Boys Soccer – 2020 All-Shore Second and Third Teams
Shore Sports Network 2020 Boys Soccer All-Shore Teams
Teams Selected by Shore Sports Network Soccer Editor Matt Manley, based on first-hand observation, stats and input from coaches.
Tomas Zolofra, Sr., Holmdel – It was another impressive boys soccer season at Holmdel and while the Hornets made their mark in the back and the midfield, Zolofra remained a threat up top all season with his team-leading eight goals. He scored two goals against Rumson-Fair Haven, the second-place team in the A Central division, one vs. third-place Rartian and another against CBA, the No. 1 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10.
Steve Bado, Jr., Jackson Memorial – The inexperienced Jaguars needed Bado to step up as a scorer and he did so with nine goals during his junior campaign. He scored three times in the first two games of the season vs. Southern – the No. 4 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10. He later scored two goals apiece in games vs. Brick and Brick Memorial, notched a goal in a key win over Toms River South, and buried a golden goal to beat Marlboro in Jackson’s state-tournament opener.
Zack Meyer, Sr., Brick – The Green Dragons had their best season in 12 years and Meyer was their top producer while finishing third in the Shore Conference in both goals (17) and total points (42). He scored against Brick’s top opponents – Southern, Brick, Jackson Memorial, Toms River East and Toms River South – and scored four goals during Brick’s three-game stay in the NJSIAA Tournament. Meyer helped lead Brick to the Centra Jersey East Group III South semifinals with two goals each in wins over Lakewood and Freehold Boro.
Shane Borenius, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy – The top scorer on the No. 1 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, Borenius put up nine goals and three assists to help lead the CBA attack in 2020. Borenius also stepped up in big games, scoring a goal in the season-opener vs. Rumson-Fair Haven, one more in a 3-0 win over No. 7 Long Branch, plus a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win over Holmdel that ended the Hornets’ 65-game unbeaten streak. Borenius closed out the season with three goals in two NJSIAA Tournament games as CBA captured a Central Jersey East Non-Public title.
Adam Havens, Sr., Freehold Township – The other half of Freehold Township’s one-two scoring punch along with Zach Orrico, Havens actually led Freehold Township in scoring with seven goals and 10 assists on the year. Havens had his top scoring output of the season in the form of a two-goal game vs. Manalapan and connected for a goal in Freehold Township’s 3-2 loss at Toms River North in the Central Jersey East Group IV South semifinals.
Connor Hinds, Sr., Holmdel – Like predecessors and former teammates Joe Arena and Mark Walier, Hinds was Holmdel’s workhorse in the midfield and the stats don’t do justice in revealing how valuable the senior was to his team and among the Shore’s top players. Hinds finished with three goals and three assists, with one goal coming on a pretty shot in a 2-0 win over Ocean and another a golden goal to beat Shore – which turned out to unexpectedly be Holmdel’s final game of the season.
Jake Gershon, Sr., Colts Neck – With 12 goals and 11 assists, Gershon was a driving force for a Colts Neck side that was far-and-away the highest-scoring team at the Shore (75 goals in 17 games). Gershon posted three multi-goal games and three more multi-assist games, including a three-goal-and-two-assist game vs. Matawan and a two-goal-and-three-assist game vs. Freehold Boro. Gershon also scored in one of the match-ups vs. Wall and contributed a goal and an assist in a round-one playoff win over John F. Kennedy of Iselin.
Marvin Muñoz-Garcia, Sr., Neptune – With no summer workouts because of a shutdown of the athletic program and a young roster to boot, Neptune got off to a 1-7 start in 2020. Muñoz-Garcia, however, would not let that be the story of the Scarlet Fliers’ season as the senior rallied his troops for a seven-game winning streak that only ended wend Pinelands senior Johnny Hart scored in the final second of overtime in the NJSIAA sectional semifinals. Muñoz-Garcia keyed the seven game streak by scoring in six of Neptune’s last seven games and finishing the season with nine goals and four assists.
John Paul Prosperi, Sr., Southern – Kiernan seized most of the headlines for Southern with his marvelous overall season but Prosperi was another four-year starter and senior leader for a Rams team that raised the bar for the program. Prosperi captained the defense and also made the most of his runs up the field, scoring five goals out of the back in 2020. Two of Prosperi’s goals came in one of the team’s two biggest wins of the year – a 4-3 overtime win at Toms River North on Nov. 9. He also contributed to a shutout of Long Branch in a 1-0 Southern win in the Central Jersey East Group IV South semifinal round.
Mike Conklin, Sr., Toms River East – Conklin is another All-Shore defender who made his mark by helping his team score goals, notching four goals and five assists. The defensive end did not get off to a pretty start, with Toms River East allowing 21 goals during a 1-5 start to the season. The Raiders closed the season 6-3-2 by allowing 10 goals in those final 11 games. Conklin also delivered in the postseason, scoring two goals and three assists in the Raiders’ run to the sectional final, including a goal against Wall in the Central Jersey East Group III South championship game.
Brendan Rebele, Sr., Holmdel – Some teams lean on central defenders to push up and produce scoring chances, but Holmdel’s approach is to let their talented center backs handle the ball in the back without making frequent pushes into the opposite end of the field. Rebele was the reliable back who could shut down an opposing score, win loose balls, distribute the ball out of the back to get the Hornets on the move, and score as well (one goal on the season). With eight goals allowed in 14 games, Holmdel was the second-best statistical defense at the Shore behind CBA and Rebele was right in the middle of it.
Felix Doebbel, Sr., Holmdel – While Rebele was the constant in the back, Doebbel was the versatile central defender for Holmdel who did make the occasional run up the field while still making his presence felt as a defensive player. A native of Germany, Doebbel scored three goals thanks to his penalty-kick prowess and his toughness in the back along with Rebele helped Holmdel overcome the loss of goalkeeper Tommy Chyzowych six games into the season.
Josh Leonetti, Sr., Freehold Township – A year after clinching Freehold Township’s 2019 Shore Conference Tournament championship with the deciding kick in the championship round of penalties, Leonetti returned as the Patriots’ defensive stalwart. Leonetti led a back line that kept opponents to 13 goals in 16 games – one of seven teams at the Shore to give up fewer goals than games played. Leonetti also broke out the scoring touch again by knocking in the winning penalty kick in a shootout win over Howell during the NJSIAA Tournament.
Gavin Harris, Sr., Pinelands – With 11 goals allowed in 15 games and eight shutouts, Harris turned in one of the Shore’s best statistical seasons between the pipes. The third-year starter turned in a shutout performance in each of his team’s first six matches and in the eighth, Harris stood on his head to help the Wildcats secure a huge 1-0 win at division rival Lacey. In his final game, Harris turned in one last shutout against Toms River East before ultimately falling in a shootout.
Owen Edwards, So., Manchester – The 2020 season turned out to be the best in the history of the Manchester program and with Edwards among the Class B South division’s best players, the future remains bright. Edwards tallied 11 goals and five assists on the season, including all three of Manchester’s goals in the final two games of the NJSIAA Tournament – which resulted in the Hawks’ first ever sectional final.
Lupo Ryder, So., Raritan – Ryder returned as the top returning scorer on Raritan and benefitted playing off of teammate Chris Fontanazza. The sophomore striker finished the season with 10 goals and five assists and while he did significant damage against 0-12 Red Bank Catholic (five goals and one assist), he also produced against Monmouth (two goals, two assists), Ocean (one goal, two assists) and Holmdel (one goal) while also adding a postseason goal vs. Manchester.
Ryan Kuldanek, Jr., Monmouth – Kuldanek finished with 13 goals and 10 assists, including 10 and eight in the final nine games (8-1) for a Falcons team that shook off a 0-7-1 start to finish .500. The Monmouth junior scored against some of Class A Central’s top teams (Ocean, Rumson-Fair Haven, Rartian) and also notched a postseason golden goal in a sectional semifinal win at Point Beach.
Sean Palmer, Sr., Brick – Palmer did not play high school soccer prior to this season and decided to join Brick’s squad because he thought he could make a difference for his school. He made a huge difference, scoring nine goals and six assists as a creative striker alongside Meyer and starring in Brick’s biggest win of the year – a 3-2 upset of Southern.
Luke Pentikis, Jr., Rumson-Fair Haven – With the exception of the two-game stretch that Pentikis missed due to injury, the junior midfielder was a constant for a Bulldogs team that is has been flirting with the Shore Sports Network Top 10. Pentikis posted 12 goals and four assists and in he scored seven goals during the first five games after returning from that injury.
Ryan Lee, Sr., Colts Neck – Another new high school player after spending his earlier years in the academy ranks, Lee joined a loaded Cougars team and helped make them an awfully difficult team with which to deal. Lee was one of the conference’s most adept defensive central midfielders and also managed to contribute four goals and three assists.
Mattia Assante, Jr., Toms River North – Toms River North’s forwards were at the top of opponents’ list of concerns but the Mariners midfield emerged as a similar threat thanks to the leadership and prowess of Assante. The junior scored four goals and dished out 10 assists, which included two goals and two assists in a crucial final two weeks of the season.
Augusto Bontempo, Sr. Long Branch – With Laviola running the center of the field, Bontempo was a somewhat overlooked cog in Long Branch’s machine but a critical one nonetheless. He led the Green Wave with 10 assists – one of 10 players at the Shore with double-digit assists in 2020 – and also scored three goals while showing both the skill of a lead player of the toughness of an enforcer during a physical schedule.
Brian Completo, Sr., Long Branch – Although primarily a striker on his club team, Completo has been Long Branch’s leader in the back for the last two seasons and this year captained a defense that allowed 16 goals in 15 games. He has, however, shown a knack for pushing forward, which he did when he scored an equalizer in Long Branch’s regular-season, 2-1, win over Freehold Township.
Kody Besser, Jr., Lacey – Seven teams in the Shore Conference allowed fewer goals than games played and Lacey was the only one not to finish in the Top 10 of the SSN Top 10. Besser was a prime reason for Lacey’s success, solidifying the back line with his size (6-foot-2) and athleticism while also pitching in four goals – all of which came in the first six games of the season.
Ryan Mojares, Sr., Christian Brothers Academy – All three of CBA’s senior defenders (Jack Longo, Ethan Beyer and Mojares) were All-Shore-worthy in their performance and in Mojares’s case, it was as a central defender. The senior moved back from the midfield to fill a vacancy in CBA’s defense and was the center of a back line that gave up a mere four goals in 14 games while also showcasing the skills to play CBA’s possession game.
Jack Montanile, Sr., Toms River North – In its second straight championship season, Toms River North got the job done primarily with its attack but the Mariners defense was solid throughout the year. Montanile was its center back and lone senior in the unit and he was also the most dangerous creating goals. Thanks to his ability on direct kicks, Montanile scored four goals and assisted on five others.
Stephen Ciccarone, Sr., Colts Neck – With 75 goals in 17 games, Colts Neck was an offensive force but the Cougars also finished tied for third in the Shore with 0.59 goals allowed per game. Ciccarone was the man in the middle of that defense, just as he was in the previous two seasons for a program that has been to two sectional finals in the last three years and reached the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals in 2019. He finished his second straight All-Shore season with two goals and four assists.
Alex Bogues, Sr., Middletown North – Statistically speaking, there were goalkeepers with better surface-level statistical profiles but Bogues (one shutout, 18 goals allowed in 12 games) showed off some of the Shore’s best individual tools inside the box – enough to earn him the No. 1 goalkeeper spot on the Shore Conference Coaches’ All-Monmouth County Team.
There is still work to be done in finishing off the 2020 All-Shore Team and we need your help. Check out the nominees for the last four spots and vote for your favorites in the All-Shore Final Vote by following the link above.