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And when Markovic stepped down as the St. Peters head coach to fill the vacancy...
By Dylan Butler
They come from different backgrounds and played at different high schools, but Chris Megaloudis and Tamer Mohammed shared a common desire: to play soccer for Cesar Markovic.
And when Markovic stepped down as the St. Peters head coach to fill the vacancy at Stony Brook, both Megaloudis and Mohammed followed.
Megaloudis, a former McClancy standout, was part of a seven-player exodus from St. Peters while Mohammed, a former star at Holy Cross High School, left Rutgers to play at Stony Brook in the fall.
Hes the reason I went to St. Peters and hes the reason why Im going to Stony Brook, said Megaloudis, who played for Markovic for two seasons at St. Peters. I really enjoy him as a coach and feel comfortable with him as a person, which certainly says a lot.
In his fourth season at St. Peters, Markovic, a Howard Beach resident who coached at St. Johns Prep, enjoyed his greatest success. He led the Peacocks to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship and into the NCAA tournament for the first time. There St. Peters upset heavily favored Brown in the first round before falling at Michigan in the second round.
But when Scott Dean stepped down as Stony Brook head coach, Markovic made the move from St. Peters. He wouldnt be alone.
In addition to Megaloudis, who had 12 goals in his sophomore season, Rob Fucci, Adam Ciklic, John Moschella, Mark Zajkowski, David Weisberger and Dorin Djura, who played at Grover Cleveland, left St. Peters to reunite with Markovic.
Its really a nice thing, Markovic said of his former players wanting to join him at Stony Brook. A lot of players wanted to do it and its a sign, I guess, of the affection they have and its mutual. Its a nice opportunity to start new with some familiar faces.
And one of those faces belongs to Megaloudis, who is expected to start when the Seawolves kick off a new season in late August. Megaloudis, who is playing for the Brooklyn Knights Premier Development League team during the summer, has always excelled at smaller schools such as McClancy and St. Peters. But he is looking forward to the challenge of trying to build a program again.
St. Peters was my type of school. Ive always liked smaller schools, said Megaloudis, who is the all-time leading scorer at McClancy. And now Im making a big transition to Stony Brook, a much bigger campus and a harder school academically.
Markovic refers to Stony Brook as the Rutgers of Long Island, in terms of facilities and which was exactly what Mohammed wanted to hear since he attended Rutgers in Piscataway for many of the same reasons.
Mohammed, the TimesLedger CHSAA soccer player of the year two years ago when he led Holy Cross to the city title, liked everything about Rutgers. Everything, that is, with the exception of playing time, which was non-existent his freshman season.
Not seeing eye to eye with Scarlet Knights head coach Bob Reasso and with the prospects of any significant playing time in the near future slim, Mohammed chose to leave Rutgers and the Big East for Stony Brook.
I know Cesar well. He was my state cup coach when I was younger, Mohammed said. I knew him from St. Peters as well but St. Peters was not a school I was interested in and at the time Stony Brook wasnt a very good soccer program. He said he was going to Stony Brook and there were a lot of St. Peters guys transferring. He offered me a full scholarship and it was closer to home. It all fit.
Mohammed was red-shirted this past season, which means he has four years of eligibility remaining.
I think this is an ideal situation for him, Markovic said of Mohammed. He can make an impact here right away. His abilities, he has some special gifts hes got a great touch, great feet he can be a major contributor.
Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2004 Community Newspaper Group
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