Thrive Week 4 Boys Soccer Player of the Week

Rowen Joice, Toms River East

Toms River East opened the season 1-3-2 while trying to adjust to an entirely new on-field personality. The Raiders graduated a First-Team All-Shore striker in Kajus Matazinskas, through whom Toms River East ran its attack.

After learning to share the responsibility of replacing Matazinskas and forming an attack, Toms River East has learned how to win with what has turned out to be a dangerous collection of scorers and Rowen Joice has been the steadiest among them.

Toms River East junior Rowen Joice. (Photo: Tom Smith |
Toms River East junior Rowen Joice. (Photo: Tom Smith |

At the end of September, the junior did not have a goal to his credit, but he made the move to the top of the formation and this season and has been a consistent finishing since the calendar flipped to October. Joice scored a goal in each of Toms River East's first five games this month before the Raiders lost to Middletown North, 1-0, in the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinal on Friday.

During the Week 4 period, Joice scored a goal in a 5-2 win over Freehold Boro that clinched the Raiders a spot in the Shore Conference Tournament. He then scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Brick Memorial, plus another goal in a 3-0 win over Jackson Liberty to cap the week.

Joice ran his streak to four straight games with a goal by scoring on a 30-yard strike in Toms River East's penalty-kick-shootout win over Central Monday in the SCT opening round, which ended in a 1-1 draw through 100 minutes. He then capped the five-game streak with a goal in the Raiders' impressive, 5-2 win at fourth-seeded Colts Neck on Wednesday.

Joice was the runaway winner this week with just over 50 percent of the votes cast. Ocean County turned on in droves to vote for Joice, as well as the two nearest runner-up candidates, Tyler Korinchak of Jackson Memorial (23.2 percent) and Anthony Introna of Lacey (16.6 percent).

As the latest Thrive Player of the Week, Joice will receive a shirt and free training session courtesy of Thrive.

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