VOTE: Thrive Week 7 Boys Soccer Player of the Week
After last week's feature was a six-player contest following the final rounds of the Shore Conference Tournament, this week's will honor to top performers in the early rounds of the state tournament. Since last week's ballot only included six players instead of the usual eight, this week's contest will make up for it with 10 contestants.
This week also sees the return of division players of the week and with only nine boys teams still playing in the NJSIAA Tournament as of Tuesday afternoon, this will be the last week during the 2023 season in which there will be divisional players of the week.
Vote for the top performer from last week in the poll at the bottom of the post and come back every hour to vote again. The poll closes Thursday at 10 p.m. and the winner will receive a shirt and a free training session, courtesy of Thrive.
Class A North Player of the Week
Nick Turturro, Howell
Another week, another nomination for Turturro, who keeps delivering goals and scoring opportunities for the No. 2 team in the Shore Conference. The junior striker was one of four scorers in Howell’s 4-0 win over Northern Burlington in the first round. In the quarterfinals, he took it up a notch with both the game-tying and game-winning goals in a 3-1 win over Class A North rival Manalapan.
Class A North Honorable Mention: Luca Marano, Manalapan; Paul Que, Middletown North; Dylan Sibilia, Middletown South; Josiah Stepney, Middletown North; Tommy Valinotti, Middletown North; Chris Plessing, Middletown South
Class A Central Player of the Week
David Weiner, Holmdel
Down two starting center backs, Weiner moved from the midfield to the back line and not only led a shutout effort in a 2-0, quarterfinal win for the Hornets over Wall, but he also scored the tiebreaking penalty kick in that victory.
Class A Central Honorable Mention: Liam Barnett, Rumson-Fair Haven; Frankie Brusco, Holmdel; Connor Paul, Holmdel; Luke D’Angelo, Rumson-Fair Haven; Jake Petillo, Wall; Max Eichenbaum, Shore; Cooper Attaway, Shore
Class A South Player of the Week
Kosta Papanikolas, Toms River North
The Mariners are eying a fourth sectional championship in the last five years and Papanikolas has stepped up his game for the state tournament. The senior scored a goal and assisted the other in a 2-0 win over Williamstown to open up the South Jersey Group IV Tournament, the assisted another goal in the Mariners’ 2-0 win over Eastern in Saturday’s quarterfinals.
Class A South Honorable Mention: Chris Schoener, Jackson Memorial; Tyler Korinchak, Jackson Memorial; Aidan Donnelly, Southern; Danny Palhenta, Central; Jake Hall, Toms River South; Anthony Johnson, Toms River South; Ryan Schweigart, Southern
Class B North Player of the Week
Lucas Farkas, Manasquan
The Warriors have put up robust scoring numbers through two rounds of the Central Jersey Group II Tournament and Farkas has been the leading scorer in that effort. The senior notched a goal and two assists in a 5-1 win over Spotswood to kick off the tournament, then scored a goal in a 4-1 handling of third-seeded South River.
Class B North Honorable Mention: Zach Frabizio, Ocean; Sean Moore, Colts Neck; Kyle Moore, Colts Neck; Connor Shaw, Ocean; Cristian Gonzalez, Manasquan; Brandon Kunz, Manasquan; Tim Foley, Colts Neck
Class B Central Player of the Week
Brody Powers, Point Beach
With a young team saddled with the No. 12 team in the section, Point Beach made noise in the Central Jersey Group I bracket. The Garnet Gulls knocked off fifth-seeded Manville, 2-1, behind two first-half goals by Powers, who then scored his team’s lone goal in a 2-1 loss to No. 4 South Hunterdon in the sectional quarterfinals.
Class B Central Honorable Mention: Anthony Marano, St. John Vianney; Mason Boles, St. John Vianney; Indiana Rayna, Ranney; Jack Fallon, Ranney; Colin Bradley, Ranney
Class B South Player of the Week
Owen Clearwaters, Point Boro
Point Boro came oh-so-close to reaching the Central Jersey Group II semifinals and Clearwaters was on his game in getting the Panthers to the brink of one more game. The senior tallied a goal and an assist in a first-round win over Metuchen, then assisted the game-tying goal by Garrett Gurzo in the final minute of regulation in what turned out to be a shootout loss at second-seeded Governor Livingston.
Class B South Honorable Mention: Joey Kurak, Manchester; Connor Noon, Lacey; Garrett Gurzo, Point Boro
Liam Barnett, Rumson-Fair Haven
Barnett and teammate Luke D’Angelo had monster showings in the NJSIAA Tournament, with Barnett scoring two goals and an assist in a 6-1 win over Raritan in round one, followed by the lone goal in a 2-1 loss to Arthur L. Johnson in the sectional quarterfinals.
Zach Frabizio, Ocean
The Spartans keeper is back on the list after another brilliant performance in a tournament game that ended with a penalty shootout. After coming through with a clutch performance over a win in penalties over Manalapan in the Shore Conference Tournament, Frabizio did it again against 2022 Central Jersey Group III runner-up Allentown. Frabizio made save after save throughout a 1-1 game through 100 minutes, saved two attempts in the shootout and converted the winning kick to send the Spartans ahead to the sectional quarterfinals.
Luca Marano, Manalapan
The Braves lasted two rounds in the NJSIAA Tournament and got off to hot starts in each game thanks to Marano. The senior forward scored the first goal in a 2-1 win over New Brunswick in the first round of the Central Jersey Group IV Playoffs, then knocked second-seeded Howell on its heels with a 12th-minute goal before the Rebels rallied to win the quarterfinal showdown with Manalapan, 3-1.
Paul Que, Middletown North
The Central Jersey Group III Playoffs started well for Middletown North, which handled Westampton Tech, 6-1, in the opening round in a game that saw Que contribute a goal and an assist in the victory. The Lions’ stay in the tournament, however, ended Saturday with a heartbreaking, overtime loss at Lawrence, with Que doing his part in the form of a goal that gave Middletown North the lead in the second half.