Back row, left to right: Coach Dominic Casciato, Noah Waxner, Tyler Spellman, Joseph DeStefano, Joseph Tristano, Casey Barone
Middle row, left to right: Philip Baresi, Matthew Flax, Nick Elkins, Spencer Manus, Justin Hassenfeld
Front row, left to right: Richie Mastrangelo lll, Jimmy Contino, Taylor Kaczynski, Michael Sclafani Jr., Brian Flynn, Devon Smith
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
January 9, 2014-The Dix Hills Elite represented the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) and Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) with class at the Nationals last July.
Dix Hills made it all the way to the Boys-Under-15 national final before losing to Southern California’s Santa Barbara White, 2-1, on a heartbreaking loss in the second overtime. Late in overtime, Santa Barbara’s Chairat Puengrod scored on a penalty kick. Yet Dix Hills’ Richard Mastrangelo III, Tyler Spellman and Joseph DeStefano were named to the Top 11 team, Spellman won the Golden Glove Award as best goalkeeper and DeStefano won the Golden Boot Award.
Not allowing that loss to affect them, Dix Hills rebounded very strongly by becoming the first team ever in the US Youth Soccer National League to win their division without giving up a goal. Dix Hills finished with a 6-0-1 record, with 14 goals scored and seven consecutive shutouts. They played an amazing 560 minutes of soccer against nationally-ranked opponents in the Boys-Under-16 age group without conceding a goal. Dix Hills has already qualified for the Nationals to be played from July 22 to 27 at the Maryland SoccerPlex as they finished in one of the top two spots in their division.
“We do a lot of work on team shape in training, which makes us pretty difficult to break down,” commented Dix Hills head coach Dominic Casciato. “The back four and the keepers rightly get a lot of credit for going seven games without giving up a goal, but it is a team effort–– when we don't have the ball, everyone knows exactly where to be and what to do. That goes for the forwards and wingers to our center midfielders too.”
Dix Hills is spending the rest of the winter playing indoor soccer plus outdoor friendlies if the weather cooperates. They also look forward to playing in the Manhattan Kick-Off Classic from February 28 to March 2.
With 123,843 youth soccer players––68,587 boys and 55,256 girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 11 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.