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NJSIAA Tournament

Sectional Semifinals

Central Jersey East Region

Group IV

(1) Toms River North 3, (4) Freehold Twp. 2

Junior Mattia Assante assisted the first goal of the game and scored one of his own before halftime to help the Mariners (14-1-1) get off to a fast start that proved just enough to hold off the Patriots (11-4-1) and advance to the sectional final Saturday vs. Southern.

Toms River North stormed out to a 3-0 lead with a trio of scores that came within 16 minutes of one another. Assante volleyed a free kick by senior Danny Moreno over Freehold Township's back line and junior Jake Nagle ran it down and finished the game's first goal in the 29th minute.

Less than three minutes later, Assante positioned himself on the receiving end of a cross from senior Ali Baish and knocked it in for a 2-0 Mariners lead in the 32nd. Baish also created the third Toms River North goal, with senior Parker Nickelsen one-timing Baish's low cross to the far left post into the goal for a 3-0 lead in the 45th.

Freehold Township clawed back, starting with a goal by junior Josh Hocheiser in the 50th minute that came off a corner kick. Senior Shane O'Malley volleyed a corner kick by senior Adam Havens back toward the right post, junior Herman Colbert headed it toward the front of the goal and Hocheiser finished it off with his head.

Havens brought the Patriots within one in the 58th by chipping a shot over Toms River North goalkeeper Dawson Kaniuk, off the far left post and in. Kaniuk responded by shutting down the box and saving a pair of shots by Freehold Township senior Zach Orrico in the final six minutes.

(2) Southern 1, (3) Long Branch 0

Senior Kevin Kiernan scored the game-winning goal in the 55th minute off a set-up from senior Ryan Leavitt and the Rams (14-1-1) edged the Green Wave (12-3) to advance to the sectional final Saturday at top-seeded Toms River North.

Kiernan's goal was his Shore-leading 25th of the season and he has now scored in 15 of Southern's 16 games, including five straight.

The championship game is a rematch of a two-game series between the two Shore Conference Class A South rivals played last week. Southern won the first match at Toms River North in overtime, 4-3, and the two rivals tied, 3-3, at Southern.


South (Monmouth and Ocean)

Group III

North (Monmouth, Union, Middlesex)

(1) Colts Neck 2, (4) Matawan 1

Junior David Tuschmann scored the game-winning goal in the 75th minute and the Cougars (14-2) rallied from a one-goal deficit to top the Huskies (5-10) and reach the sectional final Saturday.

Senior Derek Haaf played the ball to Tuschmann at midfield and the junior striker beat two defenders up the right side and finished his 22nd goal of the season to the far left post to put Colts Neck on top for the first time in the game with 5:28 left to play.

Junior Tom Samaras drilled a 25-yard shot to tie the game in the 56th minute after Haaf slid him the ball to set up the strike.

Senior Lucas DiGregorio gave Matawan a 1-0 lead on a free kick in the 26th minute.

South (Monmouth and Ocean)

(1) Wall 3, (5) Brick 1

Senior Jake Pepe scored two second-half goals and assisted another as the Crimson Knights (16-0) rallied from a one-goal halftime deficit to top the Green Dragons (9-8) and reach Saturday's sectional final against No. 11 Toms River East with their perfect record intact.

Pepe drew Wall even in the 57th minute by converting off a corner kick by senior Chris Cosenza. The senior forward gave the Crimson Knights the lead in the 68th when he knocked in a cross from junior Kyle Horowitz.

Junior Terence Byrnes capped the scoring when he pounced on a rebound off an initial shot by Pepe and finish it in the 70th minute.

Brick jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 25th when sophomore Jayson Nardone took a pass from freshman Nick Rincon and finished to put the Crimson Knights behind.

(11) Toms River East 0, (2) Pinelands 0 (TR East advances on penalties, 4-3)

Senior Mike Conklin converted the winning penalty kick and the Raiders (7-7-2) outlasted the Wildcats (12-1-2) in a shootout to advance to the sectional final Saturday at Wall.

Junior goalkeeper Ryan Testa saved a shot during the round of penalties and made six saves during the game to earn the shutout. Junior Dale Reinhard and sophomores Ryan Kozlej and Kajus Matazinskas each made a shot during the shootout for Toms River East.


Groups II and I (combined)

South (Monmouth and Ocean)

(9) Monmouth 2, (4) Point Beach 1 (OT)

Junior Ryan Kuldanek scored the golden goal off a pass from Alexander Rausch and the Falcons (8-7-1) pulled out an overtime win over the Garnet Gulls (8-6-1) to reach the sectional final Saturday at No. 6 Manchester.

Junior Kaan Pehlivan pulled Monmouth even in the second half with a game-tying penalty kick.

Point Beach jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a direct kick by junior Luke Zylinski in the first half.

(6) Manchester 2, (2) Raritan 1

Sophomore Owen Edwards scored the second of his two goals with 23 seconds left in regulation and the Hawks (9-5-2) pulled out a thrilling win over the host Rockets (8-4-2) to advance to Saturday's sectional final, which Manchester will host against No. 9 Monmouth.

With time winding down, senior Trevor Juralewicz sent the ball into the box and Edwards put away the game-winner in the final minute.

Edwards opened the scoring in the first half off a feed from junior Logan Duffy and the Hawks made it to halftime with the one-goal advantage.

Raritan tied the game in the 54th minute on a goal by sophomore Lupo Ryder.



(1) CBA 1, (5) St. Joseph Metuchen 0

Senior Shane Borenius scored four minutes into the match and the Colts (12-0-1) made it hold up in a one-goal win over the Falcons (7-3-1). CBA advances to the sectional final Saturday, when the Colts will host No. 3 St. Rose.

(3) St. Rose 3, (2) Ranney 0

Junior Luke Hamill bent in a corner kick to open the scoring and the Purple Roses (11-2) added two insurance goals to put away the previously-unbeaten Panthers (8-1) and advance to the sectional final Saturday against CBA.

Junior Colin Westhoven extended the lead to 2-0 after junior Matt Gowen and senior Morgan Fahy worked the ball his way up the right side and Fahy capped the scoring with a goal of his own.



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