Enter your number to get our free mobile app

The 2019 boys soccer season at the Shore saw the most wide-open race for the No. 1 spot in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 in at least five years and in a normal format in 2020, the competition could be even tighter this season.

Last year’s free-for-all was the result of a rather even mix of senior and underclass talent throughout the Shore and that means there are some key players eligible to return this season. As is the case in most seasons, some players are electing to play for their academy clubs rather than their high school squad and others are dealing with injuries. Below is a list of the players who were recognized as SSN All-Shore, Coaches’ All-Division or All-County and are eligible to play high school soccer in 2020, regardless of their current status with their high school teams.

 

2019 All-Shore Returnees

First Team

Zach Orrico, Sr., Forward, Freehold Twp.

The reigning Shore Sports Network Player of the Year, Orrico put up 17 goals and 10 assists during his junior year and his five goals and two assists during the Shore Conference Tournament drove the Patriots to their second SCT title in six seasons. The Stevens Institute commit scored two goals in the championship game vs. Manasquan to highlight his team’s victory over the Warriors on penalty kicks.

Freehold Township senior Zach Orrico wins a header. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

Kevin Kiernan, Sr., Midfield/Forward, Southern

After nailing down a second-team All-Shore selection as a sophomore, Kiernan elevated to First-Team status by cementing himself as Ocean County’s best player, as voted on by the coaches of Class A South and Class B South. He led all Ocean County players in scoring with 18 goals and two assists and after helping return Southern to heights not seen in nearly three decades, he and his senior classmates have the Rams eyeing title in both Class A South and whatever NJSIAA section they draw come November.

Southern's Kevin Kiernan (left) and Jackson Memorial's Ron Bantang (right) race for the ball. (Photo by Matt Manley)

 

Second Team

Ali Baish, Sr., Forward, Toms River North

Baish started the season on fire with a hat trick against eventual Shore Conference Tournament champion Freehold Township, then closed it with a memorable five-game performance in the NJSIAA Tournament, as the Mariners won their first sectional championship in Group IV since 2010. Baish finished with a team-best 11 goals and nine assists, including two goals and two assists in the state tournament.

Toms River North senior Ali Baish. (Photo by Matt Manley)

Jake Pepe, Sr., Forward, Wall

Wall made its deepest state tournament run in 15 years thanks to a defense that did not concede a goal in any of its six state tournament games, but the Crimson Knights were also quietly effective on the attack. Pepe led that effort by finishing off 11 goals to go with seven assists, including a huge postseason performance that saw him notch five goals and five assists between the SCT and Group III Tournaments.

Wall junior Jake Pepe. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

Tommy Johnson, Sr., Forward, Manasquan

Johnson will not play for Manasquan High School this season after three excellent seasons playing for the Warriors. In that time, Johnson came within four goals of the all-time scoring record at Manasquan, totaling 37 goals and 14 assists in his three varsity seasons. He was an All-Shore Second Team selection as a junior when he scored 14 goals and seven assists, including five goals in three NJSIAA Tournament games.

Johnny Hart, Sr., Midfield, Pinelands

Pinelands graduated two of Ocean County’s top scorers after a banner 2018 season and Hart made sure the Wildcats remained on top of the division with his breakout junior season. The Class B South Player of the Year scored nine goals and three assists for the Wildcats, who won their third straight Class B South division championship and will be favored to make it four in a row with Hart back to lead a strong group of returning players.

Pinelands junior Johnny Hart (right) battles Manchester junior Trevor Juralewicz for the ball. (Photo by Matt Manley)

Steve Ciccarone, Sr., Defense, Colts Neck

The Cougars rounded into form as one of the Shore’s top defensive teams, with Ciccarone playing in the middle of the Colts Neck back four. Ciccarone’s play helped carry Colts Neck to the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2001 and earned him a First-Team All-County selection by the Monmouth County coaches.

 

 

Third Team

Aidan Tisony, Jr., Forward, Ocean

With Ocean graduating nine starters from its decorated 2018 team that finished No. 2 in the SSN Top 10, the Spartans needed a lot of players to step up and that is exactly what Tisony did. After coming off the bench as a freshman on the 2018 club, Tisony stepped into the starting lineup and led Ocean with 12 goals and seven assists to help the Spartans get back to the Central Jersey Group III final for the third straight year.

Drew Walenty, Sr., Forward, Jackson Memorial

When scoring machine and Notre Dame commit Dan Russo decided not to play high-school soccer in 2019, Jackson desperately needed to find goal-scorers to complement an air-tight defense. Walenty was the team’s breakout striker in Russo’s absence, not only tallying eight goals and four assists but also scoring some undeniably clutch goals early in the season.

Luke Pentikis, Jr., Midfield, Rumson-Fair Haven

Rumson was the most improve team in the Shore Conference last season, increasing its win total from one in 2018 to nine in 2019 behind a young core led by Pentikis and freshman younger brother, Alec Pentikis. Luke Pentikis was a facilitator for the Bulldogs, registering five goals and seven assists.

Jason Laviola, Sr., Midfield/Defense, Long Branch

Long Branch caught fire late in the year, rallying to finish second in a loaded Class A North division race and reaching the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV championship as a No. 13 seed by knocking off No. 3 Freehold Township, No. 5 Princeton and No. 1 Marlboro. While leading scorers Patrick O’Dwyer and Eryck Lazo got the goal-scoring glory, Lavialo was instrumental running the midfield and one of his two goals came in the semifinal win at Marlboro.

Evan Quon, Sr., Defense, Rumson-Fair Haven

With the Pentikis brothers and now-graduated Andrew Singleton took care of the scoring duties last year while Quon was again the unheralded hero for the Bulldogs and their improved goal-prevention unit. Even as a sophomore on a one-win team in 2018, Quon earned All-A-Central recognition and now he has the team around him to turn the defensive effort into wins.

Sebastian Campanile, Sr., Goalkeeper, Wall

With the Shore’s best defense in front of him, Campanile did not have to stand on his head to record a Shore-best 17 shutouts, but he was always good for a clutch save or two in a game. Unfortunately for Campanile and his team, they won’t have him to help out a new back four as a hip injury is likely to sideline Campanile for the entire season.

 

 

Coaches’ All-Division and All-County

*- Not playing/Injured in 2020

A North

Zach Orrico, Sr., Freehold Twp.

Jason Laviola, Sr., Long Branch

Jack Longo, Sr., CBA

John Wilhelm, Sr., Freehold Twp. (Goalkeeper)

 

 

A Central

Tommy Johnson, Sr., Manasquan*

Luke Pentikis, Jr., Rumson-Fair Haven

Evan Quon, Sr., Rumson-Fair Haven

Connor Hinds, Sr., Holmdel

Dominick Santaniello, Sr., Monmouth (Goalkeeper)

 

 

A South

Kevin Kiernan, Sr., Southern

Drew Walenty, Sr., Jackson Memorial

Zack Meyer, Sr., Brick

John Paul Prosperi, Sr., Southern

Ali Baish, Sr., Toms River North

Gianni Smith, Jr., Central

Mike Conklin, Sr., Toms River East

Charlie Harrison, Jr., Jackson Memorial (Goalkeeper)

 

 

B North

Jake Pepe, Sr., Wall

Steve Ciccarone, Sr., Colts Neck

Aidan Cardella, Sr., Middletown North

Aidan Tisony, Jr., Ocean

Sebastian Campanile, Sr., Wall (Goalkeeper)*

 

 

B Central

Tommy Boyan, Jr., Ranney

Luke Zylinski, Jr., Point Beach

Woodley Cagilus, Sr., Asbury Park

Matt Kirkpatrick, Sr., St. Rose

Trent Redman, Sr., Ranney

Davenson Joinvilmar, Jr., Asbury Park

Charles Anyichie, Jr., Ranney

Dylan Aportela, Sr., Point Beach (Goalkeeper)

 

 

B South

Johnny Hart, Sr., Pinelands

Logan Duffy, Jr., Manchester

Xavier Millan, Sr., Manchester

James Cahill, Jr., Pinelands

Kody Besser, Jr., Lacey

Ayendi Batista, Jr., Jackson Liberty (Goalkeeper)

Gavin Harris, Sr., Pinelands (Goalkeeper)

 

 

All-Monmouth County

First Team

Zach Orrico, Sr., Freehold Twp.

Tommy Johnson, Sr., Manasquan*

Jake Pepe, Sr., Wall

 

 

Second Team

Steve Ciccarone, Sr., Colts Neck

Luke Pentikis, Jr., Rumson-Fair Haven

Jason Laviola, Sr., Long Branch

John Wilhelm, Sr., Freehold Twp. (Goalkeeper)

Sebastian Campanile, Sr., Wall (Goalkeeper)*

 

 

Third Team

Evan Quon, Sr., Rumson-Fair Haven

Connor Hinds, Sr., Holmdel

Jack Longo, Sr., CBA

Aidan Cardella, Sr., Middletown North

Aidan Tisony, Jr., Ocean

Dominck Santaniello, Sr., Monmouth (Goalkeeper)

 

 

All-Ocean County

First Team

Kevin Kiernan, Sr., Southern

Johnny Hart, Sr., Pinelands

Drew Walenty, Sr., Jackson Memorial

Logan Duffy, Jr., Manchester

Zack Meyer, Sr., Brick

John Paul Prosperi, Sr., Southern

Ali Baish, Sr., Toms River North

Charlie Harrison, Jr., Jackson Memorial (Goalkeeper)

 

 

Second Team

Gianni Smith, Jr., Central

Mike Conklin, Sr., Toms River East

Xavier Millan, Sr., Manchester

James Cahill, Jr., Pinelands

Kody Besser, Jr., Lacey

Gavin Harris, Sr., Pinelands (Goalkeeper)

Jason Trapp, Sr., Central (Goalkeeper)

 

 

Third Team

Jack Fanning, Sr., Brick Memorial

Luke Zylinski, Jr., Point Beach

Alex Heid, Sr., Toms River East

George Kyle Hernandez, Sr., Lacey

Blake Weiner, Sr., Manchester

Ryan McGuire, Jr., Toms River North

Nico Leonard, Sr., Southern

Dylan Aportela, Sr., Point Beach (Goalkeeper)

Ayendi Batista, Jr., Jackson Liberty (Goalkeeper)