The Shore Conference Tournament will be seeded Monday, which means it’s time to start considering what the field might look like when the bracket is finalized. There are officially 27 teams that have qualified for the tournament, with Matawan beating Red Bank on Sunday night to become the 27th qualifier. The meeting is on Monday and all games played that day will be considered on a given team’s résumé, but the cutoff to reach the .500 mark is Sunday. With 27 teams in the field, the top five seeds will get byes into the round of 16.

For the last few weeks, seven teams have stood out among the pack and that is basically still the case, although Toms River South has played its way into the picture. As a division, Class A South is 4-8-1 in non-divisional matches and its champion was the No. 1 seed last year (Toms River South) and failed to reach the semifinals. In addition, the No. 3 seed (Toms River North) also came from A South and lost in the round of 16 to a No. 19 seed.

On top of sorting through the cluster after No. 8, the top of the field is still not sorted out either and while Shore has done the most to earn the No. 1 seed, that is not a guarantee. Monday's results can still change the picture quite a bit, but we now have a much clearer picture of what the SCT field will look like once the tournment gets underway on Thursday.

 

Updated through games played on Sunday, Oct. 18

1. Shore (15-0, 12-0)

Division Wins: Asbury Park (2), Henry Hudson (2), Mater Dei Prep (2), Ranney (2), St. Rose (2), at Keyport, Point Beach
Division Losses: None
Division Ties: None
Non-Division Wins: Middletown South, Ocean, at Rumson-Fair Haven
Non-Division Losses: None
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: Vs. Keyport
Why They’re Here: Shore's late-game outburst Saturday against Rumson kept the Blue Devils unbeaten and - thanks in part to a topsy-turvy season in A North - stamps them as the team that should be the No. 1 seed in the Shore Conference Tournament. On top of a flawless overall record, Shore also has wins over the Class B North champion (Ocean) and the A Central champion (Rumson). A North is the toughest division and Shore doesn't have a division opponent as tough as Wall or Ocean, but the Blue Devils have done everything possible on their end to get the No. 1.

Matt Thorsheim and CBA have the inside track at the No. 1 seed in next week's Shore Conference Tournament. (Photo by Matt Manley)

2. Christian Brothers Academy (10-3-1, 9-2-1)

Division Wins: Freehold Boro (2), Freehold Twp. (2), Middletown North (2), Howell, Marlboro, at Middletown South
Division Losses: Manalapan (2)
Division Ties: At Marlboro
Non-Division Wins: At Don Bosco
Non-Division Losses: Peddie
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: At Howell
Why They’re Here: A few days ago, it was probably more necessary to explain why CBA is not the No. 1 seed and after a tie against Marlboro, the Colts might be closer to falling to No. 3 than rising to No. 1. Manalapan's loss at Middletown North should make CBA the safest bet for No. 2 as long as the Colts get back on track against Howell. If Manalapan beats Freehold Township Monday, it gets a lot more complicated, because the Braves beat CBA twice and the division schedule won't be over yet. It's true that CBA will win the division outright under those conditions, but it could be hard for the committee to overlook the fact that Manalapan beat CBA twice.

 

3. Freehold Township (8-2-4, 8-2-2)

Division Wins: Howell (2), Middletown North (2), at Freehold Boro, at Manalapan, Marlboro, at Middletown South
Division Losses: CBA (2)
Division Ties: Freehold Boro, Marlboro
Non-Division Wins: None
Non-Division Losses: None
Non-Division Ties: St. Joseph Metuchen, Pennington
Monday Matchup: Vs. Manalapan
Why They’re Here: With two losses to CBA and no chance to clinch the division title until after the cutoff, Freehold Township won't be better than the No. 3. The Patriots would likely fall to No. 5 with a loss to Manalapan and could even drop to No. 6, but no worse than that.

 

4. Manalapan (8-3-2, 8-3-2)

Division Wins: CBA (2), Howell (2), at Freehold Boro, Marlboro, Middletown North, at Middletown South
Division Losses: Freehold Twp., at Marlboro, at Middletown North
Division Ties: Freehold Boro, Middletown South
Non-Division Wins: None
Non-Division Losses: None
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: At Freehold Twp.
Why They’re Here: After beating CBA for a second time this season, the Braves have stumbled twice in a scoreless draw against Freehold Boro and a loss to Middletown North. The two wins over CBA are going to get Manalapan a top five seed, but the Braves might be a reach to go higher than No. 3, although the head-to-head edge over CBA might convince the committee to overlook an inferior division record and bump the Braves ahead of the Colts.

 

5. Ocean (12-3, 11-1)

Division Wins: Colts Neck (2), Long Branch (2), Neptune (2), Red Bank (2), Red Bank Catholic (2), at Wall
Division Losses: Wall
Division Ties: None
Non-Division Wins: Brick
Non-Division Losses: At Shore, Montclair
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: None
Why They’re Here: Manalapan's two wins over CBA make them tough to remove from the No. 4 spot, but if the Braves lose again on Monday, Ocean has a good case to get that potential four-five home game based on a B North championship and a recent win over a Wall team that has surrendered two goals all season. It's almost logical for Ocean to get the better seed than Manalapan just to ensure that quarterfinal game would be on an actual soccer field.

Marlhens Nasanes and Ocean are hoping to rally for a B North title this week and gain momentum heading into the SCT. (Photo by Matt Manley)

 

6. Wall (11-1-2, 9-1-2)

Division Wins: Colts Neck (2), Neptune (2), Red Bank Catholic (2), at Long Branch, at Ocean, Red Bank
Division Losses: Ocean
Division Ties: Long Branch, at Red Bank
Non-Division Wins: St. Rose, Manasquan
Non-Division Losses: None
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: None
Why They’re Here: A loss to Ocean knocks Wall out of the running for a top three seed and with the way CBA has been playing lately, the Crimson Knights might have been the No. 2 if they could have beaten the Spartans. Wall vs. Rumson for the No. 6 is pretty close and Wall gets the edge behind a win over Ocean.

 

7. Rumson-Fair Haven (12-2, 10-1)

Division Wins: Manasquan (2), Monmouth (2), Raritan (2), St. John Vianney (2), Holmdel, at Matawan
Division Losses: At Holmdel
Division Ties: None
Non-Division Wins: At Long Branch, at Red Bank
Non-Division Losses: Shore
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: Vs. Matawan
Why They’re Here: While Wall vs. Rumson is a close argument, Rumson vs. Toms River South is also pretty tight. The Bulldogs don't have a win as good as the one Wall has over Ocean and they also don't have a win as good as the one Toms River South has over Lacey. Rumson also has a loss to Holmdel, so this really is a toss-up, but A Central is a little more solid across the board.

 

8. Toms River South (12-2, 12-1)

Division Wins: Brick (2), Brick Memorial (2), Jackson Memorial (2), Southern (2), Toms River East (2), at Lacey, Toms River North
Division Losses: Lacey
Division Ties: None
Non-Division Wins: None
Non-Division Losses: Holmdel
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: At Toms River North
Why They’re Here: Since losing to Holmdel in its first game of the season, Toms River South’s only loss is to Lacey with three starters missing most of the game due to injury. Toms River South has a case to be ahead of Rumson and perhaps even wall, but with how tight the top of the seeding is, there's not a sizable difference between the No. 5 and the No. 8. Some teams might even prefer to play No. 1 Shore instead of one of the battle-tested A North teams.

 

9. Middletown North (8-6, 7-6)

Division Wins: Howell (2), Marlboro (2), Middletown South (2), Manalapan
Division Losses: CBA (2), Freehold Twp. (2), at Freehold Boro, at Manalapan
Division Ties: None
Non-Division Wins: Holmdel
Non-Division Losses: None
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: Vs. Freehold Boro
Why They're Here: Middletown North is one of the hottest teams in the Shore Conference and is coming off of wins over Marlboro and Manalapan. The Lions also have a win over Holmdel, although Holmdel standout Justin McStay did not play in that game like he did against Toms River South. Head-to-head is a factor though, so that might be enough for Middletown North to get a home game in the round of 16.

 

10. Marlboro (6-5-3, 5-5-3)

Division Wins: Freehold Boro (2), Howell, Manalapan, Middletown South
Division Losses: Middletown North (2), at CBA, at Freehold Twp., at Manalapan
Division Ties: CBA, Freehold Twp., at Howell
Non-Division Wins: Red Bank Catholic
Non-Division Losses: None
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: At Middletown South
Why They’re Here: The Mustangs made up for a 6-0 loss to Middletown North by playing CBA to a scoreless draw on Friday. The Mustangs proved to be a tough out in last year's tournament and the committe should not sleep on Marlboro again this year. For the record, if this seeding comes to pass, the five qualified A North teams will all be ranked in the top 10 and based on this season and the tournament last year, that's not crazy..

 

11. Colts Neck (8-6-1, 6-6-0)

Division Wins: Neptune (2), Red Bank Catholic (2), at Long Branch, Red Bank
Division Losses: Ocean (2), Wall (2), Long Branch, at Red Bank
Division Ties: None
Non-Division Wins: At Brick Memorial, Lacey
Non-Division Losses: None
Non-Division Ties: Holmdel
Monday Matchup: None
Why They’re Here: Colts Neck stumbled to the regular-season finish line with three straight losses to Red Bank, Ocean and Long Branch and with that slide, the Cougars missed out on a chance to play at home in the round of 16. They still have a head-to-head win over Lacey, which keeps them ahead of the Lions heading into the meeting.

 

12. Lacey (12-4, 10-3)

Division Wins: Brick (2), Southern (2), Toms River East (2), Brick Memorial, at Jackson Memorial, at Toms River North, at Toms River South
Division Losses: At Brick Memorial, Toms River North, Toms River South
Division Ties: None
Non-Division Wins: Barnegat, at Jackson Liberty
Non-Division Losses: At Colts Neck
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: Vs. Jackson Memorial
Why They’re Here: Lacey went 1-2 during a challenging week with a chance to earn a top-10 seed and given that they had to play games on back-to-back days against Toms River North and Brick Memorial, followed by an emotional loss to Toms River South, it's certainly understandable. Lacey will still, however, have to prove it can bounce back by beating Jackson Memorial on Monday or else they could be looking at a tough home game in the first round and a potential match against an A North power in round two.

 

13. Point Boro (13-2, 11-2)

Division Wins: Barnegat (2), Jackson Liberty (2), Lakewood (2), Pinelands (2), at Central, Donovan Catholic, at Manchester
Division Losses: Central, at Donovan Catholic
Division Ties: None
Non-Division Wins: North Brunswick, at Spotswood
Non-Division Losses: None
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: Vs. Manchester
Why They’re Here: The Panthers are in line to have four-to-six wins against teams in the field, but the problem for Point Boro will once again be the lack of substance for Class B South outside the division. B South teams are 3-8-1 in non-divisional games and the Panthers have two of them – against a 3-10 North Brunswick team that plays a difficult schedule and an 8-5 Spotswood team that does not. Class A South has also struggled overall, so the Panthers should get the nod over some of the mid-tier A South teams on account of their likely division championship.

 

14. Holmdel (6-5-5, 4-4-4)

Division Wins: St. John Vianney (2), Monmouth, Rumson-Fair Haven
Division Losses: Manasquan, at Matawan, at Monmouth, at Rumson-Fair Haven
Division Ties: Raritan (2), at Manasquan, Matawan
Non-Division Wins: At Toms River South, at Mater Dei Prep
Non-Division Losses: At Middletown North
Non-Division Ties: At Colts Neck
Monday Matchup: None
Why They're Here: Now that Holmdel is in, the Hornets are tough to surpress because of wins over Toms River South and Rumson, as well as a draw against Colts Neck. While every team endures injuries, Holmdel is a special case because the Hornets are 6-1-3 with Justin McStay and 0-3-2 without him. McStay is set to go for the tournament, so the committee should consider the Holmdel team that ran with those top teams rather than the one that lost to Matawan and Monmouth.

 

15. Jackson Memorial (11-4-1, 9-3-1)

Division Wins: Brick (2), Brick Memorial (2), Southern (2), Toms River North (2), Toms River East
Division Losses: Toms River South (2), Lacey
Division Ties: At Toms River East
Non-Division Wins: At Lawrence, Middletown South
Non-Division Losses: Freehold Boro
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: At Lacey
Why They’re Here: A season-sweep of Toms River North is the strength of the Jackson Memorial résumé at this point and the Jaguars will have a chance to boost their own stock against Lacey on the day of the cutoff. It would also help if Toms River North had a strong finish to the regular season by beating Toms River South.

 

16. Donovan Catholic (10-2-2, 10-1-2)

Division Wins: Barnegat (2), Manchester (2), Pinelands (2), Central, at Jackson Liberty, at Lakewood, Point Boro
Division Losses: At Point Boro
Division Ties: At Central, Jackson Liberty
Non-Division Wins: None
Non-Division Losses: East Brunswick
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: Vs. Lakewood
Why They’re Here: Like Point Boro, Donovan Catholic is hurt by a lack of success by its division, but if the Griffins have an edge over Point Boro, it’s that they won the most recent meeting between the teams and their only losses are to 11-2 Point Boro and 10-2-1 East Brunswick. A Lacey win over Jackson Memorial on Monday could give Donovan Catholic a bump up to No. 15.

 

17. Long Branch (8-7-1, 6-5-1)

Division Wins: Red Bank (2), Red Bank Catholic (2), at Colts Neck, Neptune
Division Losses: Ocean (2), Colts Neck, at Neptune, Wall
Division Ties: At Wall
Non-Division Wins: Asbury Park, at Monmouth
Non-Division Losses: Rumson-Fair Haven, Matawan
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: None
Why They're Here: Long Branch was pushed to the edge of the abyss and came storming back with three straight wins to qualify for the tournament. Now that Long Branch is in, a tie against Wall - which included one of the two goals Wall has allowed all season - will be a nice golden star to showcase when jockeying for seeding.

 

18. Toms River North (8-5-1, 8-4-1)

Division Wins: Brick (2), Southern (2), Toms River East (2), Brick Memorial, at Lacey
Division Losses: Jackson Memorial (2), Lacey, at Toms River South
Division Ties: At Brick Memorial
Non-Division Wins: None
Non-Division Losses: Kearny
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: Vs. Toms River South
Why They’re Here: The results have not necessarily been there, but the Mariners have played everyone tough and have a convincing 3-0 win over Lacey to their credit. They also have a recent history of postseason success after a run to the South Jersey Group IV final last year, and while the seeding is supposed to reflect this year’s results, it’s worth keeping in mind that the Mariners could very well beat a top team. If they can beat Toms River South Monday, they will jump a few spots and probably nab a first-round home game.

 

19. Manasquan (9-6-2, 6-4-2)

Division Wins: Monmouth (2), Raritan (2), at Holmdel, Matawan
Division Losses: Rumson-Fair Haven (2), St. John Vianney (2)
Division Ties: Holmdel, at Matawan
Non-Division Wins: at Point Beach, Jackson Liberty, at St. Rose
Non-Division Losses: Neptune, at Wall
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: None
Why They’re Here: Although Manasquan has good results against Holmdel (1-0-1) and finished ahead of the Hornets in the A Central standings, the Warriors don't quite have the top wins to get them a home game. They will be a tough out for someone in the first round and perhaps even the round of 16.

 

20. Central (9-3-2, 9-3-1)

Division Wins: Jackson Liberty (2), Lakewood (2), Manchester (2), at Barnegat, at Pinelands, at Point Boro
Division Losses: Pinelands, Point Boro, Donovan Catholic
Division Ties: Donovan Catholic
Non-Division Wins: None
Non-Division Losses: None
Non-Division Ties: At Toms River East
Monday Matchup: Vs. Barnegat
Why They’re Here: The Golden Eagles have splits with both Pinelands and Point Boro to their credit and went 0-1-1 against Donovan Catholic. In their lone non-division test, Central tied a Toms River East team that has just one win this season, although that was another lightning-shortened game.

 

21. Monmouth (8-8, 5-6)

Division Wins: St. John Vianney (2), Holmdel, Matawan, Raritan
Division Losses: Manasquan (2), Rumson-Fair Haven (2), at Holmdel, at Matawan
Division Ties: None
Non-Division Wins: At Neptune, Mater Dei Prep, at Manchester
Non-Division Losses: Long Branch, Red Bank
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: At Raritan
Why They’re Here: Wins over Holmdel and Neptune give the Falcons a pair of quality wins to climb ahead of St. Rose and they could also make a case to go ahead of Central, although the Golden Eagles have been a little more consistent.

 

22. Matawan (5-5-4, 2-5-4)

Division Wins: At Holmdel, Monmouth
Division Losses: St. John Vianney (2), at Manasquan, at Monmouth, Rumson-Fair Haven
Division Ties: Raritan (2), Holmdel, Manasquan
Non-Division Wins: Manchester, at Long Branch, at Red Bank
Non-Division Losses: None
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: At Rumson-Fair Haven
Why They're Here: Matawan finished well behind Monmouth in the division standings, so the Huskies come in behind the Falcons in the seeding. They do, however, have a couple of solid wins over Holmdel and Long Branch, so they get the nod over St. Rose and Neptune.

 

23. St. Rose (9-6, 9-4)

Division Wins: Asbury Park (2), Keyport (2), Mater Dei Prep (2), Henry Hudson, Point Beach, at Ranney
Division Losses: Shore (2), at Point Beach, Ranney
Division Ties: None
Non-Division Wins: None
Non-Division Losses: At Wall, Manasquan
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: At Henry Hudson
Why They’re Here: The Purple Roses won their more recent meeting with Point Beach, 5-0, but lost their more recent match against Ranney. The Purple Roses gave good efforts in losses to Wall, Manasquan and Shore, but that won't be enough to push for a home game.

 

24. Neptune (9-9, 4-8)

Division Wins: Red Bank Catholic (2), Long Branch, Red Bank
Division Losses: Colts Neck (2), Ocean (2), Wall (2), at Long Branch, at Red Bank
Division Ties: None
Non-Division Wins: At Manasquan, Raritan, Point Beach, Asbury Park, Egg Harbor
Non-Division Losses: Monmouth
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: None
Why They're Here: The Scarlet Fliers battled for a shorthanded win over Egg Harbor Saturday to qualify and now that they are in, Neptune will be a dangerous high seed. Wins over Long Branch, Manasquan and Egg Harbor should serve as examples of Neptune's ability to beat solid teams.

 

25. Ranney (10-4, 9-4)

Division Wins: Asbury Park (2), Henry Hudson (2), Keyport (2), Mater Dei Prep (2), at St. Rose
Division Losses: Shore (2), at Point Beach, at St. Rose
Division Ties: None
Non-Division Wins: At Pinelands
Non-Division Losses: None
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: Vs. Point Beach
Why They’re Here: The Panthers will play in the SCT for the first time this season and have a significant win over Pinelands that will get them away from the last seed and could even help them climb a little higher if they beat Point Beach on the day of the meeting. Although Point Beach won the first meeting, Ranney is a different team with Brendan Wall in the fold.

 

26. Pinelands (8-6, 8-5)

Division Wins: Barnegat (2), Manchester (2), Lakewood (2), at Central, Jackson Liberty
Division Losses: Donovan Catholic (2), Point Boro (2), Central
Division Ties: None
Non-Division Wins: None
Non-Division Losses: Ranney
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: At Jackson Liberty
Why They’re Here: A loss to Ranney leaves the Wildcats in line for one of the last few seeds, but Point Beach's loss to Jackson Liberty gives Pinelands a chance to avoid the last seed as long as the Wildcats can beat Liberty on Monday.

 

27. Point Beach (8-6-1, 8-3-1)

Division Wins: Henry Hudson (2), Keyport (2), Asbury Park, Mater Dei Prep, Ranney, St. Rose
Division Losses: At Asbury Park, at Shore, at St. Rose
Division Ties: At Mater Dei Prep
Non-Division Wins: None
Non-Division Losses: Manasquan, at Neptune, Jackson Liberty
Non-Division Ties: None
Monday Matchup: At Ranney
Why They’re Here: Losses to Asbury Park and Jackson Liberty have dropped Point Beach into the last spot, but the Garnet Gulls can still climb out if they can beat Ranney for a second time this season on Monday.

 

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