Manley's Blog

Wrap-up supplement

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on October 25, 2009

I didn’t touch on Colts Neck’s win over Wall yesterday because I wrote a game story on the web site, but I at least should have linked to it. Sorry.

I think I covered most of the keys to the game in the story, from some key absences and adjustments from Wall, to Colts Neck’s improved play, but some additional thoughts couldn’t hurt. I haven’t seen Colts Neck since they beat Freehold Township a couple weeks back, but on Saturday, they didn’t look like a team that was struggling in its last five games. Colts Neck basically came out and played their style without worrying about how to attack its specific opponent. I recall talking to coach Art Collier after a loss to Marlboro, and he said they tried to play with two forwards for the first 10 minutes and fell behind 2-0, then immediately went back to three forwards, which is its standard formation. On that subject, Collier said he’s done adjusting to other teams to open the game. Colts Neck plays four players at forward over the course of the game – Brendan Murphy, Michael Caruso, Marco Guzman and Alex Ramos. Ramos can play in the midfield and be an asset and Caruso can play anywhere, so they can play with a couple different looks if they needed to, but just judging off the Marlboro game, they do look like a more comfortable team in a three-forward set.

Bill Kallas has done a really nice job defensively this year and Anthony Pistola  and Zach Dritsas look like they’re going to be big players as seniors next year. The defensive unit had a breakdown in the back early in the second half, but they dodged a bullet with a save off the endline by Dritsas, who also played well in the back, and a missed shot right after that. James Sheehan made his usual three big saves along with some standard stops. He is one of the major assets of any team still alive in the tournament and is arguably Colts Neck’s MVP through two games. The other argument, and the argument I would make, is that Ross Tetro has been the key in the midfield. He scored and assisted Colts Neck’s two goals and he’s looking more and more comfortable in the high school game. Collier said at the beginning of the season that Tetro is not a player that wows you but if you follow him for the game, he makes all the plays a center mid needs too make and I even see him make a few wow-plays every now and again.

Wall was missing Justin Gregory and moving James Walsh from forward to center back to compensate and while it worked defensively, the Wall attack lost a little punch. Brent Hasko has been banged up in the middle and Josh Aylett was a little hobbled as well, so the Knights are singing the same sad tune they were three weeks ago when they were missing Walsh and had injuries to Ian Whelan and Matt Melton. A loss Saturday may actually be a good thing for Wall, who can now rest until the state tournament starts on Tuesday.

One concern I have for Colts Neck is they did not look as fast as some of the other teams I’ve seen on turf. That could be because Long Branch’s field plays slower than normal turf.  It has a lot of those little black beads on the field – more than usual – and lot of those beads ended up in my shoes. They are all over the floor in my room. That’s the first time I’ve seen LB’s new complex and I have to say it’s really nice.

Back to Colts Neck on turf, I’m not sure they can play at the speed of Raritan or Toms River South if they are fortunate enough to play either in the semis at Neptune. It’s also a possibility that Marlboro plays on the turf at the Rec Center, which would favor Marlboro. They’ve shown they can hang with Marlboro on grass though, and as it stands right now, that is currently the task at hand. They might have the best shot of any road team in the semis, and if they make the most of it, they’ll be in the semis for the second time since 2000, when the program started.


3 Responses

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  1. rocket6 said, on October 25, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    What you said about CN vs Wall compared to their previous 5 games was true but there was also 2 other things going on that made a difference. Zach Dritsas started slow early in the year but has come on of late. Also, Nick Chiappone, Tetro’s ceneter midfield partner, was a factor early in the season but struggled over that 4 or 5 game span until Wall where he was a big factor winning 50-50 balls the entire match. You talk a lot about Ramos but he has been a non-factor. He struggled vs Wall due to his size and to be honest, has struggled most of the season. He has a great future ahead of him but let’s stop talking just because he’s Tab’s son. Finally, I keep hearing you say that Caruso plays all over the field, well, he’s played exclusively at Forward all season with one exception, the 1st FT match. He started in the back but it didn’t work out well as CN fell behind quickly in the 6-1 FT win.

  2. rocket6 said, on October 25, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    Let me clarify something about my Caruso comment. He’s played exclusively up top because that’s where he’s needed and because he’s been so successful there. Didn’t mean to come across alike he’s not playing great, just that teams shouldn’t think they need to prepare for him playing anywhere but forward.

  3. stop said, on October 27, 2009 at 12:27 am

    rocket we dont need your input on every little thing matt says. let the man do his job and lets have you stop talking. you colts neck people really have to stop jumping on every thing that is written or “not” written about you guys

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