, Sr.
When Fabiano was a freshman, Carle Place lost in the Nassau Class B final. But because of his dynamic play the last three seasons, he and the Frogs never experienced that feeling again. "The game just slows down for him," coach Conor Reardon said. "He was the epicenter of our three-peat." The back-to-back conference player of the year tallied nine goals and six assists.
Juan Gomez, Brentwood, Midfielder, Jr.
When long-time Brentwood coach Ron Eden says that a player "has the potential to be one of the best" he’s ever coached, it’s noteworthy. That’s exactly what Eden said midway through this season about his talented midfielder, who had 13 goals and 14 assists this season. "He’s a real cerebral player with impressive skills," Eden said. "He’s just a special player."
Matthew Heimowitz, Great Neck North, Goalkeeper, Sr.
After Great Neck North won just one game in 2019, Heimowitz promised coach Anton Berzins that he was going to lead the Blazers to a Nassau Class A title. That’s exactly what he did. The senior recorded five shutouts in the regular season and two more in the postseason as GNN finished as Nassau A co-champs with Garden City after a 2-2 tie.
Michael Luongo, Center Moriches, Midfielder, Sr.
The Hofstra-bound Luongo scored 35 goals the last two seasons, including a Suffolk-best 19 this year. One of the most impressive efforts on a varsity soccer field this season came in the Suffolk Class B final when Luongo returned from an injury in the second half and scored Center Moriches’ lone goal -- basically on one leg -- in a 2-1 loss against Babylon.
Dario Maricevic, Commack, Goalkeeper, Sr.
The numbers are eye-popping for Maricevic. The Stony Brook-signee was 33-1-1 as a starter with 22 shutouts and 134 saves the last two seasons. He allowed six goals this year, but only two came in open play (the other four were on penalty kicks or set pieces). "Dario bailed us out all season when we made mistakes," coach Dave Moran said. "In my opinion, he’s the best in Suffolk."
Richard Morel, Whitman, Forward, Sr.
The Marist-bound Morel was one of the most dangerous forwards in Suffolk this season. He had 18 goals and five assists on his way to League I MVP honors. Morel ended his career with 46 goals and 15 assists. "Richard’s work ethic and desire to not only become better himself," coach John DiGiacomo said, "but get others to become better is what sets him apart."
Thomas O’Neill, Massapequa, Midfielder, Sr.
Massapequa coach Matthew Burke has one major requirement of his midfielders. "The thing that stands out the most to me is Tommy’s work rate," Burke said. "I’m always looking for that, and he just never stops." O’Neill anchored the midfield, and had a team-high six goals and nine points. He has committed to play at New Paltz. "He was the heart and soul of our team," Burke said.
Francesco Posillico, Half Hollow Hills West, Forward, Sr.
"Free-Kick Frankie" -- for his propensity to score on set-pieces -- had 16 goals (including six game-winners) and 12 assists. Posillico was named Suffolk’s Small School (Bill Lown) Player of the Year and the League III MVP. "Frankie has the uncanny ability to get a quality shot off in a tight space from anywhere on the field," coach Doug Gannon said. "His maturity and leadership carried us the entire season."
Nick Prime, Garden City, Forward, Sr.
The three-year starter was a dynamic forward for the Trojans. He injured his right foot during the season, but was still effective shooting with his left. The Bucknell-signee ended the season with a team-high six goals and 11 points. "He finishes really well with both feet," coach Paul Cutter said. "He’s a nightmare to defend one-on-one."
Tommy Wagner, Commack, Defender, Jr.
The Cougars’ one-man whirling dervish did not allow a goal against a player that he man-marked this season, including some of Suffolk’s top forwards. Wagner was instrumental on set pieces with four goals and five assists.
Newsday Coach of the Year: Dave Moran, Commack
The sixth-year head coach pushed all the right buttons for Commack, which went 15-0 en route to the Suffolk Class AA title. The Cougars allowed six goals all season (tied for fourth-best all-time in Suffolk boys soccer history, according to the Suffolk County Soccer Coaches Association). Commack -- 50-2-2 the last three seasons -- has won four straight Suffolk regular-season league crowns under Moran, who was an assistant coach when the Cougars won a state AA crown in 2014.
Jay Alves, Newfield, D, Sr.
David Akpan, Brentwood, F, Jr.
Tyler Axelsen, Harborfields, F, Jr.
TJ Bernhard, Floyd, D, Sr.
Orick Briscoe, North Babylon, F, Sr.
Gavin Conboy, Babylon, D, Sr.
Kevin Cruz, Westbury, F, Jr.
Cristian Escobar, Amityville, D, Sr.
Alex Geula, Great Neck North, MF, Sr.
Jeremy Guardado, Amityville, MF, Sr.
Brendan Haggerty, Garden City, MF, Sr.
Tim Hug, Hauppauge, D, Sr.
Andre Insalaco, Westhampton, F, Jr.
Nikola Kovacevic, Commack, D, Sr.
Jack Lagner, Commack, F, Sr.
Kelbis Moreno, Brentwood, D, Sr.
Cole Nevins, Syosset, GK, Jr.
Eric Ponieman, Herricks, MF, Sr.
Colin Raupp, Center Moriches, GK, Sr.
Michael Savella, Massapequa, D, Sr.