Antonio Crespi is multi-talented. The senior vice-captain of the soccer team has played three different positions during his time as a Seawolf.
In his Freshman and sophomore years he played forward before switching to the position of left midfielder in his junior year. This year, he is a right back.
“It’s affected it a lot really, I have to be more defensive minded and worry that I’m the last person back before the other team can score,” he said. “I’m comfortable with it, but it’s new to me.”
A business major from North Babylon, Crespi appeared in all 20 matches last season, making 13 starts. This season, he’s started in all eight games so far and has scored one goal.
“Antonio, technically, he’s a good player,” said Ryan Anatol, the head coach of Stony Brook’s men’s soccer team. “Athletically, he’s great; he’s quick, he covers a lot of ground.”
Crespi went from being a reserve sophomore year to starting during his junior season.
“It wasn’t easy,” he said. “But Coach Anatol was a big influence on me.”
Now, Crespi is using his skills and his speed to help the Seawolves, who are 6-2-0 at press time.
“His speed, his pace, his ability to attack [are all his strengths],” Coach Anatol said. “But a big one for us this season has been his leadership.”
Anatol praised Crespi for “pushing the guys along” on and off the field.
“He’s been very vocal, he’s leading by example. . . there’s been a lot of positives,” Anatol said.
Crespi has not set any goals for himself this season.
“I’m really trying to set up the focus on the team goals and trying to bring everybody together as a team,” he said.
Those team goals include winning the regular season America East (something the Seawolves have never achieved before), winning the America East Tournament (they have won twice in the past three years), finishing in the Top 40 RPI and getting above a 3.0 GPA as a team.
“We came together as a group first, as a team and a coaching staff,” Crespi said. “We all came together and, since we do have so many seniors this year, we wanted to focus on what have we not accomplished in our four years we’ve been here, and most of the goals we made, we haven’t accomplished. We really want to accomplish them this year, since it’s our last year as a group.”
Along with the six other seniors, Crespi is focused on making those goals a reality. So far, the team is right on track.
“We’ve really pushed this thing along to where we’re really winning so many games,” he said. “It’s just habit to win games now.”
Crespi praises his fellow seniors and calls his teammates his “brothers,” saying that their bond as a team is what makes them able to play well together.
“We’re so close on and off the field,” Crespi said. “Being close definitely helps us on the field.”
Crespi is thinking about possibly going to graduate school after graduation, but for right now, he’s happy to be with his team.
“The team is one big family,” he said.