Boys Soccer – VOTE: Surf Taco Postseason Player of the Week
Over the last seven weeks, the Shore Sports Network has recognized the top performers in each Shore Conference boys soccer division and the SSN readers have chosen the overall Surf Taco Player of the Week each time.
This week, we take a look at eight players who had standout performances during the final three rounds of the NJSIAA Tournament - played on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday of the past week. This time, there are no division restrictions, just the top performers from the Shore to close out a memorable 2020 season
Read about the eight candidates to close out the 2020 Player of the Week series and vote for the one who did the most to help his team in the playoffs. Overall Player of the Week winners are awarded a Surf Taco gift card. Vote once every hour at the bottom of this post until the poll closes at 10 p.m. on Wednesday.
Shane Borenius, CBA
CBA finished off its case to be the top-ranked team at the Shore in 2020 by winning the Central Jersey East Non-Public championship with wins over St. Joseph of Metuchen and St. Rose. Borenius led the scoring effort with one more strong week to cap his season season. On Thursday against St. Joe’s, Borenius scored four minutes into the match and the Colts made the goal stand in a 1-0 win. In Saturday’s championship vs. St. Rose, Borenius scored in the 32nd for CBA’s second goal and capped the scoring six minutes into the second half for his third goal in two postseason games.
Mike Conklin, Toms River East
Toms River East was the second-lowest seed to reach a sectional final last week, making it all the way to the championship game in the south bracket of the Central Jersey East Group III Tournament. The Raiders nearly pulled out a championship-winning performance too, with Conklin ripping in an equalizer in the 70th minute before Wall denied the Raiders the upset with a 76th-minute penalty kick to win, 2-1. Conklin put up two goals and three assists during Toms River East’s four-game run, including two assists in a 2-0 win over Lacey on Tuesday, the winning kick in a shootout win over Pinelands on Thursday and solid defense while leading Toms River East’s back line.
Owen Edwards, Manchester
This past week was a historic one for the Manchester boys soccer program, which won its first ever NJSIAA sectional championship with a 1-0 win over Monmouth Regional on Saturday. When the Hawks beat Raritan, 2-1, on Thursday, it marked the first time that Manchester had even advanced to a sectional championship game, so the Hawks cleared two major hurdles in one week. It takes a lot of contribution to get that done, but Edwards was the player who came up with the biggest goals during the week. The sophomore scored both goals at Raritan, including the winning goal in the final 30 seconds. He capped his stellar postseason by converting the winning penalty kick in the 70th minute against Monmouth.
Kevin Kiernan, Southern
Kiernan capped one of the best statistical seasons of the last decade with yet another brilliant week for the Rams. He got warmed up with two goals and an assist in Tuesday’s 6-0 quarterfinal win over Manalapan, then handled the all of Southern’s scoring the rest of the way. The senior broke through with a goal in the 55th minute of Southern’s 1-0 win over Long Branch on Thursday, then nearly carried the Rams to their first ever sectional championship on Saturday at Toms River North. Kiernan scored goals in minutes 54 and 76 to put Southern ahead, 2-1, but Toms River North tied the game in the final two minutes and won it in the first minute of overtime.
Jake Nagle, Toms River North
For the second straight season, Toms River North captured an NJSIAA sectional championship with an overtime golden goal – last year winning at Egg Harbor on a goal by current senior Parker Nickelsen and this year coming back to beat Southern on a winner by senior Danny Moreno. With fast-paced, high-level wins over Jackson Memorial, Freehold Township and Southern that included eight Mariners goals, there were a lot of heroes for Toms River North but Nagle stood out. The junior midfielder was the only Toms River North player to score a goal in each postseason game and his last one was the biggest of the tournament. With the Mariners trailing, 2-1, in the final two minutes Nagle drilled a left-footed shot to send the game into overtime and set the stage for Moreno’s heroics.
Jayson Nardone, Brick
Brick completed its first winning season in 12 years and got there by riding its senior trio of Sean Palmer, Zack Meyer and Eli Chong. The Green Dragons closed the season with two postseason wins to reach the sectional semifinal round and one of the most encouraging parts about their performance this past week was how involved some of their younger players were. Nardone was foremost among the youngsters in standing out, with the sophomore scoring twice in a quarterfinal win over Freehold Boro on Tuesday and another goal on Thursday that gave Brick a 1-0 lead on undefeated Wall that held up until the second half.
Jake Pepe, Wall
After dealing with an injury in the middle of the season, Pepe finished his senior year on a tear to held Wall close out its second straight sectional championship and first ever perfect season. The Crimson Knights striker scored six goals in Wall’s final five games, including four goals and two assists in the team’s final three games. Pepe assisted the tying goal and scored the golden goal Tuesday against Toms River South, scored twice and assisted another goal to spark a 3-1 win over Brick on Thursday, and headed in the first goal of a 2-1 win over Toms River East in Saturday’s championship round.
David Tuschmann, Colts Neck
Tuschmann came up two goals shy of leading the Shore Conference in goal-scoring thanks to a red-hot finish to his 25-goal junior campaign. He scored two goals in a 6-0 win over John F. Kennedy of Iselin on Tuesday, then scored the game-winning goal in the 75th minute Thursday to give Colts Neck a 2-1 win over Matawan. In Saturday’s championship game against Cranford, Tuschmann scored 22 seconds into the match to get started on a hat trick that closed his breakout season and gave the Cougars their first NJSIAA sectional championship since 2000.
Class A North: Eduardo Ribiero, Long Branch; Adam Havens, Freehold Twp.; Will Thygeson, CBA
Class A Central: Chris Fontanazza, Raritan; Ryan Kuldanek, Monmouth
Class A South: Danny Moreno, Toms River North; Noah Raimonde, Toms River East; Jack Pleyn, Southern; Danny Lindov, Toms River South
Class B North: Marvin Muñoz Garcia, Neptune; Stephen Ciccarone, Colts Neck; Tom Samaras, Colts Neck
Class B Central: Tanner Curtis, Point Beach; Charlie McCann, Ranney; Colin Westhoven, St. Rose
Class B South: Johnny Hart, Pinelands; Logan Duffy, Manchester