McMann coached the middle school team this year, and had spent the previous two years as an assistant with the Boyle boys. That familiarity with the program and the players has helped ease the transition, the players say.
"It goes so much smoother because he knows all the players and how they play already," said sophomore Patrick Barsotti. "The bond between the team is already good with the coach."
"It makes a whole lot of difference," said senior John Frauenhoffer. "He knows where we can play, where we can't play and when we need subs in and out. We're glad to have him."
Frauenhoffer likes McMann's more offensive-minded set. McMann uses a third forward, instead of the two Boyle was playing, to create more offensive opportunities.
McMann said that was a long-time joke between he and Conley, and now he gets his way.
"I always let Greg know that we needed three forwards, so I get to use three forwards," McMann said. "He'll probably get a little laugh out of that. Every game, I was like, 'We need three forwards.' The defense and the midfield stuff is going to stay pretty much the same. They know what they're doing, and they do a good job of it. But I was a forward, and I like having more forwards."
Aside from that, McMann said the changes will be few and far between.
"I'm not really planning on changing a whole lot," McMann said. "Greg's done a good job. They know how to run a trap, they play very good possession game."
Lafayette (11-0-2) gave Boyle (4-6) more of a challenge than the Rebels could handle as the Generals scored their first goal just 38 seconds into the game. By halftime it was 4-0.
Boyle did hold Lafayette scoreless for 48 straight minutes before the Generals scored their final goal with 6:31 to play.
The Rebels were without starters Ben McClain, Patrick Morgan, Alex Rice and Tom Valade for various reasons, but both Barsotti and McMann said the game was full of good signs for the future.
"We played a good team tonight, but I think we stuck together," Barsotti said. "We have a new coach and we're working with him to see how he likes to play. I think it's only going to get better for us when it comes to the postseason."
"I knew it was going to be a tough game," McMann said. "I'm very proud of them. It would have been very easy for them in this situation to just give up and I think it says a whole lot about what the team could be capable of that even in a tough situation, they're still willing to give it everything they have. It makes me feel good about what I have to work with and what could happen for this team."