LYNN– The St. Mary’s boys soccer team celebrated a season to remember Sunday night in its annual team banquet. St. Mary’s, the Division 4 state runner-up, came one win away from bringing a state championship home to Tremont Street.
Despite Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Bromfield in the Division 4 state championship game at St. John’s Prep, the Spartans put together one of the best seasons in program history. They won 20 games and saw six players earn Catholic Central League All-Star honors. The six CCL All-Stars are Joey Thongsythavong, Connor Mackey, Nick Pappas, Olu George, Thiago DeOliveira (who finished his St. Mary’s career with 103 points) and Nolan Perez. Thongsythavong was named CCL Most Valuable Player and also earned All-New England honors. George and Thongsythavong were named Eastern Mass. All-Stars. They’ll represent the Spartans in the Eastern. Mass All-Star games Friday morning at Quincy High.
“They’re both talented players,” St. Mary’s head coach Mike D’Agostino said. “They represented our league and did so well. Olu led the CCL and the team in goals. Joey led the CCL and the team in points. Statistically, that shows a lot about them. Aside from that their efforts were amazing. Olu had a torn hamstring and he went out there to give us everything he could. He scored our first goal in the (Division 4 state semifinal win) against Cohasset. That was amazing.
“The assists Joey gave us this year were amazing,” D’Agostino continued. “It tallies up and it shows you don’t have to be the No.1 goal scorer to be the CCL MVP. By far, he controlled the middle of the field on the ground and in the air. Everyone saw that.”
D’Agostino, who’s been at the helm at St. Mary’s for 10 seasons, was named the Eastern Mass. Division 4 Coach of the Year. D’Agostino’s right-hand man, Joe Gill, was named the Eastern Mass. Division 4 Assistant Coach of the Year.
“I’m very humbled,” D’Agostino said. “It’s great. The last couple years, this program has gone up and up. Last year we went undefeated and this year we won 20 games. I got my 150th win this year too, that was huge. It’s my 10th year coaching at St. Mary’s. I love this program. We have great kids.”
Award winners at Sunday’s banquet were George (Offensive Player of the Year), Mackey (Defensive Player of the Year), Nolan Perez (Hustle Award), Aidan O’Brien (Unsung Hero), Kevin Perez (Hustle Award), Jackson Nickolau (Most Improved), DeOliveira (Coaches Award), Nolan Perez (Alumni Award), Matt Gallego (Next Man Up Award), Thongsythavong (Team Most Valuable Player), Nicholas Miller (JV Offensive Player of the Year), Thiago Pereira (JV Defensive Player of the Year), Kyle Hughes (JV Most Valuable Player), Jacob Guarino (JV Coaches Award), Aidan Sullivan (JV Hustle Award).
Thongsythavong and Nolan Perez were inducted into the team’s hall of fame. D’Agostino said the team inducts two or three players into its hall of fame at the end of each season.
“Joey and Nolan both deserved it,” D’Agostino said. “They’re great leaders, great people and great captains. It’s going to be tough to replace them. I wish them the best of luck.”
Kevin Perez, Gallego and Nickolau were named captains for the 2019 season.
“They’re all great kids,” D’Agostino said. “Kevin will take right after his older brother, Nolan. They sort of have different personalities. Kevin’s very fast and very mature up front. He’ll do well in that role there. Matt stepped up in the playoffs as a junior. He takes charge from the back. Jackson’s my first ever junior captain. He’s a very strong, mature player. He’s a quiet leader but I think he’ll do a great job for the program. The kids will look up to him.”