Boys Soccer – VOTE: Week 6 Surf Taco Player of the Week
Each week during the remainder of the 2019 season, Shore Sports Network recognizes the top players in each Shore Conference boys soccer division over the past seven days and gives the readers a chance to vote for the top performers.
This week's group is listed based on their accomplishments between Oct. 7 and Oct. 13 and features 10 players who stood out during the early rounds of the Shore Conference Tournament.
Read about each of the SCT standouts and vote for your favorite. Vote once per hour through the Wednesday deadline at 10 p.m. The top vote-getter will win a $25 gift card to Surf Taco.
Jalen Folsom, Toms River South
For three seasons now, Folsom has shined during tournament time and this year, his team has done so along with him. After disappointing exits in the first round of both the SCT and state tournament last year in which Folsom did not concede a goal in regulation, Toms River South has responded by advancing to this year’s SCT quarterfinals on the strength of two shutouts. Following a dominant 3-0 win over Pinelands in round one, the Indians knocked out top-seeded Holmdel on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw. Folsom made three huge saves in the late stages of the second half and stopped Holmdel’s final penalty shot in the shootout to punch his team’s ticket to the final eight.
Drew Greenblatt, Manasquan
Greenblatt is back on the ballot this week after coming up clutch for the Warriors again last week. After scoring the golden goal that officially clinched Manasquan a spot in the SCT, Greenblatt scored the goal that beat No. 2 Marlboro, 1-0, in the SCT round of 16 – a beautiful, one-timed volley off a cross from junior teammate Tommy Johnson. Greenblatt also scored the third of three Manasquan goals in a 3-0, opening-round win over Toms River North on Wednesday.
Diego Ibarra, Monmouth
The Falcons once again proved to be a tough team to put away last week in reaching the SCT round of 16 and taking Wall to the final minutes in a 3-2 road loss. Ibarra came up with a big goal in both games, scoring one of two goals in a 2-1 win over Raritan in round one and notching Monmouth’s second goal to cut Wall’s lead to 3-2 in the 77th minute of the round of 16 on Saturday.
Dylan Jacobs, Colts Neck
Jacobs and the defense deserve some recognition, not only for posting a pair of SCT shutouts last week but for racking up clean sheets in all eight of Colts Neck’s wins this season. The Cougars opened up the conference tournament with a 2-0 win over Manchester in which Jacobs needed just a pair of saves to pick up shutout No. 7. In the next game, Jacobs was under far more duress and made three key saves to keep Long Branch off the board long enough for the Cougars to win the game in the second minute of overtime on a goal by sophomore Tom Samaras.
Kevin Kiernan, Southern
Kiernan continued his outstanding senior season last week with two two-goal games – the first of which came in a 4-0 win over Ranney in the opening round of the Shore Conference Tournament. The junior midfielder added two more in a 4-0 win over Central that capped the Rams’ Class A South regular-season schedule and he followed that up with a strong game in the midfield in his team’s 1-0 win over Middletown South in the SCT round of 16 on Saturday.
Connor Lucas, Jackson Memorial
Lucas has been a constant during an injury-plagued season for Jackson Memorial, which has overcome each obstacle to get to win Class A South and reach the SCT quarterfinals a 12-2 team. The senior defender stepped up in a big way on Friday by scoring the winning goal in the 66th minute to propel the Jaguars past Neptune, 2-1, and into the SCT quarterfinals against CBA.
Bennett Messinger, Freehold Township
Messinger has already scored a tournament-best four goals in two Freehold Township wins, tallying two apiece in wins over Mater Dei and Rumson-Fair Haven. Messinger scored twice in the first 15 minutes in the Bulldogs nail-biting, 3-2 win over the Bulldogs in the SCT round of 16 on Saturday after putting two in to go with an assist during a comfortable 4-0 win over the Seraphs in the first round. Messinger also converted a penalty kick in a 4-2 loss at CBA to make it a five-goal week for the senior forward.
Luke Pascarella, CBA
Pascarella has been CBA’s top scorer for the second straight year and his big week last week led the Colts to three big wins. The senior striker poured in a hat trick in a 6-0 rout of St. Rose in the Shore Conference Tournament opening round. He then scored the go-ahead goal in a 4-2 win over Freehold Township, which gave CBA a 2-1 lead it would not relinquish. To cap his week, Pascarella scored one of CBA’s four goals in a shutout win over Toms River East in the SCT round of 16.
Louis Pennington, Neptune
Although Neptune got bounced in the SCT round of 16 by Jackson Memorial, the Scarlet Fliers had a strong showing as a No. 19 seed and are now looking like a team to fear in the upcoming Central Jersey Group III playoffs. Pennington is one of several weapons on the attack and the senior stepped up in the SCT, scoring a goal and assisting another in a 3-0 road win over Matawan in round. Pennington added the equalizer in 60th minute of the round of 16 Friday at Jackson Memorial before the Jaguars scored the winner six minutes later to escape with a 2-1 win.
Jake Pepe, Wall
Wall boasts a balanced scoring attack with a stout defense, but Pepe has been the Crimson Knight’s go-to in big spots throughout the season. The junior scored two of Wall’s seven tournament goals last week – one in a 4-0 win over Point Beach and another in a 3-2 win over Monmouth in the round of 16. The goal on Saturday against the Falcons made it 3-1 and proved to be the game-winner, with Pepe taking a shot from Monmouth keeper Dom Santaniello as he headed the ball in.
Honorable Mention: Chris Vollrath, CBA; Tyler Weiss, Toms River South; Zach Orrico, Freehold Twp.; Alec Pentikis, Rumson-Fair Haven; Tommy Johnson, Manasquan; Mario Addiego, Southern; Tom Samaras, Colts Neck; Luke Pentikis, Rumson-Fair Haven; Ryan Testa, Toms River East; Armand Valentino, St. John Vianney; Michael Avnet, Manalapan; Joy Valdovinos, Brick; Rob D’Agostaro, Point Beach; Liam Stewart, Mater Dei Prep