Boys Soccer – 2019 All-Shore Team
2019 Shore Sports Network Boys Soccer All-Shore Team
Selected by Soccer Editor Matt Manley based on input from coaches, stats and first-hand accounts.
*Scroll to the bottom of the post for the All-Shore Final Vote*
Zach Orrico, Jr., Freehold Township
2019 Totals: 17 goals, 10 assists
Postseason Totals: 5 goals, 2 assists
The Shore Sports Network Player of the Year, Orrico enjoyed a standout season from start-to-finish, but was at his best in the biggest games. The junior forward was the driving force of Freehold Township’s run to a fourth Shore Conference Tournament championship and first since 2014. Orrico scored five goals with two assists in the Patriots’ five SCT wins, including two goals and a penalty-kick conversion against Manasquan in the championship game – which Freehold Township won via a shootout. Orrico also scored in his team’s lone NJSIAA Tournament game – a 2-1, overtime loss to Long Branch in the Central Jersey Group IV first round.
Read more about Orrico’s decorated junior season in his 2019 Player of the Year Profile.
Jack Giamanco, Sr., Holmdel
2019 Totals: 22 goals, 3 assists
Postseason Totals: 3 goals, 2 assists
As a junior in 2018, Giamanco burst onto the scene with 23 goals for a Holmdel team that went 22-0-1 and won its second straight NJSIAA Group II championship. Despite leading the No. 1 team in the state in scoring, Giamanco flew under the radar with teammates like Anthony and Joe Arena, as well as defender Jack Russo. This year marked a chance for Giamanco to prove he is much more than a benefactor of other players and he passed the test with flying colors by leading the Shore Conference in scoring – both in goals (22) and total points (47).
As a team, Holmdel also proved it was still one of the Shore’s best teams despite graduating eight starters from its decorated 2018 squad. The Hornets won the Class A Central title and finished an unbeaten 16-0-2 thanks, in large part, to Giamanco’s scoring. He recorded six multi-goal games and four hat tricks, including a three-goal outburst in a 5-2 win over Shore Conference Tournament runner-up Manasquan. His two two-goal games came against Monmouth Regional and Rumson-Fair Haven, giving Giamanco seven goals in three games against the three teams directly behind Holmdel in the A Central standings.
Drew Greenblatt, Sr., Manasquan
2019 Totals: 18 goals, 10 assists
Postseason Totals: 5 goals, 3 assists
Manasquan entered the 2019 season with expectations as high as they have ever been for the boys soccer program, but its start to the season was anything but historic. The Warriors started 3-5-1 and were in danger of failing to qualify for the Shore Conference Tournament.
That is when Greenblatt and the Warriors took off. In the final two games prior to the Shore Conference Tournament, Greenblatt scored two goals in each to help his team qualify, then jump-started its first ever run to the SCT title game with a goal in each of the first two SCT games. The first was against Toms River North – which later went on to win the NJSIAA South Jersey Group IV championship – and the second against second-seeded Marlboro in a 1-0 victory. Greenblatt later scored in the championship game against Freehold Township – a classic game that went to penalty kicks, with Freehold Township pulling out the win.
Greenblatt’s 18 goals and 10 assists were good for third in total scoring and tied for third in goals, trailing only Jack Giamanco of Holmdel and Long Branch’s Patrick O’Dwyer. After transferring from Jackson Memorial to Manasquan ahead of his junior year, Greenblatt proved the ultimate difference-maker, particularly in his senior season.
Patrick O’Dwyer, Sr., Long Branch
2019 Totals: 21 goals, 4 assists
Postseason Totals: 2 goals, 1 assist
Coming off a season in which it failed to qualify for either postseason tournament and graduated its top scorer, Long Branch needed to re-imagine itself for 2019 and did so with a hulk of a striker at the top of the formation. O’Dwyer was as physically imposing as any goal-scorer in the Shore Conference and used his power to rack up 21 goals – good for second in the Shore Conference. The senior scored multiple goals in five games, including a three-goal game, a four-goal game and a five-goal game. His five-goal outburst came against Central Jersey Group III runner-up Ocean and his four-goal performance was against Shore Regional, where he played as a freshman.
While O’Dwyer’s scoring volume was impressive enough, it was when he scored that pushed him over the top as an All-Shore player. The first big goal came in the final five minutes of a 1-0 win over Christian Brothers Academy that gave the Green Wave its first victory of the season and set the stage for a turnaround following a 0-2-1 start. Fast-forward to the NJSIAA Tournament, which Long Branch entered as a No. 13 seed in Central Jersey Group IV. The Green Wave made it all the way to the sectional final and O’Dwyer jump-started that run by scoring the golden goal in a first-round win over SCT champion Freehold Township. It was a memorable finish to one of the breakout seasons in the conference – both for O’Dwyer and the Long Branch program.
Kevin Kiernan, Jr., Southern
2019 Totals: 18 goals, 2 assists
Postseason Totals: 4 goals
Arguably the Shore’s smoothest player, Kiernan turned in his second straight All-Shore season, this time as a first-team performer and he still has one more year to go. Southern continues to raise the bar for its program and it has been on the back of Kiernan and his steady play in the midfield, which continued in 2019. The junior tied for third place in the conference with his 18 goals, including six multi-goal outings and three hat tricks, and was named the Player of the Year in Ocean County by the coaches.
Among Kiernan’s standout games were his three-goal performances against Long Branch and Oakcrest – both of which were finalists in their respective NJSIAA sectional tournaments. The hat trick against Long Branch came in the second half and got the Rams past one of the Shore’s top 10 teams. Kiernan also came through in the clutch, highlighted by an equalizer in the final 30 seconds in a Shore Conference Tournament game against Manasquan – which the Rams lost on penalties. Kiernan and Southern could not quite get over the top in the postseason but will have a chance to author one of the Southern’s best seasons when he and a several of his 2019 teammates return for 2020.
Bennett Messinger, Sr., Freehold Township
2019 Totals: 15 goals, 10 assists
Postseason Totals: 4 goals, 1 assist
Expectations at Freehold Township were through the roof to open the year and a lot of that sentiment revolved around the arrival of talented midfielder Tiron Shatku from the Philadelphia Union Academy. Of all the players on the Patriots, none adjusted his role more than Messinger, who went from center-midfield facilitator to striker. When Shatku had to leave the team after two games, Messinger again returned to the center midfield and showed that while the Patriots were certainly losing a talented player in Shatku, they were not losing their heart-and-soul.
Freehold Township started the year 0-2 with Shatku and were 4-4 when the the team finally hit its stride. It started with a 1-0 win over Marlboro and continued for eight straight wins before CBA finally cooled the Patriots off. That was only a bump in the road, as Freehold Township won its first Shore Conference Tournament title in five years, with Messinger helping to lead the way. The senior scored two goals in each of the first two SCT games against Mater Dei and Rumson and dominated the first half of the championship game against Manasquan. Messinger was selected as the Class A North Player of the Year by the division’s coaches and leaves after having delivered the Patriots their fourth ever SCT title and first outright Class A North title since 2008.
Max Shushkovsky, Sr., Marlboro
2019 Totals: 13 goals, 7 assists
Postseason Totals: 3 goals
During his four-year career at Marlboro, Max Shushkovsky saw the highs and lows of rebuilding a championship-caliber program. As a freshman, Marlboro’s varsity squad turned in a record-setting year, winning a school-record 22 games and reaching the finals of both the Shore Conference and Central Group IV Tournaments. Shushkovsky and many of his classmates then got their turn to play the following year and were in for a rude awakening: a one-win season that would have been winless if not for a late-season win over Ranney in a pick-up game.
Over the last two years, Shushkovsky and his classmates have spearheaded one of the best turnaround stories in the Shore Conference. After getting back over .500 last season, Marlboro built on that rebound by winning 14 games, challenging for the Class A North title and reaching the Central Group IV semifinals as the No. 1 seed in the section. Shushkovksy was the team’s go-to player throughout, scoring game-winning goals late against Toms River East and Middletown South and scoring a huge equalizer in a come-from-behind, 4-3 win over Montgomery in the opening round of the state tournament. Marlboro appears to be back on track under second-year coach Ryan Morris and the Mustangs program has Shushkovsky to thank for a significant portion of the quick rebuild.
Mason Martelloni, Sr., Monmouth
2019 Totals: 18 goals, 6 assists
Postseason Totals: 1 goal
In a season that saw more Shore teams lose players to the academy ranks than the other way around, Martelloni was the rare white knight to ride in and help his high school team raise its game. After committing to play collegiate soccer at Manhattan, Martelloni decided he wanted the high-school soccer experience before he graduated and joined Monmouth’s relatively-young squad. The Falcons talented sophomore class continued to blossom, seniors Diego Ibarra, Hoover Cano and Mathis Quesada were difference-makers throughout the year, but it was Martelloni that made Monmouth a scary team for opponents throughout the season.
Martelloni stormed out of the gate with two goals in each of Monmouth’s first three games, although it’s fair to say he faced a soft landing in the form of an easy schedule to open the year. The senior midfielder stepped up when challenged, however, assisting the team’s lone goal in a competitive 3-1 loss to Holmdel, then scoring two goals against Raritan, two against Manasquan and one against Rumson in key divisional matches. He also converted a goal in a 3-2 loss to Wall in the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals – one of only 13 the Crimson Knights gave up all year. The Falcons weren’t able to get by Wall in the SCT or the sectional semifinals in the state tournament, but Martelloni’s presence helped speed up the developmental process for the sophomore class and setting up what the Falcons hope will be an even bigger season in 2020.
Mark Walier, Sr., Holmdel
2019 Totals: 11 goals, 6 assists
Postseason Totals: 2 goals
An integral part of Holmdel’s championship defenses, Walier took his game to another level this year and became a consistent offensive threat to complement his already-established skills. The senior captain played all over the field – center back, center midfield and forward – and all of those spots were different than the outside back position he played as both a sophomore and junior. By the end of the year, Walier was the heartbeat of the Shore’s lone unbeaten team and was recognized as the Shore Coaches’ pick as the Monmouth County Player of the Year.
The only shortcoming in Walier’s profile as an overall Player of the Year candidate is his team stumbled twice in two early-tournament games. Those losses served as a reminder that Holmdel lacked varsity experience beyond Walier, Giamanco and Eric Hinds – which makes the 16-0-2 mark the Hornets posted all-the-more impressive. Despite the disappointing end to the season, Walier ends his career as a four-year varsity starter with two state championships, a first-ever Shore Conference Tournament title and a record of 60-1-4 over the past three years.
Tagg Ancrum, Sr., Wall
2019 Totals: 6 goals, 8 assists
Postseason Totals: 3 goals, 3 assists
While Walier was named the Monmouth County Player of the Year by the coaches for his all-around play, Ancrum made a pretty strong case as the unofficial Defensive Player of the Year in the Shore Conference. Along with fellow seniors Matt Penkethman and John Knight, Ancrum captained a defense that allowed 13 goals in 22 games for a 0.59 goals-per-game average that was the best mark in the Shore Conference this season. Wall produced a school-record 17 shutouts shutouts, which was seven more than the next closest team in the Shore Conference.
In addition to leading the Shore’s best defensive unit, Ancrum routinely involved himself in Wall’s scoring effort, particularly with his ability to serve set pieces. His six goals and eight assists made him the second-highest scorer among Shore Conference defenders this season, trailing only division rival Elias Brandimarte of Ocean. Speaking of Brandimarte and Ocean, Ancrum helped lead Wall to its first Central Jersey Group III championship in 15 years by beating the Spartans in the sectional final. Wall made it all to the way to the Group III championship and although it lost to Millburn on penalty kicks, Ancrum and Co. went the entire, six-game tournament run without conceding a goal. On top of that, Ancrum posted three goals and three assists during the state-tournament march to cap a memorable season – one that will go down as the best for Wall boys soccer in more than a decade.
Connor Anderko, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy
2019 Totals: 1 goal
Postseason Totals: 1 goal
While Wall led the Shore Conference in goals allowed per game, CBA came in second at 0.65 with its 13 conceded in 20 matches. The difference between the teams was that while Wall returned its entire back line and goalkeeper from 2018, the Colts had to replace two of its four defenders and goalkeeper from last year’s Non-Public A championship team. One of the holdovers was Anderko, who was a regular contributor since his sophomore season and one of the Shore’s standout center backs over the past two.
With Anderko manning the middle of the defense, the Colts gave up two goals in a single game three times all season: once in a 2-1 loss to national power St. Benedict’s, once in a 4-2 win over Shore Conference Tournament champion Freehold Township and again in a 2-2 draw vs. Jackson Memorial, which scored on two penalty kicks in the final five minutes before falling to the Colts in a shootout round. Their other three losses were all by a 1-0 margin and the Colts also posted shutouts against Washington Township and Non-Public A champion Seton Hall Prep.
Anderko also provided offense at the most opportune time, heading in the deciding goal in a hard-fought, 2-1 win over Notre Dame in the South Jersey Non-Public A semifinals. As much as Anderko helped transition the Colts to 2019 despite losing eight starters to graduation, CBA is likely to have an even harder time replacing Anderko in 2020.
Eli Brandimarte, Sr., Ocean
2019 Totals: 11 goals
Postseason Totals: 1 goal
While this All-Shore First-Team is full of players who helped ease their teams’ adjustment to a lineup of inexperienced varsity players, none had to handle a challenge as difficult as the one Brandimarte faced with Ocean. The Spartans graduated nine seniors from last year and unlike the returning starters from Holmdel and CBA, Brandimarte did not have a top scorer in the conference or a top defender returning along with him. As it turned out, Brandimarte was both for Ocean, which got off to an 0-3 start and missed the Shore Conference Tournament before salvaging its season in the NJSIAA Tournament.
Brandimarte – a starting outside back on Ocean’s 2019 Group III and SCT championships teams – opened his senior year as a center midfielder but after his team conceded 10 goals in the first two games, that experiment ended and the senior captain shifted back to center back. He made the most of the move, scoring more goals (11) than any defender in the Shore Conference and restoring the credibility of the Ocean defense. From Oct. 1 on, the Spartans allowed nine goals in 11 games and gave up just one in four state tournament matches while reaching the Central Group III final for the fourth time in five years. Brandimarte’s standout moments included a goal in a come-from behind win over Manasquan as part of five straight games with a goal and later scored the deciding goal in a 1-0 win over Hopewell Valley in the Central Group III first round.
Jalen Folsom, Sr., Toms River South
2019 Totals: 9 shutouts, 21 goals allowed in 18 games
Postseason Totals: 3 shutouts, 8 goals allowed in 6 games
For the third straight year, Folsom is an All-Shore goalkeeper and he caps his high-school career with his first First-Team selection. In his final year, Folsom was a big-game performer for the Indians, which came up with two strong postseason showings in both the Shore Conference and NJSIAA Group III Tournaments. Folsom’s best stretch of the season came in three rounds of the SCT, during which he allowed one goal and carried his team to one of the biggest upsets of the season.
After posting a first-round shutout vs. Pinelands, Folsom stood on his head to get his team to overtime against top-seeded Holmdel and made it through two overtime periods without conceding a goal to the unbeaten Hornets. In the shootout, Folsom saved Holmdel’s final attempt and the Indians converted to shock the top seed in the round of 16. Folsom later turned in a shutout in the South Jersey Group III semifinals in a 1-0 road win over Cherry Hill West to get Toms River South to the sectional semifinals as a No. 5 seed. Folsom ends his career as a three-time All-Shore selection who posted 29 shutouts, 11 postseason tournament wins/advancements and won a Central Jersey Group III title as a sophomore.
All-Shore Second Team
Luke Pascarella, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy – Pascarella makes his second straight appearance on the All-Shore Second Team after another standout season in which the senior scored 16 goals and assisted eight. He scored multiple goals in four games, scored against St. Benedict’s and scored six goals between the SCT and NJSIAA Tournament.
Ali Baish, Jr., Toms River North – Baish pushed his All-Shore candidacy over the top by helping to lead the Mariners to a South Jersey Group IV championship as a No. 16 seed. He finished with 11 goals and nine assists, including two goals and two assists during the state-tournament run. Baish also scored a hat trick against SCT champion Freehold Township on opening night.
Jake Pepe, Jr., Wall – The top scorer on the No. 3 team at the Shore and the Group III runner-up, Pepe was overshadowed somewhat by Wall’s standout defense but made a huge impact for the Crimson Knights in big games. The junior forward scored 11 goals and seven assists, which included five goals and five assists in nine tournament games between the SCT and NJSIAA Group III Tournament.
Mike Steinberg, Sr., Marlboro – In a breakout season for Marlboro, Steinberg was its breakout scorer with 14 goals and five assists. The senior scored nine goals in his team’s first eight games, scoring in seven of those matches. He scored the lone goals in two 1-0 wins over top-three teams – No. 2 CBA and No. 3 Wall – during an 8-0 start and added a state tournament goal in a 2-0 win over North Brunswick.
Tommy Johnson, Jr., Manasquan – With 14 goals and seven assists, Johnson was one of the top offensive players in the Shore Conference and he distinguished himself with some huge goals for the No. 6 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10. He scored two must-have goals in a 3-3 draw vs. Middletown South in the regular season and later exploded for five goals in two state tournament wins - including a hat trick vs. Haddonfield in the South Group II quarterfinals.
Michael Casper, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy – While his stats don’t jump off the page (four goals and four assists), Casper’s command of the game from his holding midfield spot always did. CBA’s possession game did not miss a beat this season thanks to Casper’s ability to control the game and he got involved in the offense when needed (goals vs. Wall and Ocean, assists vs. Freehold Township and St. Benedict’s).
Johnny Hart, Jr., Pinelands – Coming off arguably its best season ever, Pinelands had a lot to replace from the 2018 team and Hart made that adjustment a lot easier. The junior got off to a strong start, finished with nine goals and three assists and captured B South Player of the Year recognition from the coaches while leading the Wildcats to a third straight B South championship.
Danny Minze, Sr., Middletown South – A four-year varsity soccer career that began as a speedy forward saw Minze develop into one of the conference’s best facilitators. He led the Shore in assists with 15 while also notching eight goals as a senior, including arguably the most dramatic goal of the Shore Conference season. Against crosstown rival Middletown South, Minze buried the winning goal with 0.1 seconds showing on the scoreboard clock to give the Eagles a thrilling rivalry win.
Ron Bantang, Sr., Jackson Memorial – The All-Shore first team had more of an offensive flavor but Bantang was a pure defensive stopper on a defensive-minded team - a three-year starter for a Jackson Memorial team that was consistently one of the Shore’s best in the back. He scored only one goal this season but it was a big one. Bantang won a battle in a scrum to score the lone goal in Jackson Memorial’s 1-0 win over Southern, which clinched the program’s third straight Class A South championship.
Ben Hanneman, Sr., Southern – There were five Shore Conference teams that allowed 13 goals or fewer this past season and Hanneman was a big reason Southern was one of those teams. The senior center back was the organizing force for Southern’s talented back line that contributed to nine shutouts during the year. Hanneman also got into the scoring act by assisting one of Southern’s two state tournament goals.
Tyler Guagenty, Sr., Manasquan – Guagenty’s impact on Manasquan’s season was two-pronged. When the Warriors were struggling to keep teams from scoring, Guagenty was moved from midfield to right back and Manasquan went on to allow only nine goals in 11 games. On top of that, the senior also scored three goals during the Shore Conference Tournament, including brilliant strikes against both CBA in the SCT semifinals and Freehold Township in the championship game.
Steve Ciccarone, Jr., Colts Neck – Only one team in the Shore Conference allowed 12 goals during the season and it was a Colts Neck side led by Ciccarone – the lone returning starter from last year’s Central Jersey Group III finalist. The Cougars center back marked top forwards, blasted free kicks and distributed out of the back for a Colts Neck team that went 11-4-2 and reached its first SCT semifinal round in 18 years.
A.J. Pinto, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy – Pinto won a crowded preseason competition for CBA’s open goalkeeper slot and was the finishing piece on one of the Shore’s best defensive units. Pinto finished tied for second in the Shore Conference with 10 shutouts and allowed 13 goals on the season. Among his best performances were CBA’s last two games – a 2-1 win over Notre Dame and a 1-0 loss to St. Augustine.
Joe Weinstein, Sr., Manasquan – Once Manasquan adjusted its defense after a 3-5-1 start, Weinstein settled in and returned to his All-Shore form. The senior posted five of his eight shutouts in that span and allowed nine goals in his last 11 starts in goal. His standout performance came in the SCT semifinal against CBA, in which he allowed one goal on a penalty kick and saved two shots in the shootout round to send the Warriors to their first ever SCT championship game.
All-Shore Third Team
Isaac Ball, Sr., Freehold Boro – Ball racked up 13 goals and three assists while leading Freehold Boro to a .500 mark in the always-challenging Class A North division.
Kyle Schembri, Sr., Neptune – A top-five player in B North according to the division coaches, Schembri posted 18 goals and six assists on the season, including two goals in a state playoff win over Middletown North.
Aidan Tisony, So., Ocean – In his first year as a starter, Tisony led the Spartans with 12 goals and seven assists, including a pair of assists in the first two rounds of Ocean’s NJSIAA Central Group III Tournament run.
Dane Bodziak, Sr., Toms River East – Bodziak capped his career with 13 goals and four assists, including a hat trick vs. Toms River South, two goals vs. Marlboro and one each in the SCT and South Group III Tournament.
Drew Walenty, Jr., Jackson Memorial – With a major void left by Notre Dame commit Dan Russo, Walenty stepped into the Jaguars’ top scoring role and finished the season with eight goals and four assists, including a golden goal vs. No. 6 Manasquan.
Eric Hinds, Sr., Holmdel – Hinds was the third cog in Holmdel’s experienced senior trio that led the Hornets to a 16-0-2 mark. The senior midfielder capped his career with eight goals and nine assists.
Eryck Lazo, Sr., Long Branch – Lazo scored seven goals and eight assists and saved his best soccer for the end of the season. He scored two goals in an A North win over Marlboro and put up a goal and two assists in the postseason.
Luke Pentikis, So., Rumson-Fair Haven – Pentikis ran the midfield for the most improved team in the Shore Conference, posting five goals and seven assists with scores against Freehold Township, Wall and Ocean.
Connor Lucas, Sr., Jackson Memorial – Lucas was part of Jackson Memorial’s defense last year and with plenty of senior experience in the back, Lucas moved around where the Jaguars needed him. The senior finished with three goals, two of which came during tournament time.
Jason Laviola, Jr., Long Branch – After starting the season as a center fullback, Laviola moved up to the center midfield, dished out seven assists and scored his lone goal to beat Marlboro in the Central Jersey Group IV semifinals.
Evan Savino, Sr., Freehold Township – Savino was Freehold Township’s answer to Holmdel’s Mark Walier: a hard-nosed, skilled player who served multiple roles on the team. Savino did not push forward as often as Walier but got involved in the Patriots’ offense with six assists on the season.
Ethan Schlesinger, Sr., Marlboro – A more physical defense helped the Mustangs take another step forward this season, with Schlesinger leading that effort. His sliding save off the goal-line in a 1-0 win over CBA was one of the defensive plays of the year.
Evan Quon, Jr., Rumson-Fair Haven – Quon was Rumson’s lone all-division representative last season, when the Bulldogs went 1-14-1. Quon was again one of the conference’s best backs and it showed in the results: an eight-win improvement and 23 goals allowed against a very challenging schedule.
Sebastian Campanile, Jr., Wall – An all-senior back line absorbs most of the credit for Wall’s historically-good defensive season and that is probably fair. But Campanile deserves plenty of credit in his own right for serving as the final safety net on a Crimson Knights team that led the Shore in goals-allowed-per-game (0.59) and shattered the old record of 14 shutouts by posting 17, including six straight in the Central Group III Tournament.
There are still four spots on this year's All-Shore team left to settle and we need your help. Follow the link to vote in the All-Shore Final Vote and select one last forward, midfielder, defender and goalkeeper to round out this year's group of 45 All-Shore boys soccer players. Vote once per hour until the voting ends Sunday night at 10 p.m. and check shoresportsnetwork.com on Monday to find out the winners.