Boys Soccer – VOTE: Week 7 Surf Taco Boys Soccer Player of the Week
Each week during the 2022 soccer season, Shore Sports Network recognizes some of the top performers in the Shore Conference over the calendar week and give the fans of the Shore Conference to vote for the overall winner for the Player of the Week. This week, there are 10 candidates, including six Players of the Week from each of the Shore Conference divisions as well as four wild cards -- two more than past weeks as a NJSIAA Tournament bonus.
This week's candidates were selected based on their performances in the first two rounds of the NJSIAA Tournament on Oct. 27 and Oct. 31. Read about the exploits of the 10 candidates and vote for the best of the best to win the latest Player of the Week competition of the 2022 season.
Vote once per hour until the poll closes on Thursday at 10 p.m. The winner will be announced on Friday and awarded a $25 gift card to Surf Taco.
Class A North Player of the Week
Tim Bertscha, Freehold Twp.
Freehold Township made it back to the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV semifinals to defend its sectional title and, if not for Bertscha, that title defense might not have lasted long. The senior scored two goals in a round-one win over West Windsor-Plainsboro South, including a 30-yard rocket for the golden goal that won it for the Patriots, 3-2.
Class A North Honorable Mention: Cade Jacobs, Marlboro; Nick Turturro, Howell; Jake Visco, Freehold Twp.
Class A Central Player of the Week
Nick DiNapoli, Shore
The move back to Group I for the first time since 2016 has been a great one for Shore, which finds itself in the sectional semifinal round for the first time since 2018. The Blue Devils scored 13 goals in their first two games, so there were a few players to pick from when it comes to a Player of the Week candidate. DiNapoli gets the nod, with the senior scoring a goal in a round-one win over Somerset Tech and posting a hat trick and one assist in Monday’s 7-1 win over top-seeded Dunellen.
Class A Central Honorable Mention: James Damiano, Wall; Kyle Desai, Monmouth; Ronan Hogg, Rumson-Fair Haven; David Weiner, Holmdel; Stephan Kapranov, Holmdel; Stephen Molnar, Shore
Class A South Player of the Week
Vinny O’Donnell, Toms River North
Once again, Toms River North has found another gear in the NJSIAA Tournament and heading into Wednesday’s action, the Mariners find themselves two wins away from a fourth straight sectional championship. Toms River North has picked up 2-1 wins over both Toms River East and Washington Township and in the latter victory, O’Donnell stepped up with the game’s first goal in the 54th minute, followed by an assist on a goal by sophomore Josh Brazier that proved to be the game-winner.
Class A South Honorable Mention: Pat Schlagenhaft, Brick Memorial; Nick Prosperi, Southern; Jake Bennert, Toms River North;
Class B North Player of the Week
Cruz Farkas, Manasquan
During his freshman season, Farkas has been a regular contributor for Manasquan but in his first two state tournament games, he has become a star. Farkas scored two goals in each of his team’s playoff wins – first in a 4-1 win over Delaware Valley and again in a 3-0 victory over Monmouth in which the Warriors scored all three of their goals in the second half.
Class B North Honorable Mention: Niko Skeete, Matawan; Aaron Kalish, Matawan; Ernst Louisius, Neptune; Jack Tinik, Neptune; Stavros Fay, Ocean; Aidan Sugrue, Manasquan; Kyle DiMarco, St. John Vianney
Class B Central Player of the Week
Owen Curtis, Point Beach
Point Beach has gone down to the wire to win two Central Jersey Group I road games and the Garnet Gulls have needed their senior goalkeeper to be on his game. Curtis has been nearly perfect, posting a road shutout at Highland Park in a 1-0 Point Beach victory, then getting the Garnet Gulls to penalty kicks after a 1-1 game at New Egypt. In the shootout, Curtis saved the first New Egypt attempt, then converted the winning kick to send Point Beach to the sectional semifinals.
Class B Central Honorable Mention: Josh Boyan, Point Beach; Chris Madden, Point Beach; Tyler Yang, Ranney
Class B South Player of the Week
Jim Cappucci, Jackson Liberty
The state tournament got off to a promising start for the Lions, who steamrolled Freehold Boro, 6-1, to get to the sectional semifinal. Cappucci stepped up in a big way for Jackson Liberty in that victory, scoring a goal and dishing out a pair of assists to help lead the way. Jackson Liberty’s run was cut short with a heartbreaking, overtime loss to Matawan in the sectional quarterfinals.
Class B South Honorable Mention: Connor Noon, Lacey; Ryan Fitzgerald, Lacey
James Damiano, Wall
It is no surprise Wall has not allowed a goal in two NJSIAA Tournament games given the Crimson Knights’ year-to-year track record of boasting defenses that rarely concede, particularly come tournament time. At some point, though, someone needs to score a goal and Damiano has taken up that task. The senior forced an own goal to break a scoreless tie in the 70th minute of Wal’s first-round win over Spotswood and earned a penalty kick for classmate Matt Armenti five minutes later. In a quarterfinal win over top-seeded Bordentown, Damiano headed in a cross from his brother, Nick, in the 63rd minute for the game’s lone goal.
Stavros Fay, Ocean
Prior to Ocean’s first-round game at Middletown South, Fay had never started a varsity game in his four years of high school. Then, the senior got the nod with Ocean’s season on the line and he was the primary reason the Spartans got to keep playing after Oct. 27. Fay scored two go-ahead goals against Middletown South, including the golden goal less than two minutes into overtime to give Ocean a 3-2, road win over the Eagles.
Ernst Louisius, Neptune
Neptune’s 2021 season came to an end with a 3-2, road loss at Steinert and on Monday, the Scarlet Fliers got the rare opportunity for revenge. Playing on its home field this time, Neptune dominated the Spartans, 3-0, behind two goals from Louisius, which put Neptune in the sectional semifinal for the second time since 2018. Louisius also posted a hat trick with an assist in an 8-5 win over Ewing in the first round, giving the senior striker a Shore-Conference-best five goals during state-tournament play.
Niko Skeete, Matawan
The Huskies are on a magic-carpet-ride-run through the Central Group III tournament, with Matawan set to play in Wednesday’s sectional semifinal round as a No. 14 seed. Aaron Kalish played the role of golden-goal hero at Jackson Liberty on Monday, but for the Huskies to get to that round, they needed Skeete to deliver two huge goals in a 4-2 win at third-seeded Colts Neck – a team that beat Matawan, 5-0, during the regular season.