Boys Soccer – 2016 All-Shore Teams
Shore Sports Network Boys Soccer All-Shore Team
*Teams selected by Senior Staff Writer Matt Manley based on input from coaches, statistics, impact on team success and first-hand accounts regarding each player.
P.J. Ringel, Sr., Marlboro
Season Totals: 21 goals, 6 assists
Postseason Totals: 4 goals, 1 assist in eight games
If the monster known as “specialization” wrapped its clutches around P.J. Ringel, it’s possible one of the top players in Shore Conference who was the central figure of one of the fall’s most compelling stories would have never laced up his spikes as a high school soccer player. Ringel spends most of his time playing basketball, but a connection to his friends and his love for another sport kept him returning to the pitch.
As it turns out, defenders had just as much trouble corralling Ringel as specialization did. The Marlboro forward scored 21 goals, including three during Marlboro’s storybook run to the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV final. While his two goals in a 3-1, regular-season win over CBA appeared to be the game that would headline his All-Shore resume, Ringel’s two goals – including the golden goal in overtime – to sink Colts Neck in the Central Jersey Group IV first round won the day. After all, that performance came the day after learning of the passing of his father, Jack. Ringel will take his competitive streak to the basketball court this winter, when he will look to lead the basketball team to a measure of the success that the soccer team achieved in setting a school record for wins (20).
Matt O’Connell, Sr., Pinelands
Season Totals: 32 goals, 8 assists
Postseason Totals: 4 goals in one game
On sheer volume, no Shore Conference player put up the numbers that O’Connell did this season, nor did any player come close. Not only did the senior left-footer lap the field by scoring a conference-leading 32 goals (11 more than the next closest scorer), but he did so while missing the final four games of the season due to a back injury. Before succumbing to the injury, O’Connell led the Wildcats to their best season in nearly 30 years and within one game of the program’s first Shore Conference division championship since 1989.
During the course of the season, O’Connell registered six hat tricks, half of which were four-goal games. While two of those four-goal games came against the bottom two teams in the B South standings – Manchester and Barnegat – the other came in a 5-0 win over Shore Regional in the opening round of the Shore Conference Tournament. Two of his other hat tricks also came against winning teams, including a three-goal performance against division champion Point Boro in a 4-1 Pinelands victory. He also opened the season with a three-goal game, including the overtime winner, against Lakewood. While O’Connell is not yet committed to play in college, he has drawn some interest throughout the season, including from Division I American University.
Patrick Kollman, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy
Season Totals: 16 goals, 8 assists
Postseason Totals: 5 goals, 3 assists in eight games
With a loaded roster that came together to win 24 games and finish No. 1 in the state, CBA had a number of players who could have been considered strong candidates to win the Shore Sports Network Player of the Year. Kollman was among that group this year as the leading goal-scorer on the Shore’s top team. He slammed home 16 goals during the course of his senior campaign to lead the Colts and dished out eight assists as well.
Kollman starred during the regular season and playoffs alike, with five goals and three assists during the Shore Conference and NJSIAA Non-Public A Tournaments. He scored two goals in a 4-0 win over Matawan in the SCT quarterfinals and also assisted the first of two goals in the championship game against Marlboro – against whom he scored a golden goal in a 1-0 regular-season win as well. In the South Jersey Non-Public A final, Kollman scored two of CBA’s five goals in a 5-0 rout of St. Augustine.
Mitch Reed, Sr., Toms River North
Season Totals: 13 goals, 10 assists
Postseason Totals: 5 goals, 1 assist in five games
With a team light on seniors, the Mariners built their attack around one of the few on the roster and Reed delivered as one of the top goal-producers in Ocean County. Against a rough-and-tumble A South schedule, Reed tallied 13 goals and 10 assists while playing as the lone striker at the top of the Toms River North formation. He also saved some of his best performances of the season for elimination games, including his lone hat trick of the season against Holmdel in the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals. He then scored two more goals against Southern in the NJSIAA South Jersey Group IV first round before the Mariners bowed out with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of second-seeded Williamstown.
Matt Thorsheim, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy
Season Totals: 14 goals, 21 assists
Postseason Totals: 4 goals, 6 assists in eight games
Since making an impact as a freshman starter for CBA, Thorsheim has been a model of consistency for the Colts. After winning the Shore Sports Network Player of the Year Award last year, Thorsheim followed up that performance with a nearly identical statistical season and, in turn, another Player of the Year Award in 2016. The senior center midfielder went from 12 goals and 21 assists last year to 14 goals and 21 assists in 2016. Beyond those two extra goals, the big difference between junior year and senior year for Thorsheim was the way it ended. CBA won the Non-Public A championship on Nov. 13 by beating Seton Hall Prep on Thorsheim’s game-winning goal in the 73rd minute.
For more on Matt Thorhseim’s season, read his Player of the Year profile.
Matt Mawson, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy
Season Totals: 12 goals, 8 assists
Postseason Totals: 6 goals, 4 assists in eight games
Since earning a starting spot as a junior last season, Mawson had flashed brilliance in short spurts leading up to this year’s postseason. Then, the Shore Conference Tournament began in late October and Mawson went from key cog to superstar for the Shore’s best team. Of his 12 goals and eight assists this season, exactly half of that production came during the Shore Conference and NJSIAA Non-Public A Tournaments. He scored six goals and four assists between the two tournaments, including four goals during his team’s SCT run. His goal in the SCT semifinal against Toms River North – a game in which he also notched a pair of assists – was a highlight-reel finish that capped a stretch in which CBA scored four goals in the first 24 minutes of the game.
Mawson also stood out in both championship games in which he played. He scored the winning goal in a 2-0 win over Marlboro in the SCT final and assisted Matt Thorsheim’s game-winner against Seton Hall Prep in the Non-Public A final.
Adrian Barajas, Sr., Freehold Township
Season Totals: 13 goals, 10 assists
Postseason Totals: 1 goal, 1 assist in four games
As the lone returning starter from last year’s Central Jersey Group IV championship team, Barajas was burdened with a lot of responsibility for the 2016 Patriots team, which was under the direction of first-year head coach Josh Mehl. Despite losing 14 seniors from the 2015 roster, Freehold Township reached the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals and again finished No. 3 in the final Shore Sports Network Top 10.
Barajas was at the center of Freehold Township’s success as a midfielder this year after an All-Shore season as a defender last year. At 6-foot-5, he dominated the air for the Patriots, but conceded little on the ground as well. Barajas finished the season with 13 goals and 10 assists to lead the team and came up big for the Patriots on a number of occasions. He scored two goals in a 2-2 draw against No. 2 Marlboro during the regular season. He also scored Freehold Township’s only goal in two meetings against CBA. In the SCT round of 16, Barajas connected on a 25-yard direct kick to pull the Patriots even with Point Boro on the way to a 2-1, come-from-behind win. Over the weekend, Barajas announced his commitment to play at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Some would call this the second best goal of the evening. Congrats to the boys on a hard fought win, moving on.
Second goal to come shortly. pic.twitter.com/HQcDKNWd4k
— FTHS_MensSoccer (@FTHS_Menssoccer) October 23, 2016
Dan Frisch-Harmon, Sr., Wall
Season Totals: 18 goals, 6 assists
Postseason Totals: 6 goals, 2 assists in five games
Another four-year starter on the All-Shore First Team, Harmon transformed from a dominant presence at the defensive center midfield spot to an effective scorer for a Wall team that won 14 games and was in the division title hunt until its last divisional game. After scoring seven combined goals over his first three seasons, Frisch-Harmon scored nearly triple that total when he put up 18 goals to go with six assists this past season.
Frisch-Harmon posted six multi-goal games, including a hat trick against Ranney in the opening round of the Shore Conference Tournament. He scored two goals in a 3-2 overtime win over B North co-champion Ocean, including the golden goal on a penalty kick. Wall also won two games in the Central Jersey Group III playoffs and Frisch-Harmon scored in both of them – two in a win over Hamilton West and another in a 1-0 win over Moorestown.
Tom Judge, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy
Season Totals: 6 goals, 7 assists
Postseason Totals: 1 goal, 3 assists in eight games
Even CBA’s defense was dangerous on the attack this season and Judge was the most productive scorer on the Colts back line. Judge tallied six goals and seven assists on the season and produced goals in key games along the way. He scored two goals in a 5-2 win over nationally-ranked Chaminade in late September, which came five days after he scored the game-winner in a 1-0 win over Freehold Township. He assisted a goal by fellow defender John Askin in the Shore Conference Tournament final against Marlboro and scored a goal to go with two assists in his team’s 5-0 win over St. Augustine in the South Jersey Non-Public A final. Judge will continue his playing career at James Madison University next fall.
Scott Misson, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy
Season Totals: 3 goals, 3 assists
Postseason Totals: 1 goal in eight games
While Judge represents the offensive firepower that CBA’s back four possessed this year, Misson was the true defensive stalwart of the bunch. As one of the two center fullbacks for the Colts, Misson sparingly pushed up, but still managed to score three goals and three assists. While laying back on defense, he was a shutdown defender who locked up some of the state’s top forwards. He held Marlboro’s 21-goal scorer P.J. Ringel scoreless in two meetings and when Misson missed the second meeting between the teams, Ringel scored two goals. Misson capped the season by shutting down Seton Hall leading scorer and Indiana University recruit Mason Toye in the Non-Public A championship game. Misson is uncommitted and is considering a range of Division III programs.
Ryan LaRocca, Sr., Marlboro
Season Totals: 3 goals, 2 assists
Postseason Totals: 2 goals, 1 assist in eight games
Behind a cohesive group of seniors, Marlboro enjoyed one of its best seasons in program history, setting a school record with 20 wins and reaching the Shore Conference Tournament and NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV finals for the third time each in program history. While Marlboro’s balance was its strength, its organized defense was its most consistent trait and LaRocca anchored that back line throughout the season. The senior trio of LaRocca, Dan McGrath and Justin Goldstein have played together since well before high school and with the addition of sophomore Jaden Strumeier, Marlboro had itself as dependable a defense as there was at the Shore. In addition to anchoring the defense, LaRocca also pushed up for three goals, including one in a 4-0 win over Middletown North in the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals and another in a 3-2 win over North Brunswick in the Central Jersey Group IV quarterfinals.
Keleb Mehari, Sr., Matawan
Season Totals: 2 goals, 2 assists
Postseason Totals: No scoring in five games
Like LaRocca, Mehari was the centerpiece of a senior-laden back line that helped take its program to new heights. Two years after helping lead Matawan to its first division title, Mehari was part of a second division championship team in three years when the Huskies took home a share of the Class A Central championship along with Raritan. This year’s Matawan team did the 2014 group one better by becoming the first team in program history to reach the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals. Matawan finished tied for eighth in the conference in goals allowed per game and Mehari also contributed on the scoring end with two goals during the year.
James Weinberg, Sr., Marlboro
Just as Misson’s value was measured in his absence, so too was Weinberg’s. The Marlboro keeper missed a string of four games in early October while undergoing concussion protocol and during that stretch, the Mustangs did not record a shutout and had to rally for a 2-2 tie against Freehold Township before Weinberg returned one game later. In the 20 games in which Weinberg played in goal, Marlboro recorded 11 shutouts, tied for second in the Shore Conference, and allowed 12 goals. The 0.60 goals allowed per game was the best mark of any goalie in the Shore Conference this season. Even in Marlboro’s final game of the season, Weinberg turned in a shutout against eventual Group IV champion Hunterdon Central, which outlasted Marlboro in penalty kicks.
Dante Montesinos, Sr., Shore – His team’s move out of B Central cut back Montesinos’s numbers somewhat, but the senior still put up some of the best numbers in the Shore Conference, totaling 15 goals and 11 assists to put him back in the Shore Conference top 10 scoring leaders for the second consecutive year. In four years, Montesinos racked up 70 goals and 44 assists for the Blue Devils.
Davensky JoinVilmar, Jr., Asbury Park – After two years as an underclassman starter, JoinVilmar went from contributor on a losing team to the best player on a division and sectional championship squad. Also a state champion high-jumper, JoinVilmar took off as a soccer player this year by scoring 16 goals and 15 assists for an 18-win Bishops team that won its first NJSIAA sectional title since 1981.
Dylan Parks, Sr., Toms River South – After playing the role of Robin to Cameron Geerinck’s Batman last year, Parks stepped into the lead scoring role for a 17-win Toms River South team that went back to the Group III final for the second straight year. Parks finished with 13 goals and six assists to lead the Indians in scoring.
Mike Schoener, Sr., Jackson Memorial – Despite dealing with a hamstring injury that caused him to miss multiple games, Schoener was once again one of the most dangerous offensive players in the Shore for a Jackson Memorial team that made its move in the Shore Conference Tournament. Schoener scored 11 goals and nine assists, including two goals and an assist during a three-game run in the SCT. Schoener finished with 45 goals over the last three seasons.
Louis Reale, Sr., Colts Neck – Reale returned to the Colts Neck program after spending a year in Argentina and was the primary offensive sparkplug for a Cougars team that had its moments while playing a brutal schedule. He scored eight goals this year, including two in an overtime loss to No. 2 Marlboro in the Central Jersey Group IV first round.
Rocky Garretson, Sr., Manalapan – It took Manalapan nearly a month to find its way, but Garretson helped keep the Braves afloat and then led them during their surge to the Central Jersey Group IV semifinals. Garretson – a four-year varsity starter for one of the Shore’s most successful programs during the span of his career – scored 16 goals and 10 assists during the season, including a pair of goals in an NJSIAA first-round upset of Princeton.
Ryan Harmon, Sr., Middletown North – In his third year as a varsity starter, Harmon led Middletown North with 13 goals and six assists while helping the Lions win a share of the Class B North division, reach the SCT quarterfinals for the second straight year, and reach an NJSIAA sectional final for the first time since 1999.
Jacob Labinger, Sr., Matawan – An injury-plagued 2015 season hampered both Labinger and his team, but a healthy senior year led to big things for both. Labinger led a senior-heavy squad with eight goals and six assists, serving as the offensive catalyst that sparked the Huskies to their second division title in three years to go with runs to the SCT quarterfinals and the Central Jersey Group II semifinals. Matawan’s season ended with a 1-0 loss to eventual Group II champion Bernards.
Colin Lankau, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy – The third CBA defender on this All-Shore list, Lankau thrived on the outside of the Colts back four in his first year as a starter. While he did not produce as much scoring (two goals and four assists) as Judge did, he was certainly an offensive threat up the flank for the Shore’s best team.
Josh Grun, Sr., Marlboro – Grun was technically a defensive center midfielder, but he played a key role in the middle of the field as a transition from Marlboro’s back line to the attack. He picked up seven assists during the season and his lone goal was a header in the Mustangs’ 3-1 win over CBA in the second regular-season meeting between the two teams.
Chris Kluxen, Sr., Toms River South – Kluxen personified Toms River South’s physical, blue-collar mentality with his play in the middle of the team’s defense and was also a major weapon on offense. On top of scoring three goals, he also served as a throw-in specialist – a role that earned him six assists. Two of those assists came in a 2-1 win over Mainland in the Group III semifinal.
Ben Brown, Sr., Toms River South – While Kluxen was the throw-in specialist, Brown was Toms River South’s most dangerous player on corners and free kicks while also playing the role of central defender. Brown finished his senior season with double-digit points – three goals and five assists.
Scott Weigel, Sr., Middletown North – The Lions finished in a three-way tie for the Shore lead in fewest total goals allowed and Weigel tied for second in the conference with 11 shutouts. Weigel recorded shutouts in three of Middletown North’s six postseason games.
Tom Ruscitti, Jr., Central – Like Weigel, Ruscitti and his Golden Eagles defense allowed 16 goals in 21 games and did some of his best work in the postseason. Ruscitti allowed one goal in five postseason games and it came in an overtime loss to Toms River North in the Shore Conference Tournament round of 16. Central was eliminated in the South Jersey Group III semifinals in penalty kicks following a 0-0 draw against Mainland.
Great save by Central GK Tom Ruscitti in OT. pic.twitter.com/7fEwOGVhmS
— Matt Manley (@Matt_Manley) October 7, 2016
Griffin Bacon, Sr., Central – Bacon notched three hat tricks en route to a 15-goal, 7-assist season that sparked Central to a 13-win season.
Venancio Fernandes, Jr., Long Branch – A 19-goal season by the Green Wave junior striker was the bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season for Long Branch, which did manage to take Toms River South to penalty kicks in the NJSIAA Tournament behind a Fernandes assist.
Liam McGregor, Jr., Middletown North – McGregor led Middletown North with nine assists to go with his six goals and his absence due to a leg injury doomed the Lions in a 4-0 loss to Marlboro in the SCT quarterfinals.
Anthony Arena, So., Holmdel – In his first season in a high school program, Arena emerged as the best player on a Holmdel team that reached the SCT quarterfinals and the Central Jersey Group II semifinals. He finished the season with 10 goals and 11 assists.
Mason Remondelli, Sr., Point Pleasant Boro – Point Boro won its third consecutive outright Class B South title despite the fact that Remondelli was one of the few returning starters from a year ago. He put up 10 goals and 13 assists to lead the Panthers to their 18-win season.
Steven Karp, Sr., Marlboro – Karp’s production might get lost in P.J. Ringel’s season and Marlboro’s defensive makeup, but the senior outside midfielder delivered nine goals and 12 assists to give the Mustangs a dangerous option on the outside to complement Ringel.
Aaron Robertson, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy – There is little doubt Robertson would have been a top scorer in the conference had he not shared the wealth on CBA’s loaded team. He scored seven goals, including two in a 6-2 win over Toms River North in the SCT semifinals.
Ryan Nigro, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy – Nigro was a midfield complement to Matt Thorsheim and played the role of initiator and distributor for the Colts attack. He finished the season with one goal and seven assists.
Jordan Stratton, Sr., Middletown North – The leader in the center of the Lions defense, Stratton anchored a unit that allowed just 16 goals all season long and also contributed four goals on the other end of the field.
Nate Wiley, Sr., Central – The senior played all over the field during his varsity career and settled in this year as the sweeper for a Central team that allowed just 16 goals in 21 games. Wiley also contributed four goals and three assists.
Tyler Chin, Sr., Matawan – Another key to Matawan’s standout season, Chin was an aggressive player on the defense for the Huskies, filling the defensive role for one of the Shore’s better defensive units while also playing the attack, which yielded him a goal and an assist.
Tom Amato, Sr., Ocean – On a team that blended seniors and underclassmen, Amato was a steady senior who gave the Spartans plenty of defense while also providing six goals on offense.
Ocean wins 4-0 over Lawrence. "Two Goal Tommy" Amato with 2..first goal of the match and a bicycle kick goal to seal the match.. goal below pic.twitter.com/OH3Nmp6ZqK
— Spartan Boys Soccer (@OTSpartanSoccer) October 31, 2016
Aedan Boriotti, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy – Boriotti and CBA’s star-studded defense allowed 13 goals all season with the senior keeper in net and locked down a Shore-Conference-leading 13 shutouts.
Tyler Haines, Sr., Point Pleasant Boro – Haines was one of three Shore Conference keepers to deliver exactly 11 shutouts this season and did so while giving up 21 goals in 22 games.
BONUS – Final Fan Vote
During the 2016-17 Shore Conference season, Shore Sports Network is giving the fans a chance to contribute to the list of All-Shore players. Follow the link below to see who the fans and readers chose for the final four All-Shore spots.
Note: An correctin was made on Aedan Boriotti’s season statistics. He allowed 13 goals this season, not 17.