Boys Soccer – 2021 Shore Sports Network All-Shore First Team
Shore Sports Network 2021 Boys Soccer All-Shore Team
Selections made by SSN Senior Soccer Editor Matt Manley, based on stats, coaches' input and first-hand accounts.
Dylan Cupo, Sr., Forward, Christian Brothers Academy
2021 Stats: 21 goals, 5 assists
The Shore Sports Network Player of the Year, Cupo was the top scorer on the top team in the Shore Conference and just about every goal was a big one. CBA played as difficult a schedule as any team in the conference when all was said and done and Cupo took no prisoners in scoring his 21 goals in 2021. He posted his two hat tricks on the season in back-to-back games against two teams ranked in the top five of the Shore Sports Network Top 10 (No. 2 Toms River North and Manalapan) and scored two goals each against two teams ranked in the final state Top 20 (No. 4 Notre Dame and No. 18 Freehold Township).
For more on Cupo’s standout senior season, read his Player of the Year profile.
Herman Colbert, Sr., Forward, Freehold Township
2021 Stats: 16 goals, 14 assists
Not only did Freehold Township lose a wealth of scoring from 2020 but the Patriots also lost two 2021 senior leaders to injury in Christian Mojares and J.T. Gold. Freehold Township, however, remained unphased thanks to a hard-working roster led by Colbert at the top of the formation. Colbert came into the season having scored one goal in each of his first two high school season, but went off in his senior season while leading Freehold Township to the Group IV championship game for the first time in 39 years.
Colbert scored multiple goals in five matches this past season, including a hat trick in the first round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV Tournament against Hillsborough. In the first three games of the Central Group IV Playoffs, Colbert scored seven goals, with another coming in a win over East Brunswick and two more in a sectional semifinal win over New Brunswick. He also scored two goals in the Shore Conference Tournament, including a game-winning goal in the final 30 seconds of Freehold Township’s SCT quarterfinal win over Holmdel. Colbert’s nine postseason goals were the second-best total in the Shore Conference, sparking the Patriots to seven wins between the SCT and state tournaments.
Alec Pentikis, Jr., Forward, Rumson-Fair Haven
2021 Stats: 16 goals, 4 assists
The lone junior to crack the All-Shore First Team in 2021, Pentikis got off to a roaring start to his third varsity season and after a brief lull, finished with a flurry. In Rumson’s third game of the season, the Bulldogs striker scored a goal in his team’s 2-1 win over Holmdel, which marked the first time Rumson defeated Holmdel since 2016, snapping a six-game losing streak against the Hornets. That goal in the Holmdel win began a run of 11 goals in seven consecutive games for Pentikis, who scored at least once in each of the seven and capped the run with a hat trick in an impressive 5-1 win over Wall.
After the hat trick vs. Wall, however, Pentikis went quiet for six straight games, during which his only contribution to Rumson’s scoring was two assists. The Bulldogs also went only 2-4 during that stretch and entered the NJSIAA Tournament having lost four of five and with their top scoring in a scoring drought.
That all ended in the opening-round of the NJSIAA Tournament, when Pentikis scored two goals in a rout of Spotswood. He also scored in a 3-0 sectional semifinal win over South River, then scored the biggest goal in Rumson-Fair Haven soccer history when he tucked in the golden goal that won the Bulldogs their first ever Central Jersey Group II championship with a 2-1, overtime win over Holmdel. Pentikis also scored against Group II champion Delran in the Group II semifinal, setting him up for a big senior season for a Rumson-Fair Haven team that now belongs in the conversation as a Group II title contender.
Brendan Worobel, Sr., Forward, Holmdel
2021 Stats: 18 goals, 4 assists
Entering the 2021 season, Worobel was the only Holmdel player with experience as a varsity scorer and the question for Holmdel was, “who else would step up and aid Worobel on the attack?” For the first five games of the season, the answer – at least as it pertains to actually scoring the goals – was nobody. Worobel opened the season on a spree, scoring nine of Holmdel’s 10 goals during a 4-1 start to the season. The biggest outburst was a four-goal game against Monmouth Regional and the other five came in tight wins over Ocean, Middletown North and Manasquan and a 2-1 loss to Rumson-Fair Haven.
Those nine goals in the first five games accounted for half of Worobel’s output during the year but they had an immense impact on the way the senior was defended by opponents for the remainder of the year. Holmdel’s next three opponents surrounded him for 80 minutes each and the Hornets went 1-2 with only one goal scored. Worobel, however, adjusted and came back with at least one goal in six straight games and nine over Holmdel’s next eight. That included four goals in three Shore Conference Tournament games, with two coming in a 2-1 overtime win over Lacey in which Worobel’s golden goal on the road handed the Lions their first loss. Worobel also scored an equalizer on the road at Freehold Township with a blast from beyond the 18-yard box to put a scare into the Shore’s No. 3 team.
Aidan Tisony, Sr., Forward/Midfield, Ocean
2021 Stats: 25 goals, 10 assists
One look at Tisony’s numbers are enough to make a case for the Ocean senior as an All-Shore lock and one of the top scorers in the Shore Conference. What those numbers might not reveal is Tisony’s specialty: scoring quickly. Some players are known for their knack for late-game goals (Tisony had some of those as well) but there was something about the opening whistle that put a charge into Tisony. Of his 25 goals, nine of them came within the first 10 minutes of a match, and that doesn’t include his goal in the first minute of the Senior All-Star Game on Friday night.
Tisony also led the Shore in multi-goal games with nine, which included three hat tricks. He combined his quick-strike ability and penchant for scoring in bunches in a 4-0 win over Neptune, in which Tisony recorded a hat trick in the first 11 minutes of the match. Another of his hat tricks came in a 4-3 loss to Howell, the No. 6 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, and Tisony put on a shot in a two-goal effort vs. St. John Vianney in the Shore Conference Tournament (see video above). Tisony, who committed to Seton Hall in November, finished his career with 107 points (43 goals and 21 assists) and his 60 points this season set a single-season record for Ocean’s decorated program.
Mattia Assante, Sr., Midfield, Toms River North
2021 Stats: 7 goals, 7 assists
This year Shore Conference boys soccer landscape was loaded with skilled scorers who generally played up at the top of the formation, so a player with Assante’s profile stood out among the crowd in 2021. The Mariners senior and the 2021 Ocean County Co-Player of the Year, as voted by the county coaches, has been an impact starter since his sophomore year, making him an integral part of a team that won three NJSIAA sectional championships, reached the Shore Conference Tournament title game this season and ran up a record of 30-3-4 over the past two seasons. Toms River North was a well-oiled machine in 2021, scoring 63 goals while conceding only 12 and losing both its games to a CBA side ranked No. 1 in the Shore Conference and No. 2 in the entire state.
Assante’s scoring numbers placed him third on the team behind classmates A.J. Emnace and Jared Brown, but Assante was a catalyst in the midfield. His first-half play at CBA during the regular season helped the Mariners set the tone in going up 1-0 before the Colts came to life late in the first half and into the second. Assante came up big in the Shore Conference Tournament as well, scoring a goal and dishing out an assist in a first-round win over Shore and scoring one of Toms River North’s two goals in a 2-0 win over Long Branch in the SCT quarterfinals. Toms River North’s 2021 run ended a game short of the Group IV final, but a legacy of two true sectional championships, a modified sectional title in 2020 and a No. 2 finish in the Shore Conference and a top 20 finish in the state is a major one for Assante to carry with him on graduation day.
James Cahill, Sr., Forward/Midfield, Pinelands
2021 Stats: 25 goals, 14 assists
Pinelands graduated one of the top 10 scorers in the Shore Conference last spring in Johnny Hart, who was also a First Team All-Shore player as a senior in 2020. There was some question for Pinelands about replacing Hart, but Cahill delivered that production and then some. The athletic senior not only finished among the top 10 scorers in the Shore Conference, but led the entire Shore in both goals, assists and, as it stands to reason, total points (64).
Pinelands came up on game short of winning a share of the Class B South championship for a fifth straight season, but it was not due to any shortcoming on Cahill’s part. The senior scored at least one goal in all seven of the Wildcats’ divisional games, totaling 12 goals and seven assists during that 6-1 sample of games. Cahill’s four hat tricks also led the Shore Conference and he closed his brilliant senior campaign with three goals and two assists in two NJSIAA Group III Tournament games.
Johnny Troiano, Sr., Forward/Midfield, St. John Vianney
2021 Stats: 23 goals, 3 assists
One player can’t carry an entire team and while it would be dismissive of his teammate’s to say Troiano was an exception to that rule, he was about as close as a player can get. St. John Vianney posted its first winning season in seven years and Troiano got on the scoring sheet in all but four of his team’s 16 matches. St. John Vianney lost all four games in which Troiano failed to score a goal and went an impressive 8-2-2 when he did find the back of the net. Put in even simpler terms, Troiano scored 23 of St. John Vianney’s 33 goals – a whopping 70 percent of his team’s goals, which was far-and-away the highest number of any Shore Conference player.
With production like that and a tough schedule, there was no padding stats against lesser competition for Troiano. Two of the senior’s hat tricks did come against teams with losing records (Red Bank and Red Bank Catholic) but the other came in a 3-2 win over No. 9 Holmdel. He also scored twice in a 2-1 win over Colts Neck early in the year and also broke through against Class B North co-champion Wall in a 1-1 draw. Troiano has been a top scorer for St. John Vianney since his freshman season, but his senior campaign saw him go to another level and take his team with him.
Kody Besser, Sr., Defense, Lacey
2021 Stats: 6 goals, 5 assists
Year after year, there are talented players all of the state who help out their teams by agreeing to play in the center of the defense instead of going forward and scoring goals and that descriptions matches Besser for most of his career at Lacey – all of which was played at the varsity level. In the middle of his team’s run to its first Shore Conference Class B South title since 2010, however, the senior center back showed his commitment to winning by volunteering to move from center fullback to striker. Besser suffered a scratched retina in a win over Barnegat and prior to the next game, was unable to see clearly because he could not apply one of his contact lenses on the injured eye.
Instead of sitting, he volunteered to play the position he felt required the least amount of vision, which was the one that typically requires the most amount of scoring. Besser played all but 10 minutes and finished with an assist in a big, 2-1 Lacey win over Point Pleasant Boro and eventually returned to the back of the formation for a Lions team that finished 15-2-1. Besser was the top scoring defender in the Shore Conference and the 6-foot-4 Lions captain was voted by the Ocean County coaches as the Co-player of the Year in the County along with Assante.
Davenson JoinVilmar, Sr., Defense, Long Branch
2021 Stats: 2 goals, 3 assists
The JoinVilmar name has been prominent in the Shore Conference for the past five seasons, only up until this year, the school associated with the two standout brothers was Asbury Park. Davensky JoinVilmar was a two-time All-Shore selection for an Asbury Park squad that won the Central Jersey Group I championship in 2016 and reached the sectional final again in 2017. Davenson followed in his brother’s footsteps and was an all-division midfielder as a junior in 2020 – his final year with the Blue Bishops, as it turned out. Because there was not a true NJSIAA Tournament, Davenson and his talented Asbury Park squad did not get to make a run in a traditional Central Jersey Group I bracket.
For his senior year, JoinVilmar, transferred to Long Branch, where he moved to center fullback to replace another All-Shore standout in 2021 graduate Brian Completo. JoinVilmar was an instant hit, scoring Long Branch’s first goal of the season to put the Green Wave up, 1-0, on CBA before ultimately falling, 1-0. He would go on to score in the next game, then turn his attention to leading the Green Wave’s best defensive team in some time. Playing in a loaded Class A North division, Long Branch conceded 20 goals in 22 matches, with JoinVilmar a regular presence in the middle with his size, speed, physicality and pure skill.
Declan Kelly, Sr., Defense, Christian Brothers Academy
2021 Stats: 1 goal, 3 assists
Although CBA opened the season as the No. 1 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, the Colts did have some questions to answer around the formation. That included on the back line, where CBA had to replace three starters in front of a new tandem of goalkeepers. Kelly was the lone returning starter – an outside back during his sophomore and junior seasons before moving to the middle for his senior campaign.
The season started with CBA going up its share of goals – seven in the first four matches – but still found ways to win. One of those ways was through Kelly, who scored the game-winning goal in the 77th minute to go with an assist earlier in the game in a big 3-2 win over Freehold Township on the road. He also assisted a goal in a 2-1, overtime win over Howell, giving Kelly most of his scoring production in the team’s two toughest wins on the divisional slate.
As for the defense, that eventually caught up to the attack. After those seven goals in four games, the Colts allowed just six over the next 15, including four straight shutouts to capture the 11th Shore Conference Tournament title in program history. The rest of the defense deserves its share of credit, but Kelly’s leadership as the lone holdover from the lineups in 2019 and 2020 make him a particularly important member of the No. 1 team in the Shore Conference and No. 2 side in the entire state.
Jimmy Ruppe, Sr., Defense, Toms River North
2021 Stats: 1 goal, 6 assists
Toms River North had a 20-goal scorer, another creative forward, the Shore’s best true midfielder and the best goalkeeper in Ocean County, as voted by the coaches – all major reasons the Mariners were the No. 2 team at the Shore. Perhaps the greatest contributor to another 15-win season for Toms River North – one that sometimes went overlooked due to all of the offensive fireworks, was the Mariners’ airtight defense. Toms River North was strong across the entire line and it was Ruppe playing the role of senior leader in the middle of the defense.
By the numbers, Toms River North was the best defensive team in the Shore Conference, allowing just 12 goals in 20 games for a Shore-best average of 0.6 goals per match. The only team that had any success against the Mariners in 2021 was CBA, which accounted for seven of those 12 goals over the course of two wins over Toms River North. In each game, CBA had a stretch of three goals in 16 minutes, so as it turned out, half of the goals Ruppe and the Toms River North defense allowed in 2021 game those two 16-minute stretches. Toms River North held No. 3 Freehold Township to one goal in 180 combined minutes and kept Patriots top scorer Herman Colbert off the board in all three meetings.
Like Assante, Ruppe was a key member of a Toms River North team that has been as accomplished as any team in the Shore Conference over the past two seasons. The Mariners made one of the more memorable state tournament runs in recent memory in 2019 by winning the South Jersey Group IV title as a No. 16 seed, then made the most of 2020 by winning the Central East Group IV title in dramatic fashion. Ruppe and his many senior teammates capped their careers with a third sectional title in 2021 and a trip to the Shore Conference Tournament final – making this season one to remember for a decorated Mariners program.
Tommy Chyzowych, Sr., Goalkeeper, Holmdel
2021 Stats: 15 goals allowed, 10 shutouts
Although he was up with the varsity team as a freshman backup three seasons ago and started as a promising sophomore in 2019, Chyzowych had his breakout season last year, or at least it appeared headed in that direction through the first five games of 2020. In the sixth game of his junior season, however, Chyzowych injured his knee and missed the remainder of the season, which served as motivation for him to put up a big 2021 campaign once he was again healthy.
Chyzowych delivered, posting a dominant season that included 10 shutouts and an average of 0.79 goals per game (15 in 19 matches) – which ranked Chyzowych No. 2 at the Shore in each category behind Toms River North’s Dawson Kaniuk. What made Chyzowych’s goals-against numbers extra impressive was Holmdel’s lack of experience, not only in the back, but around the formation. Chyzowych proved to be a major safety net, turning in big postseason performances against Lacey, Freehold Township, Wall and Voorhees as Holmdel reached the quarterfinals of the Shore Conference Tournament and the Central Group II championship game. In the game vs. Wall in the Central Group II quarterfinals, he saved two attempts during the penalty shootout and made the clinching shot to send his team to the sectional semifinals.
Following his first All-Shore selection during an eventful career with the Hornets, Chyzowych will head to play at Lehigh University in the fall of 2022.
All-Shore First Team List
|Dylan Cupo||Christian Brothers Academy||Sr.||Forward|
|Herman Colbert||Freehold Township||Sr.||Forward|
|Alec Pentikis||Rumson-Fair Haven||Jr.||Forward|
|Johnny Troiano||St. John Vianney||Sr.||Mid/For|
|Mattia Assante||Toms River North||Sr.||Midfield|
|Davenson JoinVilmar||Long Branch||Sr.||Defense|
|Declan Kelly||Christian Brothers Academy||Sr.||Defense|
|Jimmy Ruppe||Toms River North||Sr.||Defense|