By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
June 13, 2023-In a championship match between two teams from Long Island on June 3 at Stringham Park in LaGrange, the Stony Brook LGN Wildlings defeated New York Hota Blue, 3-0, to win the Boys-Under-15 State Open Cup. The State Cup was presented by LifeVac, which has saved over 900 lives and counting.
Elliot Burgueño, Juan Krol and Anthony Puleo scored the goals and keeper John Caso had the shutout in net.
“We had the better of play although Hota is a very good team,” coach Matt Mannina said. “This is our first State Cup title and we won many other awards including Regionals but never won the State Cup.”
Stony Brook LGN also received the Rocco Amoroso Sportsmanship Award as determined by the game officials. Amoroso, a US Soccer Life Member who died seven years ago, started the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) Sportsmanship Program in 1980 and it spread to Eastern New York, nationally and then to China and Ireland, and in the process, made soccer games kinder and gentler.
Now about the unusual team name, several local coaches were fans of the HBO series, “Game of Thrones.” One suggested naming a newly-formed Boys-Under-7 team something from the show so Mannina suggested the unique name of Wildlings, a tribe in the series. The first year, many of the kids could not pronounce the name correctly and often said “Wild Wings” instead.
Coach Mannina added, “As the boys became older, I thought they would outgrow the name so I asked them every year if they wanted to change it and they replied ’No.’ The name has lasted as it means something to them, particularly those who have been on the team for many years.”
Stony Brook LGN will represent the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) at the East Regionals from June 23 to 29 in Loudoun County, Virginia as part of the National Championship Series.
With approximately 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and 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 10 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 Children With Special Needs. 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 onto http://www.enysoccer.com/