Manley's Blog

Saturday Wrap-up

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on October 25, 2009

I went to two games today, but I only did one story because I screwed up the time of the Toms River North-Holmdel game. I thought it was at 11, but it was at 10, so I missed Todd Webb’s goal in the 30th minute. If you weren’t at the game, you saw about as much as I did, because there wasn’t much action near the goal in the second half with most of the game happening in the middle.

Coach Dave Mitchell said something interesting after the game. Against Holmdel, Toms River North actually changed how they played, trying to possess the ball in the back and up top, only using the middle of the field to get the ball from the back forward. Mitchell didn’t think his midfielders could hang with Holmdel center mids Rishi Desai and Dan Metzger, so his plan was to keep the ball on the outside and avoid trying to keep possession in the middle of the field.

That’s interesting because Toms River North is the home team, No. 3 seed while Holmdel is No. 19 and lucky to still be playing in a lot of ways, yet it was North who had to gameplan to win and not the other way around. It just goes to show you a) coaches in this area have a lot of respect for Holmdel and b) this North coaching staff knows what its doing. Mitchell has a great mind for the game and bringing on Joe Mahon from Pinelands as his assistant was a great addition as well. If you talk to enough soccer people in Ocean and Monmouth County, you’ll find Mahon is one of the more respected coaches in the area.

As most of you know, I liked Toms River North to win the tournament when it started and I’m holding onto the pick now.

My other finalist…not so much. I had Freehold Township heading back to the final, but their run was over before it started once the clock hit triple zeros Saturday in a 2-1 loss to Toms River South. I loved Toms River South coming into the season and I thought they could be dangerous against the right team. Even though I picked against them, I thought this was a pretty good matchup for them because Freehold Township’s forwards have struggled to finish for most of the year and Toms River South’s weakness is in the back. If the defense could muster up one of its better efforts and the Pats struggled to execute around the goal, the Indians had a real shot to win and that’s exactly what happened. If TR South plays decent in the back, they are awfully tough with Dan Chrashewsky, Sean Casey, Jon Nogiewich, Steve Petrosino and Connor Voll all playing well up top. Today, it was freshman Dmitri Loizos who played the hero, yet another rookie making an impact in the Shore Conference.

Raritan hitting stride

Unlike Loizos, the Shore’s highest-profile freshman and his Southern team had a forgettable day against a rested Raritan machine. Ethan Decker and the Rams took a 5-0 shutout that went downhill after about the first 5-10 minutes, according to coach Evan Brosniak. This is probably the first disappointment for Southern in an otherwise tremendous season that still isn’t over. A loss is one thing, but Brosniak was a little disappointed because he felt his team didn’t show up.

Raritan coach Ron Poll said his boys are rested and healthy for the first time this year, particularly Pat Langan, who Poll said looked like a different guy Monday against Long Branch and on Saturday. Poll also said that he gave his team some time away from the practice field in exchange for some team-building activities, including a trip to the bowling alley. I love it. Anytime you do anything for three straight months, monotony sets in and when you go 10-0-2 and get a week off between games, you’ve earned some time to relax. With Freehold Township out, I like Raritan a lot going forward and even with two tough games against TR South and potentially Marlboro, the Rockets are starting to develop that championship look.

Early starts, late finishes

Two morning games went to overtime Saturday, with Freehold and Marlboro each holding serve at home with 2-1, golden goal wins. Freehold is a more talented team that Toms River East, in my humble opinion, but you just never know with the Raiders. They always play better than outside expectations and it’s not like Freehold is leaps and bounds better. The Colonials now prepare for CBA Tuesday and the Colts will have to bring their hard hats because Freehold works as hard as any team out there and you can bet their energy level will be high playing against everybody’s champion on paper.

Marlboro’s players must really love the game, because 80 minutes doesn’t ever seem to be enough soccer. They always need more. That’s now eight overtime games this season for Marlboro and the Stangs are 6-1-1 in those games this year. While one line of thinking says those games have to go the other way at some point, I say, “Why?” Maybe Marlboro is just really good with the game on the line. I’ve been waiting for them to lose one of these games for about four weeks now, but it’s not happening. There’s no rule that says that as the No. 1 seed, you have to win by a certain amount of goals. All you have to do is score more than the other team and on a game-to-game basis, against a brutal schedule, Marlboro’s done that better than any other team.

CBA-Howell thoughts

Sorry I didn’t have much on the CBA-Howell game yesterday, because the game was definitely worth some additional thoughts. Just a really well-played, hard-fought, exciting game. Howell has been better each time I’ve seen them and while I heard from everybody that they bunkered CBA in the first meeting, that was not the case in the last two. CBA beat them pretty good at Howell a couple weeks ago when Howell tried to play with them, but the Rebels outplayed the Colts from the time Scott Thomsen’s pk made it 2-0 until Kyle Dougher tied the game at 2 in the 61st. If you’re the team that draws Howell in the first round of the state tournament – assuming they are in – I am sorry. Best of luck. Based on its lousy luck lately, it will probably be Freehold Township.

Even though Howell outplayed them for a good chunk of the second half, I saw a lot of good from CBA. A big reason Howell got going was because Steve Krachie had to leave the game with a cut on his chin, once he got back, things settled down for CBA, although he was on the field for Dougher’s game-tying goal. Another good sign – at least I think it’s good – is that CBA showed they can flip the switch on two different occassions in the game. They came out like gangbusters in the first half and put the ball in the net by the seventh minute, and then bombarded the net once Howell tied the game. Krachie, as he’s done all year, took the game over in the middle in the final 18 minutes or so while Brian Sugarman joined him with four shots on net in the second half.

Manasquan tragedy, other scheduling notes

CBA and Marlboro will both play at 3 on Tuesday, while Raritan hosts TR South at 5 p.m. Toms River North hasn’t set a time yet as it will have to see who wins Monday’s St. Rose-Manasquan game.

When Mark Levy emailed me the scheduling change of Manasquan’s game, I figured it just had to do with the late afternoon forecast and the fact that a few St. Rose players were taking the ACTs. Then I read the awful news about yet another train track death involving a student in the Manasquan/Spring Lake area. It makes no sense. My sincerest thoughts and condolences go out to that young man’s family and friends, and I understand some of the players on both St. Rose and Manasquan were friends with him. The players probably aren’t that concerned with the game at this point, but I’m sure they’ll find some relief and refuge once the whistle blows. I hope so anyway.

Speaking of that game, TR North coach Dave Mitchell, who works closely with some people in the Manasquan school system, said Monday’s game could possibly be moved to another location, with a primary option being the turf at TR North. I haven’t spoken to Levy or St. Rose coach Tim McInerney about it yet, but something tells me Manasquan will end up keeping it at the Army Camp. If not, it’s perfectly understandable.

I’ll keep you updated if I hear anything, and if anyone else knows before I do, please share.


4 Responses

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  1. are you kidding? said, on October 25, 2009 at 1:14 pm


    Why is it that Colts Neck does not get it’s deserved recognition? In your Saturday wrap up you talk about Howell, who is out, Freehold who is out, but not Colts Neck going into the Semi-Finals.

    It seems other schools are constantly being written about but Colts Neck – very rare. We may not have great players like the other teams — but they’re out and we are in.

    I don’t get it.

  2. mattmanley said, on October 25, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    I covered the Colts Neck game and I meant to link to the story and just forgot. The only video I posted on Saturday was of Colts Neck beating Wall, so I’m obviously not ignoring you guys. You’d like my thoughts? Ask and you shall receive.

    Also, Colts Neck is in the quarterfinals, not semis. If they knock off Marlboro to get to the semifinals, you’ll get all the coverage you can take.

  3. rocket6 said, on October 25, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Raritan is a team that desreves a bit more credit. They seem to beyond the struggles where lesser teams where taking them to OT and are now dominating their opponent, regardless of who it is. I’d expect to see them in the final. Listen, A-north is tough but just because you don’t play in A-north doesn’t mean you can’t beat them.

  4. jack vanacore said, on October 28, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    You obviouly was not watching the Decker kid from southern in the Raritan game. He was tripled team most of the time and when he finally got clear he had to rocket shots to the goal of which the keeper made great saves. Southerns defense was cheerleading most of the time and let three goals go passed them unoposed. Southern has had a good season and everyone is proud of them

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