Boys Soccer – 2015 Player of the Year: Matt Thorsheim, CBA
Any soccer player at Christian Brothers Academy has to live up to the expectations of the name on the front of the jersey, a history that now includes nine Shore Conference Tournament championships and five NJSIAA state championships.
In addition to those expectations, junior Matt Thorsheim also has a last name to live up to as he follows in the footsteps of his older brother Chris – a senior at Bucknell University and a member of CBA’s 21-0 state championship team as a senior in 2011.
The younger Thorsheim cracked the varsity lineup a year before his brother did, also won a Shore Conference Tournament title by the time he was a junior, and now joins Chris with another distinction.
After leading CBA to championships in the Class A North division regular season, Shore Conference Tournament and the NJSIAA Non-Public A South Jersey section, Thorsheim is the Shore Sports Network Boys Soccer Player of the Year in 2015. Since the first year of the award in 2009, Thorsheim is the third CBA player to earn the distinction and the first since his older brother was the Player of the Year in 2011.
While the narrative is certainly appealing, Thorsheim did more than enough on his own to earn any and all individual accolades. Unofficially, Thorsheim led the Shore Conference with 21 assists and those 21 helpers is believed to be a single-season record at CBA. He also scored 12 goals and his 45 total points landed him in the top 10 among Shore Conference players.
Thorsheim’s total number of goals tells less of his story than the timing of those goals. Of the 12 goals, seven came in a collection of four wins over Freehold Township, Don Bosco, Manalapan and St. Augustine. He scored two goals to help erase a 2-0 second-half deficit against Freehold Township and assisted Matt Mawson’s game-winner to help the Colts nail down a crucial early-season win over the eventual Central Jersey Group IV champion.
Against Don Bosco, he scored on a direct kick and later added a goal in the run of play in a 2-0 win over the Ironmen, a team that reached the semifinals of a loaded North Jersey Non-Public A bracket and finished top 20 in the state, according to NJ.com.
Thorsheim turned his game into high gear during the postseason to help the Colts win their first SCT since 2011 and reach the Non-Public A final for the first time since the same year. He scored the game-winner in the 70th minute of CBA’s 1-0 win that propel the Colts into the SCT semifinals, a win that avenged two regular-season losses to the Braves.
In the NJSIAA Tournament, Thorsheim put up a goal and three assists in blowout wins over St. John Vianney and Notre Dame, then scored two go-ahead goals in a dramatic win over St. Augustine in the South Non-Public A final. Thorsheim drew a foul in the box to earn a go-ahead penalty kick in the second half and after the Hermits tied the game, he scored from a difficult angle in the 77th to reclaim the lead for CBA – a goal that will likely be remembered as the lasting image of the 2015 CBA season.
On top of leading CBA to a 19-win, three-championship campaign in head coach Dan Keane’s 38th and final season as head coach, Thorsheim was a Shore Coaches Association of N.J. All-State selection and also selected as an All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Thorsheim is slated to be one of eight returning senior starters for CBA next season, when the Colts will try to get back to the Non-Public A final and this time end Delbarton’s four-year reign as champion.