Boys Soccer – 2016 Class B South Preview
Class B South has had some of the more entrenched rivalries in the Shore Conference in recent years because the same handful of teams are annually near the top of the standings. One of those regulars, however, has moved out of the division, as Central Regional moved into Class A South as part of the latest Shore Conference realignment.
The other two regular contenders – Donovan Catholic and Point Pleasant Boro – are left to do battle for the B South title after the two tied for the championship last season, but there are two teams that will give those two plenty of trouble. Lacey comes into A South off a second-place finish in A South last year, albeit behind a senior standout who is no longer in high school. Pinelands, meanwhile, might have its best team ever, or at least in recent memory.
It’s true that Donovan Catholic and Point Boro will again be among the class of the division, but the addition of Lacey and this particular Pinelands team will make sure they don’t get too lonely.
In predicted order of finish
Head Coach: Ken Oliver, 16th season
2015 Record: 12-5-3 (11-1-2, tied first in B South)
Returning: Matt Dalton (Sr., Forward), Justin Alves (Sr., Forward), Kevin Dillon (Sr., Midfield/Forward), Bryce Grant (Sr., Defense), Jon Michael Pereira (Sr., Midfield), Hunter Calveto (Sr., Defense), Ryan Acosta (Sr., Midfield/Defense), Brendan Maguire (Sr., Midfield), John McEvoy (Sr., Midfield), Branden McCurnin (Sr., Defense), Joe Mendes (Sr., Midfield), Pat Trahan (Sr., Defense), Dom Polcino (Sr., Goalkeeper), Oliver Nora (Jr., Midfield/Forward), E.J. Lucas (Jr., Defense/Midfield), Anthony Scotto (Jr., Midfield/Forward)
Key Losses: Alec Mapoy (Midfield), Brant Reymann (Midfield/Defense), Nick Kriticos (Midfield/Forward), Jake Mulvaney (Forward), Tom Swanson (Midfield), Evan Root (Goalkeeper)
Newcomers: Youngchul Shin (Sr., Forward), Sawyer Conrad (Jr., Midfield), Cristiaan Dailey (Jr., Defense), Eric Guarino (Jr., Midfield), Nick Maalouf (Jr., Defense)
Last year had a little bit of everything for Donovan Catholic: the Griffins got off to a shaky start, moved one of their best field players to goal because of an injury, took off and rallied to win a share of the division title, lost a first-round home game in the Shore Conference Tournament, barely survived an NJSIAA tournament home game against one-win Red Bank Catholic, then nearly beat defending South Jersey Non-Public A champion Notre Dame in the sectional quarterfinals. The roller coaster ended with a 12-5-3 mark that included a division title and a group of juniors ready to take over the team and raise the bar in 2016.
Donovan Catholic’s deep Class of 2017 will be the bedrock of this season’s team, led by senior forward Matt Dalton, who scored 18 goals a year ago. Kevin Dillon will be another scoring threat after he took over in goal when starter Evan Root went down with an injury early in the schedule. Senior midfielder Jon Michael Pereira also pitched in a five-goal season as a facilitator in the middle of the field. Senior Bryce Grant leads a defense that will also include Hunter Calveto, Ryan Acosta, Branden McCurnin, Pat Trahan and junior E.J. Lucas. Lucas is one of three juniors who played last year, as midfielders Oliver Nora and Anthony Scotto each saw time.
Senior Dom Polcino takes over in goal to allow Dillon to move back into the field and give the Griffins a little more stability this season. This is not a complete lineup that returns, but it’s an experienced one that has a lot of creativity and a chance to be very balanced. As far as B South teams go, it’s the deepest roster on paper, which gives the Griffins the inside track to win the division and hit the postseason on a high note.
Point Pleasant Boro
Head Coach: Pete Casalino, 12th season
2015 Record: 15-3-1 (12-2-0, tied first in B South)
Returning: Mason Remondelli (Sr., Midfield), Nick Duda (Sr., Defense), Tyler Haines (Sr., Goalkeeper), Matt Moran (Jr., Defense), Leo Schnappauf (Jr., Forward), Matt Kimak (Sr., Forward), Chris Bragen (Sr., Midfield), Jake Brzyski (Jr., Midfield)
Key Losses: Nick DeCurtis (Sr., Forward), Sam Monaco (Sr., Forward), Mason Pitts (Sr., Defense), Alex Stupar (Sr., Midfield), Mason Weingarten (Sr., Midfield),
Newcomers: Ian Knapp (Sr., Forward), Ryan Wilkins (Sr., Midfield), Jimmy Yochim (Jr., Midfield), Cormac McCabe (So., Midfield), Liam Kirinovic (So., Midfield), Alex Herrman (So., Midfield), Mo Maradiegues (Fr., Midfield), Christian D’Amato (Fr., Midfield)
Point Boro lost the two players that scored the vast majority of their goals last season, but losing players like Sam Monaco and Mason Pitts to graduation has never stopped the Panthers from turning around and competing without missing a beat. Coach Pete Casalino’s system has allowed him to plug-and-play year after year and it ends up producing some quality players. Among this year’s returning talent, senior midfielder Mason Remondelli and senior sweeper Nick Duda are the standouts, with Duda coming off an all-division year as a defender and Remondelli dishing out a team-high 11 assists.
The Panthers also bring back a quality keeper in senior Tyler Haines, who was a steady presence while notching 10 shutouts. The Haines-Duda combination will make Point Boro a tough team to crack in the back this year, even more so considering that junior Matt Moran is also back. Moran carved out a role as a marking back last year and can be used in a few different ways as a defender.
As for the offense, junior Leo Schnappauf saw significant time going forward and will be called upon to play up top this season along with seniors Matt Kimak and Ian Knapp. Senior Chris Bragen and junior Jake Brzyski also join the lineup with some varsity time to their credit, while the rest of the midfield contribution will come from a host of incoming sophomores and freshmen, as well as senior Ryan Wilkins and junior Jimmy Yochim. The Panthers routinely rely on depth, and catching up the long list of newcomers quickly enough to make them comfortable will be an early-season key for the Panthers.
Head Coach: Jason Asche, eighth season
2015 Record: 11-7-1 (9-5-0, fourth in B South)
Returning: Matt O’Connell (Sr., Midfield/Forward), Jordan Humphreys (Sr., Forward), Corey Cusack (Sr., Defense), Cade Sundermann (Jr., Defense/Midfield), Denilson Salgado (Sr., Midfield)
Key Losses: Billy Sulzmann (Midfield), Austin Hart (Midfield), Hyatt Yilmaz (Defense), Donovan Duelly (Defense), Dave Lunn (Goalkeeper)
Newcomers: Brian Keleher (Sr., Goalkeeper), Kieran Sundermann (So., Midfield), Aneillo Lubrano (So., Midfield), Dom DeSantos (So., Forward)
While Pinelands has not been the annual contender that Donovan or Point Boro have, the Wildcats have had waves of success that typically build up over a three-year period. None of those, however, have yielded a division title and that is something that this year’s team would like to amend. As compared to Donovan Catholic and Point Boro, depth, both as an overall roster and the talent of players six through 11, might be a mountain to overcome for Pinelands, but the Wildcats absolutely have the top talent to win B South this year.
Senior Matt O’Connell was an All-Shore forward as a junior behind his 19 goals and 12 assists. Fellow seniors Denilson Salgado (10 goals) and Jordan Humphreys (seven) are also proven scorers and provide the Wildcats with three dangerous players on the attack. One of the keys for coach Jason Asche will be to keep defenses on their heels with those three working at them while also protecting against the counter, where Pinelands might be susceptible. Fortunately for the Cats, they return a pair of defenders in senior Corey Cusack and junior Cade Sundermann who keep the backline functional at the very least and very good at its best.
Pinelands’ biggest challenge will be replacing a pair of midfielders and getting as much out of new goalkeeper Brian Keleher as it did out of Dave Lunn. Keleher has been waiting behind Lunn, so this opportunity is a chance to showcase himself on a team that has designs on winning some hardware in 2016. The top of the roster is unquestionably good enough to contend for the B South title and if the pieces fit around O’Donnell, Pinelands could end up crashing the party.
Head Coach: Rob Biele, third season
2015 Record: 17-6 (11-3, second in A South)
Returning: Andrew Strohmetz (Sr., Defense), Kevin Miller (Jr., Defense), Dylan Fielder (Jr., Midfield), Luke Moynihan (Jr., Midfield), Kip Byrne (So., Forward), Evan Olawianny (Sr., Defense), Reilly Hunt (Jr., Forward), Will Rose (Sr., Midfield)
Key Losses: Robert Biele (Midfield), Hunter Dorsey (Forward), George Gartner (Defense), Bobby Considine (Goalkeeper), Nick Calarco (Defense), Garrett Hope (Midfield), Dakota Donnelly (Midfield), Sam Moynihan (Defense)
Newcomers: Jordan Rensel (Sr., Goalkeeper), Young Jin Kim (Sr., Defense), Matt Irizzary (So., Midfield), Ryan MacAvoy (Jr., Midfield), Paul Hill (Sr., Defense), Chris Calcara (Sr., Midfield), Brendan Shenowsk (Sr., Forward), Will Mass (Sr., Midfield), Joel Roig (So., Forward), Mie Cyphers (Fr., Forward), Dan Bentley (So., Defense), Dylan Vitale (So., Defense)
Out of all the teams in B South, Lacey is the absolute wild card in every way possible. First of all, the Lions are the new team after shifting over from Class A South in the latest Shore Conference realignment. Secondly, they join B South with a roster that lost 51 of its 70 goals from a year ago to graduation – 40 of them from two players – and must replace a goalkeeper and a sweeper as well. Most years, one might look at the Lions and conclude they need a year to reload and come back strong in 2017, but a team that is used to battling in Class A South might have the chops to overcome the lost production and make a run.
For Lacey to pull off the feat, the obvious first step is to figure out who can score goals and how to score them. The who portion of the question could be answered by a few returnees, led by juniors Reilly Hunt and Dylan Fiedler, as well as sophomore Kip Byrne. Those three combined for 10 goals and starting defenders Andrew Strohmetz and Kevin Miller each chipped in two. With the way Lacey wants to move the ball, the offense will likely be more circumstantial than design, resulting in a more balanced scoring attack, but there are some potential scorers there. There is a possibility Lacey finds the formula, but the Lions are playing from behind with everything they have to replace.
Head Coach: Brett Mallinson, fourth season
2015 Record: 8-10-1 (6-7-1, fifth in B South)
Returning: Alex Iorio (Sr., Midfield), Nate Santana (Sr., Midfield), Trevor Anderson (Jr., Midfield), Kyle Macauley (Sr., Defense), Riley Fanholz (So., Goalkeeper), Matt Campbell (Jr., Defense), Kevin Garry (Jr., Midfield), Lars Edeen (So., Defense), Evan Salaj (Sr., Midfield), Sebastian Navarro (Jr., Forward)
Key Losses: Brandon Pirog (Forward/Defense), Bryan Garry (Midfield), Morgan Barkley (Midfield), Nick Pellegrino (Defense), Zach Moran (Defense), Kyle Macauley (Sr., Defense),
Newcomers: Lukas Talalaj (So., Forward)
At the end of last season, Jackson Liberty bid farewell to the the best four-year player in the history of the program. Brandon Pirog scored 43 goals over his four-year career and was the type of player that would have been a top guy at just about any program in the Shore Conference. Players like that are not easy to replace, especially for a smaller program like Jackson Liberty that is going to lean on its top two or three players most years. Factor in the graduation of Bryan Garry, Morgan Barkley and Nick Pellegrino and the Lions have some work to do.
Alex Iorio and Kevin Garry return as the top goal producers for Jackson Liberty, while Nate Santana, Trevor Anderson and Evan Salaj each scored three last year. Kyle Macauley, Lars Edeen and Matt Campbell are three defenders on the back line, which will play in front of sophomore keeper Riley Fanholz. As a freshman, Fanholz took over the job early in the year and nailed down a pair of shutouts. The defense will have to be sharp with goal-scoring being at a premium, but there is enough ability on hand for the Lions to give the teams in the top half of the projections trouble.
Head Coach: Mike McCullion, ninth season
2015 Record: 4-15 (3-11, tied sixth in B South)
Returning: Ryan Flaherty (Jr., Forward), Sean Moran (Sr., Midfield), Chad Fraser (Jr., Defense), Jake Tompkins (Sr., Defense), Nico Veneziano (Sr., Defense), Avery Boyer (Sr., Forward), Ricky Norman (So., Forward), Corey Branz (Jr., Midfield)
Key Losses: Max Ritner (Goalkeeper), Kyle Heidel (Midfield), Brandon Spain (Midfield), Cameron Lew (Defense), Reese Hardy (Midfield)
Newcomers: Jimmy Pari (Jr., Midfield), Ramone Davis (Sr., Forward), Kyle Smith (So., Defense)
With some underclass talent, Barnegat brings some intrigue into the B South season. The Bengals have struggled to make an impact in recent years, but they have been tough in some isolated games and have been a tough out in the state tournament several times. This team could round into that form as the season progresses thanks to some young guns who can put the ball in the net.
Ryan Flaherty burst on the scene as a freshman with nine goals but missed time as a sophomore last year. Sophomore Ricky Norman picked up the slack as a freshman by scoring five times. Norman and Flaherty will form a tandem up top that will be tough to handle when they do get an attack going. Senior Avery Boyer will also work in up top after scoring four goals last season. Midfielders Sean Moran, Corey Branz and Jimi Pari will try to set those three up while Nico Veneziano, Chad Fraser and Jake Tompkins anchor the defense. That defense will likely be the key, because if Barnegat can get its forward some space, the Bengals should put some goals on the board this year.
Head Coach: Gene Drumright, 16th season
2015 Record: 4-13 (3-11, tied sixth in B South)
Possible Returnees: Moises Galvan (So., Goalkeeper), Anthony Calixto (Jr., Forward), Gio Hernandez (So., Midfield), Gustavo Camacho (So., Defense), Japhet Compollo (Jr., Defense), Gilberto Giordano (So., Midfield), Apolinar Grande (Jr., Midfield), Omar Perez-Hernandez (Jr., Defense), Roberto Wauthion (Sr., Defense)
Key Losses: Brendan Belen (Midfield), Eduardo Castillo (Forward),
Key Newcomers: Augustin Lopez (Fr., Defense), Jersey Salazar-Sanchez (Fr., Midfield), Jonathan Toichihuitl (Fr., Forward), Nathanael Wharlton (Fr., Forward), Jorge Araiza (So., Midfield), Junior Bravo-Ortego (So., Midfield)
Anthony Calixto proved to be a solid scorer and the Piners will hope he can build on his 2015 sophomore season. Sophomore goalkeeper Moises Galvan was solid in his debut as a freshman and will be part of a young Lakewood nucleus that will be tough on both ends of the field.
Head Coach: Ed Hudak, third season
2015 Record: 0-19 (0-14, eighth in B South)
Returning: Stephen Hudak (Sr., Defense), Albert Millan (Sr., Defense), John Dolan (Sr., Midfield/Defense), John Constantine (Jr., Defense), Jordan Finkle (Jr., Midfield/Forward), Milan Kleva (Jr., Midfield), Devin Ortiz (Jr., Midfield), Jacob Panora (Sr., Defense/Midfield), Eyup Yildirim (Sr., Midfield), Tim Burns (Jr., Defense), Francesco D’Amato (Jr., Midfield)
Key Losses: Dom Gregg (Forward), Ryan Dolan (Defense), Dylan Barry (Midfield/Defense), Brandon Moreno (Midfield), Ryan Vanderham (Defense), Colton Peck (Goalkeeper), Matt Migliaccio (Defense)
Newcomers: Matt Brennan (Sr., Midfield/Forward), Eduardo Castillo (Sr., Midfield), John Buss (Sr., Forward), Ethan Mil (Sr., Defense/Forward), Jarvas Smith (Sr., Midfield), Keith Chinnery (Jr., Goalkeeper), Nick Ortense (Jr., Forward)
It has been a long two years at Manchester but third-year coach Ed Hudak is optimistic his first career win will come early in the 2016 season. Hudak took over a struggling program that has bottomed out over the past two seasons by going a combined 0-37-1. It will just take one win for the tide to turn, but to really make ways, the Hakws will have to put some wins together this season.
With very little scoring last year, John Dolan, Devin Ortiz and Jordan KInkle return as the only players with two goals or more. Dolan tallied a team-best three and will be the leader of the team this year as it looks to end a 40-game winless streak. Senior Albert Milan will help lead the defense and the Hawks will draw turn to a number of senior newcomers to go with junior Nick Ortense and junior goalkeeper Keith Chinnery, It’s only a matter of time before Manchester breaks up the losing streak and this looks like the year the misery could end.
XI to Watch (2015 Stats)
Matt Dalton, Donovan Catholic (18 goals, 9 assists)
Kevin Dillon, Donovan Catholic (2 goals, 3 assists)
Matt O’Connell, Pinelands (19 goals, 12 assists)
Denilson Salgado, Pinelands (10 goals, 5 assists)
Jordan Humphreys, Pinelands (7 goals, 4 assists)
Mason Remondelli, Point Boro (2 goals, 11 assists)
Nick Duda, Point Boro
Kip Byrne, Lacey (3 goals, 5 assists)
Ryan Flaherty, Barnegat (9 goals, 2 assists in 2014)
Alex Iorio, Jackson Liberty (5 goals, 2 assists)
Anthony Calixto, Lakewood (4 goals)
Goalkeepers to Watch
Tyler Haines, Point Boro (10 shutouts)
Brian Keleher, Pinelands
Riley Fanholz, Jackson Liberty (2 shutouts)
Breakout Players to Watch
Leo Schnappauf, Point Boro (1 goal)
Oliver Nora, Donovan Catholic (1 assist)
Dylan Fiedler, Lacey (2 goals, 5 assists)