Manley's Blog

Early Week Roundup

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on September 29, 2009

I got my first look at Monsignor Donovan this year in the Griffins 3-2 win over Toms River East, and I finally got to see Liam Cahill play in Manchester’s 3-2 loss to Toms River South. It’s hard to believe that while covering the beat for all four of Cahill’s years, this is the first look I got of him.

We’ll start with the Manchester midfielder. His best attribute is his strength, which I wasn’t expecting based on what I’ve heard of him. He’s got very good athleticism, which is reflected in his ability to win the vast majority of balls in the air and get to any loose balls around him. To put it simply, he is strong, fast, and works very hard, and that is what to like best about him.

The soccer skills aren’t too bad either. He showed pretty good touch with his passing, although it was hard to tell on the turf. His vision and decisiveness with the ball were both comfortably above average and he hit three firm shots, one of which was a left-footed rocket that found the back of the net.

The couple negatives I found all game was that he might have tried to do too much a couple of times with the ball at his feet and he looked a little gassed in the last few minutes, but with the load he is asked to carry, I’m surprised he didn’t try to go one-on-one more and that he wasn’t keeled over at the conclusion of the game. Overall, he’s in great shape and shows a willingness to play with his teammates and make them better.


Friday Roundup

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on September 26, 2009

Let’s make the rounds, taking a look at the games that went down Friday.

Red Bank Catholic 1, Holmdel 0

If you didn’t believe me and all the A Central coaches when we said how tough A Central is, do you believe us now? Holmdel, who hasn’t played poorly with the exception of the 2-0 loss to SJV and maybe a half against Matawan – it’s only win fittingly enough – is now 1-5 after coming into the season with hope of making a run at a sectional title with a loaded junior class. RBC has now won three in a row to get back to .500 and has defeated a very talented Holmdel squad three straight times dating back to last year.

Ryan King scored 16 minutes in on a counter with E.J. Sauer giving him the assist. King has three goals  and Sauer three assists in the last two games. According to RBC coach George Black, Holmdel was in the Caseys end most of the game and in the last 15 minutes, Black packed in his defense to try to clog the path to the goal.

RBC will start round two through the very tough A Central nest week and will have to find a way to beat SJV, Manasquan or Raritan, in addition to beating Matawan and Holmdel again, to be able to think about the postseason. The biggest game this coming week might be Saturday’s matchup with Rumson, which could make RBC 2-0 outside of its division, which would mean they’d only have to go 4-6 in the division to be in a position to make the postseason. RBC’s three other nondivisional games include Red Bank (1-5), Henry Hudson (1-3) and Point Boro (4-1).

As for Holmdel, they’re in about as bad of a whole as anyone could have imagined for a team this good. If they’re as talented as everyone including myself thought they were to start the season, then they’re capable of going 4-1 during its second run through the division. Finishing goals has continued to plague the Hornets, but their play in the midfield has been up to the level most of us expected. If the goals start finding the net, Holmdel might be able to make a late run at the postseason, but it’s going to be much tougher than anyone and certainly the team itself thought.

Long Branch 3, Wall 1

An even bigger stunner than RBC’s win Friday was Long Branch’s two-goal margin of victory over first-place Wall. Luis Ribiero got Long Branch started in the 16th minute and while Wall pushed up and looked to tie the game over the next 45 minutes, Long Branch held tough until Wilson DeSousa scored in the 77th minute to effectively put the game away for a young but potentially dangerous Long Branch team.

At first glance, it’s easy to assume Wall was looking ahead to Freehold next week, but they were probably looking forward to a day off more than anything. Center mid Ian Whelan was banged up and didn’t come in until the second half, but by then, Long Branch had Wall in the hole. In addition to the injury, Wall had already played on Monday and again Wednesday night, so Friday’s game was the third in three days. The Crimson Knights didn’t play well Monday against Manasquan and they finished the week with a whimper today. The good news is they have four days off before a big game against undefeated Freehold Wednesday.

Monmouth 1, Ocean 0

The Falcons got back in the win column with an overtime win over the Spartans. Will Douglas scored 50 seconds into overtime to break a scoreless tie and give the Falcons sole possession of third place ahead of Ocean. Monmouth was coming off a 2-1 loss to Freehold Wednesday and despite battling some injuries, beat a good Ocean team. This is definitely the Falcons biggest win of the year after playing both Freehold and Wall tough in 2-1 losses.

Freehold 2, Red Bank 0

Sounded like an ugly game with a lot of yellow cards, but Red Bank hung tough for 78 minutes, before Rob Soto scored his second goal of the game to put it away. Soto, a sophomore, scored two minutes in to give the Colonials an early lead, but Freehold was flat for the next 75 minutes against a Red Bank team that is better than its record. Like Wall, Freehold played three games this week, but the Colonials went 3-0 and get to enjoy a weekend in first place in Class B North before taking on Wall Wednesday.

Central 1, Barnegat 0

Very quietly, Central has crept back into the B South race, starting with a thrilling win over Manchester Thursday. The Golden Eagles got a goal from Nick Salvemini Friday and made it hold up for their fifth straight win. Central plays Point Boro on Thursday in its next divisional game and based on how they’ve played since an opening day loss to Donovan, the Eagles have a first-place run in them. Barnegat has played well this year even though they just dropped below .500 with the loss, and they may surprise someone in the second half of the season and get into the playoffs.

Manchester 2, Pinelands 1

Pinelands struck first on a goal by Matt Cardillo, but goals by Liam Mike Agudelo and Liam Cahill helped Manchester rally and move to 5-2. The Pinelands goal was just its second of the season, but the Wildcats put a score into the Hawks.

SJV 5, Matawan 0

John Boylan continued to make his case as the best player in a very good Class A Central division with a three-goal game against Matawan.

For the rest of the scores, check the scoreboard page on

Thursday scoreboard

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on September 24, 2009

Forgive the excessive bolding. WordPress is acting weird. I gave my thoughts on the games in the post below. I slaved over a hot stove, so please eat my cooking.

A North

Howell 1, Midd North 0

Freehold Twp 3, CBA 2
CBA – G: Sugarman, Gragnano; A: Beaty
FT – G: Egan 2 (pk), Fedak; A: Fiorletti, Morris

Manalapan 1, Colts Neck 1
MAN – G: Morales
CN – G: Guzman; A: Caruso

Marlboro 3, Midd. South 0

A South

TRN 2, Jackson 1

Southern at Brick Mem – PPD

TRE 2, TRS 1

B Central

Rumson 3, Shore 2

B South

Barnegat 2, Jackson Liberty 0

Central 4, Manchester 3 (OT)

Lakewood 2, Pinelands 0

Mon Don 1, Point Boro 0
MD – G: Yatauro; A:

Thursday Thoughts

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on September 24, 2009

I’ll put the schedule up on the blog in a little bit, but I wanted to touch on a few of the big games on the schedule for Thursday.

-Freehold Township hosting CBA is the marquee game of the day, featuring the defending SCT champs playing the team everyone thinks is going to win the SCT this year. While Marlboro might have made some doubters out of “everyone,” CBA is still CBA and they will have a target on their backs for the rest of the year and beyond. Freehold Township needs a win to stay in the hunt for the division title, but in this division, they have to at least be relieved they got back on track after an 0-2 start.

With that said, the Pats have to feel good about this game for a few reasons. First, CBA proved to be vulnerable against Marlboro, and while Freehold Twp. probably would have liked to give CBA its first loss, knowing it can be done has to help. Second, CBA didn’t win enough loose balls against Marlboro and against Freehold Township, it’s even more imperative to be strong on 50-50s because of the Pats’ straight up speed up and down the field. This may be a positive for CBA, if only because they got a bit of a wake-up call on Tuesday. Third, Freehold Township beat CBA last year without Ryan Clark while Clark was serving his two-game suspension for drawing a red card. Clark is the real difference between this last year’s team and this year’s team and the Pats should have the confidence to know that what they have is good enough to win. It’s a big game both ways: the Pats can get over .500 and reestablish themselves as contenders in A North, while CBA can’t afford to have two losses right off the bat to the best two teams it plays all year.

Wednesday Games

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on September 23, 2009

Manasquan 2, SJV 1

Ben Drake scored two goals to push his total to six for the season as the Warriors rallied from a one-goal deficit to knock off the Lancers in A Central.
RBC at Matawan, 6:30

Raritan 2, Holmdel 1 (OT)

Brandon Barrett scored in the 95th minute to help the Rockets stun the Hornets. Pat Langan took the ball on a counter attack and played it through to Barrett who punched it home for the win, Raritan’s fifth straight to open the season. Nick Conforti score the Holmdel’s only goal, the first Raritan has allowed this season.

John Stazzone scored the first Raritan goal in the 34th on a shot that deflected off a Holmdel defender and past goalkeeper Dan Marino.

Dan Metzger hit the crossbar late in the second half, which turned out to be Holmdel’s best chance to win the game.

“Our guys were pumped for this one,” Holmdel coach John Nacarlo said. “We haven’t really played well since the first game of the season (a 1-0 loss to Manasquan) but we finally played a good game today. But A Central is really tough. I would have never in a million years thought we’d be 1-4 but here we are. We need to get back on track on Friday against RBC, but today was a start.”

This game coupled with the Lacey game (below) is why I wish I could be two places at once.

Lacey 2, Brick 1 (OT)

Jared Krampetz hit a shot from 40 yards out with 30 seconds left in the second overtime to stun Brick in A South. You can read about it and watch the actual shot on the website a little later or Thursday morning.

Freehold 2, Monmouth 1

Eric Fitzpatrick scored twice to help the Colonials erase a 1-0 deficit and move to 4-0 with a win over Monmouth. Video and story will be up shortly on the website.

Wall 3, Neptune 0

Red Bank 1, Long Branch 0

Matt Raybon scores from Andy Caban Charley Olman in the 74th to give Red Bank its first win of the year and hand Long Branch its fourth straight loss.
Mater Dei 9, Asbury Park 0

Shore at Point Beach, 3:45

Henry Hudson at Rumson, 7

Week 2: Monday and beyond

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on September 22, 2009

I’m trying to move away from using the blog as a scoreboard, so I’ve started posting scores right on the website. Just click on “scoreboards” along the top menu and it will bring you to each day. I’ll still probably put stuff on the blog, but only because I can update it from my blackberry. So I probably won’t post goal-scorers, just scores.

That’s it for the administrative stuff, so let’s look at what we’ve got coming up this week.

The big Monday stories come out from Freehold and Manasquan, both of which picked up impressive victories over quality opponents. Freehold improved to 3-0 after defeating Ocean 4-2 in its first major test of the season. The Colonials opened the season with wins over Long Branch and Neptune, which have a combined record of 3-8 and are both extremely young units, but they beat a somewhat flawed, but still dangerous Ocean team. Alex Castruita has been phenomenal so far and is playing like one of the most improved players in the Shore Conference this year, currently sitting at five goals and two assists after putting two more in the back of the net Monday.

Class B North still has to sort itself out a bit, but we should learn a lot in the next few days. Monmouth and Freehold will play one another on Wednesday at Freehold and the winner of that one will have an inside track to second place, assuming we all like Wall to win it. If that team is Freehold, you have to then like their chances to make a run at the division, because they still have two games left against Wall. Monmouth on the other hand, has not seen Ocean yet and has beat up the bottom of the division to get to 3-1. They did however, hang with Wall, 2-1 on Saturday.

Saturday Action

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on September 19, 2009

Great game between Lacey and TR North, which ended in a 1-1 tie. Unfortunately, I failed to get the two goals and TR North goalie Kevin Meinert’s best save on video, but there is some good stuff in the highlights anyway. As usual, there will be a story up as well.

A North

CBA 3, Midd South 0
CBA – G: Gragnano, Romano, Sugarman

A South

Brick 1, TRS 1
BRK – G: Barr; A: Tunis
TRS – G: Petrosino

Lacey 1, TRN 1
LAC – G: McElvaney; A: Ratyniak
TRN – G: Sica; A: Webb

Southern 1, TRE 0
SOU – G: Lockwood (pk)

B North

Wall 2, Monmouth 1
WALL – G: Dragonette, Aylett
MON – G: Bard; A: Mackin

B South

Point Boro 4, Barnegat 0
PBO – G: Graziano 2, Brodeur, Pazienza, ; A: LaCour, Brodeur

Manchester 4, Monsignor Donovan 2
MAN – G: Cahill 2, Schmidt 2; A: Schmidt, Cahill, Barbosa
MON – G: Garrick, Yatauro; A: Avalos 2


RBC 7, Mater Dei 0
RBC – G: King, Baron, Guastella 3, Manucci, Fox; A: Geraghty 3, Guastella, King, McDonald

Friday Scores

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on September 18, 2009

Sorry the blog content was so vanilla last night. Anytime I cover two games, I go pretty late into the night/early into the morning and I’m usually not up to going game-to-game on the blog before bed. I’ll touch on some of yesterday’s action, as well as today’s games after I’m done with the video and story from the SJV-Holmdel game.

Onto the schedule. Will update scores as I get them.

A Central

Raritan 2, RBC 0
RBC – G: ; A:
RAR – G: ; A:

SJV 2, Holmdel 0
SJV – G: Drennan, Maglione; A: Boylan, Cenetiempo

A South

Brick Mem 2, Jackson Mem 1
BM – G: ; A:
JM – G: ; A:

B North

Monmouth 3, Neptune 2 (OT)
MON – G: Riley 2 (GWG 88′), Rooney; A: Petrone, Riley, Kapiscenski
NEP – G: ; A:

B Central

Shore 9, Henry Hudson 0
SHO – G: Scarpino, Junquiera 3, Sverapa, Messeroll, Cappasso, McKenzie, C. Arnette; A: Progosa 4, McKenzie, Sverapa, Ferrarro, D. Arnette

Point Beach 3, Mater Dei 2 (OT)
MD – G: ; A:
PBE – G: Torro, Saverino, Peterson (93′); A: Depollo 2, Daley

St. Rose 3, Rumson 1
SR – G: Bozinos, Marx, Clark
RFH – G: Alderoty

B South

Central at Lakewood, 3
CEN – G: ; A:
LAK – G: ; A:

Pinelands at Jackson Lib, 3:45
PIN – G: ; A:
JL – G: ; A:

Thursday Scores

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on September 17, 2009

A North

CBA 1, Howell 0
CBA – G: Thorsheim

Manalapan 1, Midd. South 0
MAN – G: Fanella (80′); A: Morales

Marlboro 2, Midd. North 1 (OT)
MAR – G: Katz 2; A: Weisberger, Rangel
MN – G: Papa

Freehold Twp. 6, Colts Neck
FT – G: Tilley, Fedak, Caruso, Fiorletti 2, Morris; A: Fiorletti 2, Fedak, Guarino, Egan
CN – G: Tetro; A: Chiappone

A South

Brick 2, Jackson Mem. 1
JM – G: DeLorenzo (pk)
BRK – G: Barr 2; A: Guedes, Downs

TRN 1, TRE 0
TRN – G: O’Donnell; A: Webb

TRS 2, Southern 0
TRS – G: Borque, Chrashewsky; A: Chrashewsky, Casey

Lacey 3, Brick Mem 0

LAC – G: Rutter, Ratyniak, Ganzey; A: Krampetz, Etting, Ratyniak

B North

Wall 4, Red Bank 0
RBR – G: ; A:
WALL – G: ; A:

Ocean 3, Long Branch 1
OCN – G: Vetrano, McBride, Dobrowiecki; A: Rubinstein, Howlett, Gilmore
LB – G: Corrales; A: Castano

B South

Barnegat 2, Lakewood 1
LAK – G: Morales
BAR – G: Fogarty, DiCandia; A: Peters, Cunningham

Jackson Lib at Central, 3:45
JL – G: ; A:
CEN – G: ; A:

Mon Don 3, Pinelands 0
MD – G:  Yatauro, Yatauro, Yatauro; A:  Honeker, Covello

Point Boro 2, Manchester 0
PB – G: Brodeur, Koen; A: P. Cooke, Remondelli

Non Conference

Newark Tech at Asbury Park, 4
AP – G: ; A:

Philosophical Question

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on September 17, 2009

I’ve never really decided what I think about playing a brutal division schedule. There is the school of thought that says competition breeds excellence, which I think is the camp most people subscribe to. When you talk to any A North coach, he usually thinks his team is well-prepared for anything they see in the state or SCT tournament. Manalapan and CBA have proved that in the last few years with each making runs to their respective Group finals two years ago.

Then there’s the other side of the coin, which I’m starting to worry is taking effect with some of the teams in the Shore Conference. Last year, A North and the Shore Conference Tournament was a borderline bloodbath, and you basically had the Group IV schools run out of gas in the playoffs: Freehold Township lost to Howell, Howell lost to Steinert, Manalapan lost to Marlboro, Marlboro lost to Brick Memorial. Howell, Freehold Township, and Marlboro all made deep SCT runs, exerted themselves for 14 A North games and just didn’t have much left in the state tournament. You might rather be Brick Memorial, a talented team who plays a little bit lighter division schedule but still got a dose of premium talent like Toms River East and Freehold Township during the season. Sometimes a taste of competition is better than a steady diet.

Which brings me to my first two subjects of the evening: Toms River North and Raritan. Let’s start with Raritan, because they played Wednesday night, holding off Vianney in a 1-0 win. As good as I thought they were heading into last year, the response from opposing coaches and objective onlookers last year paled in comparison to the reviews they are getting this year. Simply put, people are impressed. The CBA crowd might not be blown away, but that team is a different animal altogether. I had one A Central coach tell me that Raritan is going to run away with the division, which is very tough this year, and everyone else would beat the crap out of each other.

The question is, how much does A Central challenge Raritan and do they get to see a big school in the Shore Conference Tournament? Personally, I think A Central might take a little more out of them than it would in most years. A lot of people are crowning them already, but let’s not forget that Raritan started last year on a tear as well before enduring an injury to goalkeeper Dave Gonzalez and hitting the wall a bit. I’m sure coach Ron Poll is telling his team the same thing, and in a division with five other quality teams, the Rockets don’t get a night off to recuperate. I’m interested to see if that takes anything out of them. If not, and they’re able to use a deep rotation and breeze through a tough division, well then maybe they are that good.

Toms River North looks like a team that can do a ton of damage in the state tournament for a lot of reasons. First of all, and with all due respect to the other teams in A North, they are going to be able to win games without playing their best against certain teams because they are so talented. Secondly, they have a good sampling of tough games mixed in: they play Toms River South twice, as well as solid Group III schools Lacey and Brick, along with squads like TR East and Jackson, who are always tough. As long as they can make a run through the SCT to the point where they get to test themselves against a team like Marlboro or even Raritan, they’ll have a great frame of reference for what it takes to beat a high caliber opponent. If they get to see CBA, it likely means they made it to the SCT final, because it would be hard to envision a scenario in which either did not win its respective division.

I’ll pose the question then. If you have a talented team, would you rather play a tough schedule and risk getting worn out or a less challenging schedule with a few tough games mixed in and risk not being ready for the next level of competition?