The latest Shore Conference realignment threw the Class B Central race wide open, as the divisional shifts moved Shore Regional out of the division it has dominated the past two years and into Class A Central. St. Rose, Ranney and Point Beach all have a chance to have one of their better teams in a while – Ranney in a long while – and Keyport looks to be the best it has been in its short history. Those teams might have actually liked to have a crack at Shore this year, but it’s likely the Blue Devils still would have been the favorite.

It’s not as though St. Rose and Point Beach have not been competitive before the realignment. The Purple Roses tied Shore two years ago and Point Beach won the division outright in 2013. Recent winning traditions at those programs, Ranney’s emergence and Shore’s exit make the B Central race arguably the most interesting one as the season gets underway.

In predicted order of finish

St. Rose

Head Coach: Brian Pringle, third season
2015 Record: 12-7-1 (10-4-0, second in B Central)
Returning: Sean Breuche (Sr., Midfield), Jack Cusack (Sr., Midfield), Anthony Demaio (Sr., Midfield), Patrick Gates (Sr., Goalkeeper), Matty O’Malley (Sr., Midfield), Billy Tencza (Sr., Defense), Dan Clayton (Sr., Defense), Ethan Bodine (Jr., Forward), Chris Gowen (Sr., Forward), Ethan Tombs (Jr., Midfield), Michael Youschak (Jr., Defense), Jonathan Caputo (So., Defense), Matt Forlenza (So., Defense), Brian DiPasquale (Sr., Goalkeeper)
Key Losses: Connor Cusack (Sr., Forward), Enrique Barreda (Sr., Defense), Brendan Smith (Sr., Forward), Mike Gowen (Sr., Midfield), Jeff Mahon (Sr., Defense)
Newcomers: Brendan Hueth (Sr., Forward), Dave Calloway (Jr., Forward)

On the one hand, St. Rose could greatly benefit from Shore Regional leaving the division, but on the other, the Purple Roses might like a shot at Shore this season. After all, they tied Shore two years ago and bring back their best roster since winning the NJSIAA Non-Public B championship in 2010. Statistically speaking, St. Rose was a good goal-scoring team last season, with 52 goals in 20 games, but could not score in non-divisional games against Wall and Manasquan. As the season progressed, however, the Roses began to find the net against better competition, dropping a 2-1 game against Shore, scoring three against Middletown North in an SCT overtime loss and beating a quality Donovan Catholic team 1-0.

On the flip side, the season ended with a penalty-kick loss to Ranney after a scoreless draw, so there is a mesh of upbeat motivation and a need for redemption at the same time. The goal-scoring should be an improved aspect of the team and could even be a strength relative to the rest of the Shore Conference. Senior midfielders Jack Cusack, Matty O’Malley and Anthony DeMaio handled most of the scoring last season and will have some more help up top this year. Senior Brendan Hueth returns to the program after taking a year off to focus on baseball and will look to pick up where he left off when he scored six goals and six assists as a sophomore. He will be part of a forward rotation that also includes Chris Gowen, Dave Calloway and Ethan Bodine, the latter of whom is a big, physical, left-footed target who creates plenty of chances.

Senior Sean Breuche will also play in the midfield for the Roses and link up to a back four that includes senior center back Billy Tencza, senior Dan Clayton and sophomores Matt Forlenza and Jonathan Caputo. Senior goalkeeper Patrick Gates is also back in net, giving the Purple Roses experience at nearly every spot. Class B Central will provide St. Rose will some resistance, but the Roses are back to playing the role of favorite, and it has as much to do with who is back for the Roses as it does with which team is not back in B Central this year.

Photo by Matt Manley

Ranney

Head Coach: Austin Alvarado, first season
2015 Record: 13-8-1 (9-5-0, fourth in B Central)
Returning: Brendan Wall (Sr., Forward), Shane Keenan (Sr., Midfield), Ian Dobrzynski (Sr., Forward), Noah Ayers (Sr., Goalkeeper), Ademola Odunlami (So., Midfield), Asher Kraut (Sr., Defense), Marc Greenstein (Jr., Defense), Austin Dobrynski (Sr., Midfield), Sawyer Howard (Jr., Defense), Greg Marx (Sr., Defense), Greyson Kellner (So., Midfield), Alec Goldberger (Sr., Defense)
Key Losses: James Geraghty (Midfield/Defense), Mo Odunlami (Forward), Jazz Henry (So., Forward)

It might have flown under the radar because Ranney did not finish in the final 2015 top 10, but the Panthers had a banner year for the boys soccer program. They went 13-8-1 for their best finish as member of the Shore Conference, they took a lead into the final 20 minutes of an SCT road game against Rumson, and they beat St. Rose on the road in penalty kicks to advance to the program’s first ever sectional final.

If a landmark season wasn't good enough news, the Panthers return nearly its entire roster from 2015 and will have senior forward Brendan Wall for a full year. Wall transferred from Holmdel last year, sat for the first 30 days of the season and spent his short time on the field developing a chemistry with his new team. With an entire offseason, Wall will join a formation that returns three players who scored at least 10 goals in senior midfielder Shane Keenan (10), sophomore midfielder AO Odunlami (10) and senior striker Ian Dobrzynski (13).

Senior defender Asher Kraut also found the net seven times last year and will set up in the back with senior center back Austin Dobrzynski, senior Greg Marx and juniors Marc Greenstein and Sawyer Howard. Senior goalkeeper Noah Ayers is also back for the Panthers, which gives Ranney a very similar crop of returning talent compared to St. Rose. Point Beach will have something to say about it, but this season has the look of a non-public battle for the top spot.

 

Point Pleasant Beach

Head Coach: Mike Baiata, fifth season
2015 Record: 11-9-1 (9-4-1, third in B Central)
Returning: Connor Prima (Sr., Midfield), Anthony Decraene (Sr., Midfield), Mike Ciorlian (Jr., Midfield/Forward), Danny Savage (Jr., Forward), Jeremy Tombs (Sr., Defense), Jake Laduca (Jr., Defense), Andrew Garrow (Jr., Midfield), Ki Costa (So., Midfield), Ryan Hanrahan (Sr., Defense), Zhenis Smith (Sr., Midfield/Forward)
Key Losses: Joe Laduca (Defense), Jack McDonald (Midfield), Nick Antognoli (Midfield/Forward), Ryan Franzoni (Goalkeeper), Johan Rosa (Midfield/Forward), Aris Papoutsakis (Jr., Forward)
Newcomers: George Kaiafas (Fr., Forward), Max Alia (So., Defense), Luke Marcoux (So., Defense/Midfield), Ryan Brodeur (So., Midfield/Defense), Alex Atno (So., Forward), Eric Monticello (So., Goalkeeper), Adam DiPasquale (So., Defense), Connor O’Brien (Jr., Midfield)

The last time Class B Central turned into a wide open race, Point Beach pounced on the opportunity and won the outright title in 2013. The Garnet Gulls have the kind of team that could do the same in 2016, as they return seven starters from a year ago with plenty of players who played a high volume of varsity minutes. If there are any question marks, they are at the extremes of the formation: goalkeeper Ryan Franzoni graduated, while 17-goal striker Aris Papoutsakis transferred out of the program.

Despite the losses, Point Beach has plenty of goal-scoring returning and some potential for even more. Junior Danny Savage scored nine goals as a sophomore, while sophomore Mike Ciorlian, senior Anthony Decraene and senior Connor Prima scored six, five and four goals, respectively. Ciorlian will play up top with Savage, Decraene will man the central midfield and Prima will play on the outside. Sophomore Ki Costa will get the starting nod in the center midfield after a five-goal freshman season.

Senior center back Jeremy Tombs will captain a defense that also returns junior Jack Laduca. The back of the formation will be key for the Garnett Gulls as sophomore Eric Monticello settles into the varsity goalkeeper position. In some years, Point Beach’s returning group might be enough to make the Garnet Gulls the favorite in B Central, and even with strong units at St. Rose and Ranney, Point Beach has to be considered in the thick of things.

 

Keyport

Head Coach: Brendan Hilliard, third season
2015 Record: 5-15 (4-10, seventh in B Central)
Returning: Brendan O’Brien (Sr., Midfield), Gadiel Escobar (Sr., Midfield/Forward), Alex Castro (Sr., Forward/Midfield), Cameron Bright (Sr., Midfield/Defense), Ricardo Velasco (Jr., Goalkeeper/Forward), Noah Geraghty (Jr., Defense), Matt Ayala (Jr., Goalkeeper/Defense), Anthony Rosa (Jr., Midfield), Henry Martinez (So., Forward), Zach Budd (So., Defense), Mark Rivera (So., Defense/Midfield), Yordy Castro (So., Forward)
Key Losses: Ken Harrigan (Goalkeeper)
Newcomers: Ryan Bartlett (Jr., Midfield/Defense), William Jimenez (So., Midfield), Tyler Maher (Fr., Defense), Jared Sheridan (Fr., Midfield) Breandian Greene (Fr., Midfield), Angelo Medrigal (Fr., Defense), Sal Tornetto (Fr., Defense), Nate Smith (Fr., Defense), Josh Vazquez (Fr., Forward), Adan Martinez (Fr., Goalkeeper), Elliot Gerhard (Fr., Forward)

Three years into their existence as a varsity program, Keyport gears up for what it hopes will be a breakout year. With St. Rose, Ranney and Point Beach returning strong rosters, it will be difficult for Keyport to take their best year and turn it into a public division title, but at the very least, it should be the Red Raiders’ highest finish and should include a more competitive body of work.

Senior Brendan O’Brien returns as the division’s leading scorer, having struck for 22 goals as a junior. Those 22 tallies accounted for all but six of Keyport’s goals last year, so one of the main challenges for Keyport will be to develop second and third scoring options. Seniors Gadiel Escobar and Alex Castro are among the candidates to fill that need, as are sophomore forward Henry Martinez and Yordy Castro and junior midfielder Antony Rosa.

Another challenge for Keyport is keeping the opposition from scoring like O’Brien does. The Red Raiders surrendered a whopping 4.4 goals per game, so cleaning up the play in the back will be a priority. Senior Cameron Bright will be a key cog in that effort, as will junior Matt Ayala and sophomores Mark Rivera and Zach Budd. The Red Raiders have the No. 1 scoring option to build around and with most of the field back from last year, they have enough bodies to find a combination that works.

 

Asbury Park

Head Coach: Jean Dortisant, 10th season
2015 Record: 5-12 (5-9, fifth in B Central)
Returning: Davensky Joinvilmar (Jr., Forward), Fenelson Etienne (Sr., Forward), Fradlet Etienne (Sr., Defense), Shown Narcisse (Jr., Defense), Widmaier Beaubrun (Jr., Midfield), Joey Johnson (Sr., Goalkeeper), Eben Landau (Sr., Defense), Jordi Gonzalez (So., Defense), Jonathan Desulme (So., Defense), Stanley Desulme (Jr., Midfield)
Key Losses: Woodjerry Cetoute (Midfield)
Newcomers: Roslett Etienne (Sr., Midfield), Stevenson Jean Baptiste (Jr., Forward), Osner Pierre (Jr., Forward), Wenderlen Garius (So., Defense), Ronald Jean Vilma (Sr., Defense), Steven Jordain (Jr., Midfield), Rendondo Aime (Jr., Midfield), Oswalda Garcia (Jr., Defense), Marco Solis (So., Forward)

Like Keyport, the Blue Bishops return a go-to scoring option in Davensky Joinvilmar, although he did not score at the same pace that O’Brien did. Joinvilmar followed up an eight-goal freshman season with six goals last year as he adjusted to life as the central focus of the defense’s efforts. Asbury Park got good seasons out of Widmaier Beaubrun, Eben Landau, Shown Narcisse and goalkeeper Joey Johnson, all of whom return this year. Beauburn scored three goals, Landau put in five and Narcisse scored one while spending the year as a defender.

Johnson, meanwhile was tested often and will likely have to remain on his toes this year in a division with plenty of goal-scorers. Sophomore defenders Jordi Gonzalez and Jonathan Dasulme will help out now that freshman year is behind them and Fradlet Etienne will be another big piece in the defensive picture. With some offensive potential on hand, staying strong in the back and in the midfield will be essential for Asbury Park as the Blue Bishops pursue a top-four finish in the division.

 

Mater Dei Prep

Head Coach: Justin Meehan, second season
2015 Record: 4-15-1 (4-9-1, sixth in B Central)
Returning: Sean Molicki (Sr., Midfield/Forward), Luke Lino (Sr., Defense), Liam Petry (Sr., Midfield/Defense), Sean Krueger (Sr., Midfield), Ryan Baird (Jr., Goalkeeper), Bobby Bialkowski (Jr., Midfield)
Key Losses: Nic Geneve (Midfield), Matheus Giaculi (Defense), Peter Cahill (Defense), Ryan Nortz (Defense), Lucas Durante (Midfield), Lorenzo Perez (Defense), Matt Wojciechowski (Defense), Oscar Ayllon (Midfield), Phil Cantave (Forward),
Newcomers: A.J. Bruney (Fr., Forward), Kyle Dowlen (Sr., Forward), Matt Carrigy (Jr., Midfield), Pat Mastero (Fr., Defense), Andy Lin (Jr.)

In many ways, Mater Dei has an answer for some of the goal-scoring specialists in the B Central division. The Seraphs conceded possession and shots frequently last year, but goalkeeper Ryan Baird was up to the task in a number of games, including in a 0-0 tie against Point Pleasant Beach. Baird is arguably the top keeper in the division considering all of the action he has to turn away and the junior will be at the center of any success Mater Dei has this year.

On most days, however, all the shots were too much with which to contend and Mater Dei gave up 70 goals in 20 games. On top of that, the Seraphs don’t have a proven goal-scoring threat to capitalize on a good day in goal, although players like Sean Molicki, Sean Kruger, Bobby Bialkowski, Matt Carrigy and freshman A.J. Bruney are working on fixing that. With the perennial contenders bringing so much back and Keyport and Asbury Park boasting more potent attacks, this won’t be the easiest year to retool in B Central.

 

Henry Hudson

Head Coach: Matt Mancini, first season
2015 Record: 0-15-1 (0-14-0, eighth in B Central)
Returning: Brendan Carlstrom (Sr., Goalkeeper), Ethan Kelley (Sr., Defense), Josh Pinhas (Sr., Defense), Tom Colantino (Sr., Midfield), Odrhan King (So., Forward), Wind Levybensetton (So., Midfield), Michael McCahon (So., Defense), Liam Hagan (So., Midfield), Jason Gonzalez (So., Forward), Alejandro Santuiste (So., Forward), Jack Sanders (Sr., Midfield)
Key Losses: David Fitzgerald (Midfield)
Newcomers: Barrett Bremekamp (So., Defense), Casey Haupt (Fr., Defense), Blaise Cauvin (Fr., Midfield), Aiden Casey (Fr., Midfield), Thomas Doherty (Fr., Defense), Chris Smith (So., Defense)

The Admirals have a long way to go in B Central and this will be a difficult year to make up ground. Like Mater Dei, they have a quality keeper in Brendan Carlstrom who sees more than his fair share of action over the course of 80 minutes. First-year coach Matt Mancini is working toward developing some relief in the field, starting with the defense in front of Carlstrom, led by senior sweeper Ethan Kelley with a mix of sophomores and freshman around him.

Henry Hudson scored three goals all of last year and senior midfielder Tom Colantino scored two of them. He returns with senior Jack Sanders and sophomores Wind Levybensetton and Liam Hagan, while sophomores Odrhan King, Jason Gonzalez and Alejandro Santuiste make up the group of returning forwards. In a top-heavy B Central, the Admirals will look to made progress by competing with Matter Dei, Asbury Park and Keyport and if that happens, Henry Hudson will have taken a nice first step in the rebuilding process.

 

XI to Watch (2015 Stats)

Jack Cusack, St. Rose (8 goals, 9 assists)

Matty O’Malley, St. Rose (7 goals, 5 assists)

Anthony Demaio, St. Rose (7 goals, 2 assists)

Brendan Hueth, St. Rose (6 goals, 6 assists in 2014)

Brendan Wall, Ranney (3 goals, 3 assists)

Shane Keenan, Ranney (10 goals, 5 assists)

Ian Dobrzynski, Ranney (13 goals, 8 assists)

Danny Savage, Point Beach (9 goals, 7 assists)

Connor Prima, Point Beach (4 goals, 5 assists)

Brendan O’Brien, Keyport (22 goals)

Davensky Joinvilmar, Asbury Park (6 goals, 1 assist)

 

Goalkeepers to Watch

Noah Ayers, Ranney (9 shutouts)

Patrick Gates, St. Rose (11 shutouts)

Ryan Baird, Mater Dei Prep (3 shutouts)

 

Breakout Players to Watch

Ethan Bodine, St. Rose (5 goals, 1 assist)

Joey Johnson (GK), Asbury Park (2 shutouts)

Ki Costa, Point Beach (5 goals, 3 assists)

 

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