Manley's Blog

Rumson, Red Bank Players in A Central

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on September 15, 2010

The two most noteworthy wins from Tuesday were definitely Rumson’s impressive 2-0 win over Vianney and Red Bank’s 3-0 dismantling of defending division champ Raritan. I can’t speak too much for the Red Bank game because I wasn’t there but I’ve been on the Red Bank in 2010 bandwagon since opening day of last year. They were such a young team last year but you could see the talent and with another year of experience and some new faces in the varsity mix, it looks like everything may come together this year. Even the loss to Shore on Saturday was a good sign, because the Bucs outplayed the Blue Devils in the second half and if not for a few posts and another couple of crossbars, we could be talking about a 3-0 team. There’s a long way to go yet, but Red Bank looks like a team that can do some real damage in this division.

If I were to ask a random person in Monmouth County to describe Rumson kids, the terms “rich” and “smart” would probably be the only ones with any positive connotation. But here’s another one that I’ve found to be universal across the athletic programs: tough. As far as the soccer team is concerned, the talent level fluctuates from year to year but every Rumson team I’ve seen since I started covering the area has been noticeably tough. Last night against Vianney, Rumson did not control the game per say, and Vianney certainly showed some hustle on their own end, but I thought the difference in the game was Rumson’s collective effort in the back when Vianney made its runs. The Lancers got off 11 shots, but it could have been more like 16 or 17 if Bulldogs defenders weren’t sticking their legs, torsos and heads in front of the ball. I think a big part of that is Rumson’s best player, Ben Alderoty, is willing to do those little things, as he showed by going over the keeper to get his head on the ball to set up the first goal by Alec Burke. The second goal was a fortunate bounce followed by a good shot by Paul Tegan, but make no mistake, Rumson made it’s own luck with their effort. They are going to be a pain in the butt for a lot of teams this year.

One reason Rumson’s defense looked so good was the play of keeper Forrest Sexton, whose rise to the starting keeper position you can read about in the game story. While Freehold Township’s Phil Horan probably played the most dynamic game I’ve seen in goal, I thought Sexton game Tuesday was the best I’ve seen in the early going because his decision-making and instincts were so on-point. He knew when to come get the ball, when to get into the air and when to stay on his line to make the save, which he did seven times. As far as demonstrating a feel for the position, you can’t play a much better game than Sexton did Tuesday against a very good Vianney team.

Speaking of Vianney, I think they’ll be fine. Like I said, they got a bad break on the second goal and over-pursued the ball on the first one. For the most part, they were the more dangerous team and you can see the makings of a very tough opponent come tournament time.

– As big as those wins were for Red Bank and Rumson, Asbury Park’s effort nearly trumped both of them. The Blue Bishops got a game-tying goal in the 77th minute from Clifford Cazzeau and ended up losing a heartbreaker in overtime on a penalty kick. Maintaining consistency has been a big issue for the Bishops, but as I’ve said before, they have two or three really good efforts in them per season and we saw one of them here. Remember, two years ago they took a very talented Rumson team to overtime and last year they won three games in the division. You have to feel for the Asbury players a little bit because that’s now two one-goal losses, but they have shown they can score goals, even against a Shore team that figures to do well once again in B Central and Central Jersey Group II.

I’m going to cut it short because of the early start at Marlboro, but props to Long Branch’s Luis DeSousa for his second straight two-goal game to open the season and to Colts Neck’s Jay Mikula, who celebrated his first varsity goal by scoring two more for his first career hat trick. Most coaches hate celebrations, but I’m sure Colt Neck coach Art Collier likes that one.

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