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Photo: Steve Meyer
Photo: Steve Meyer

A four-game week is a grueling challenge for a high-school soccer team. It requires a team play at least one set of games on consecutive days and with Sunday not typically a gameday option, it almost always calls for a team to play four games in six days.

Not only did Howell make it through their four-game week last week without dropping a game; the Rebels did so against four teams ranked in the Shore Sports Network Shore 16 and played overtime in three of the four games.

After reaching the Shore Conference Tournament final in 2022, Howell has returned to the upper-echelon of the Shore Conference in 2023 and last week's 3-0-1 performance was a statement of that fact. It was also worthy of the Week 3 Surf Taco Boys Soccer Team of the Week Award.

Howell opened the week with a huge showdown at Holmdel -- a Shore Conference Tournament Group 2 match against the No. 2 team in the Shore 16 that originally began on Sept. 11, but was suspended due to lightning and had to be restarted from the beginning. The Rebels held Holmdel scoreless for 100 minutes in a scoreless draw, including the final 12 minutes while playing a man down due to a yellow-red card.

Holmdel is averaging 4.7 goals per game in its other six matches and since Howell shut them out, the Hornets have turned in performances of four, three and five goals -- all Holmdel wins.

The tie at Holmdel was the first of three straight overtime games for the Rebels, but in each of the next two, Howell found a way to win. With top scorer Nick Turturro forced to sit for a showdown with No. 11 Middletown South, junior Quinn Mills stepped up to score the golden goal in a 2-1 Howell victory over the Eagles.

Mills was not a starter on last year's team and neither was Kam Brown, who scored the golden goal two days later in Howell's 2-1, overtime win over rival and 14th-ranked Freehold Township.

Howell closed out the three-win week with a 3-1 win over Central, which was the first loss suffered by the No. 12 Golden Eagles this season. Tye Maser capped a strong individual week with his second goal of the four-game stretch, while Turturro and Tyler Borenstein -- each of whom had an assist earlier in the week -- both scored as well in the win over Central.

After tying Marlboro this week, Howell is positioned for a run at a second straight Shore Conference Class A North public division championship, which will likely come down to a game vs. Middletown North on Thursday. The Rebels can also secure a spot in the Shore Conference Tournament with a win or draw vs. Manchester in a game scheduled for Saturday.


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