Manley's Blog

Wednesday Thoughts

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on September 17, 2009

First of all, if anyone is looking for scores, they’re on the post below. I actually have a score for every game that took place, so we’re making progress.

Manasquan 4, Red Bank Catholic 1

A must win game for both teams ends with Manasquan taking it to RBC with Ben Drake scoring his third goal in three games in between two by Sean Woolley. Red Bank Catholic trailed by only a goal at the half, but Manasquan dominated the first 20 minutes to put it away, with Jeff Algor scoring in the 61st to make it 4-0. Remember, Manasquan fell 4-1 to Matawan in a game Huskies coach Dave Deegan said was much closer than the score indicates. The Warriors were on a mission to shake off the loss and they came through.

As for RBC, they’re 0-2 in an unforgiving division. If, however, they have as much success against Holmdel as they did last year (2-0 against the Hornets), then the best is yet to come.

Holmdel 2, Matawan 1

I know Josh Newman from the APP was there, so the coverage over there might be a little more expansive, but here’s my take anyway: Matawan is a tough team. Holmdel has had some problems finishing early in the season and they needed some lucky bounces today – they scored on an own goal and a direct kick by Dan Metzger – to get by a fiesty Matawan team that played a man down for about the entire second half and outscored Holmdel during the proccess (a penalty kick by Eric Stanfield in the 71st was the score). It was a tough one to lose, but Matawan showed some fight.

Holmdel needed a win and they got it, simple as that. They’re not earning style points at this point, but their best soccer is yet to come. It’s too good of a team to struggle like they have.

Raritan 1, SJV 0

Pat Langan found the net for the first time this year, a great sign for the Rockets. Once he rounds into shape, look out. The goal came on a counter and with their team speed, Raritan is as dangerous a counter team as there is. Manasquan and Toms River South have guys like Drake and Dan Chrashewsky, but Raritan just bombards teams on the counter. I continue to maintain that Brandon Barrett is the most underrated player in the Shore Conference. Outside of anyone on CBA, he might have the best instincts as a passer in the Shore Conference.

I’m starting to think SJV just might be the second best team in the division. They’ll have a chance to prove it against Holmdel on Friday and Manasquan next Wednesday.

Ocean 5, Neptune 1

I’m a little surprised by Neptune’s slow start. They are very young, but everyone who saw them in the preseason said they were a sleeper, and if they want to get back into the playoff mix, they will have to surprise some teams.

Ocean looked a little uninspired when I saw them play Red Bank, but as an entire body of work, they’ve been solid so far with two wins and hard-fought defeat to a Wall team that just looks a little deeper right now. Rubinstein is back to old ways with three goals and two assists in the early going, while Doug Dombrowiecki already has four goals, including two two-goal games.

Freehold 5, Long Branch 0

Like Neptune, Long Branch is another young team trying to establish a foundation in the division. Against Neptune and Red Bank, Long Branch might be able to make some noise but against two experience teams, Matawan and now Freehold, the Green Wave have been overmatched by a combined 9-1 margin.

Freehold has been impressive so far in outscoring its two opponents by a combined score of 7-0, but those opponents were the two youngest teams in the division in Long Branch and Neptune. Ocean, the Colonials opponent Monday, has some new faces, but should be a good test for a Freehold team that looks ready to make a move in B North.

Rumson 6, Asbury Park 0

Rumson survived a scare against Asbury last year when the Bulldogs needed overtime to beat the Bishops, 2-1 on a Jon Portman goal. Jake O’Donnell made sure Rumson got its win by notching his first career hat trick. This might be bad news for Point Beach which lost to Asbury 3-1 on Monday. The Gulls are young, and based on these couple of results, it looks like it will be an all out rebuilding year.

Shore 6, Mater Dei 0

This game was scoreless at the half, until Shore finally broke out by scoring all six goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half. Outside of Chris Sverapa (three goals), the players of the match by all accounts were two names that don’t stick out in the box score. Taylor Scarpino ran the show at outside midfielder and, according to Shore coach Chris Gioia, dominated the game. The other was Mater Dei’s freshman keeper Bobby Klatt, who despite giving up six goals, kept his team in the game with a whopping 19 saves (I guess that does sort of show up in the box score).

Things snowballed a bit for Mater Dei, but they showed signs of being the most inproved team in all of the Shore Conference, even in a blowout loss. Shore, meanwhile, hopes it shook off the rust that plagued the team for the first 120-plus minutes of the season. They’ve been a late October team the last few years, but I’m sure they’d like to pick it up a littl earlier this year.

Now to promote some stuff on the site:

-Congrats to Middletown South for finally getting an A North win. I pieced together a column on the win Tuesday night, which you can read here.

-Videos are up and running and I’ve provided a description of each one to help you understand the context in which each highlight is happening. Once I add some more highlights to the pool, we’ll get some fan top 10 plays of the week going and things of that nature.

-Wednesday’s will usually be reserved for notebooks, which will be subscriber only content starting next week. I’ve been busy working out some kinks, but I owe everyone a free notebook, in which I will take you through each division and discuss any news or issues. Some opinion in there, but mostly reporting.

-One of the things I’m trying to set up for you guys are stats pages, which will ideally include a top 30 or so Shore scorers, top 20 division scorers, and team stat pages. I’m going to need a lot more help getting stats from the games, but I don’t see why we can’t make this work. I think it would look pretty sweet.

-Tomorrow is Ocean County day for me. I’ll be at Point Boro-Manchester, followed by Lacey-Brick Memorial. The Colts Neck-Freehold Township game should be a good one and if these two teams hang around, I’m sure that’s a game I’ll be catching the second time through. Tomorrow, however, should be exciting considering Freehold Twp., the defending Shore ConferenceĀ  Champions, are trying to avoid an 0-3 start against a Colts Neck team that’s looking a lot like Freehold Township did two years ago when it started the year on a roll. More on the two Ocean County games and the big one in A North tomorrow.

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