Manley's Blog

Bringing it Holm?

Posted in Uncategorized by mattmanley on November 19, 2010

For a bit of background on Holmdel’s showdown with Chatham, check out this relatively quick preview. I sawy “quick, because some of the other previews I’ve written were like a college thesis paper.

Onto the picks!

Group III Championship
Holmdel (21-1-0) vs. Chatham (22-1-1), 5:30 p.m. at TCNJ

I went into the year with a little bit of caution toward Holmdel. I knew they were talented, and based on that talent, I was thinking about a top 5 preseason ranking, but we’d been down this road last year with the Hornets. They were a junior-heavy group with a lot of talent, but in the end, they had only a 9-9-1 record to show for it.

Once I got my first regular season look at them, I knew this year was different and I started jumping them up the rankings. Basically, outside of the initial No. 10 ranking to start the season, I’ve believed in this Holmdel team. I still think they are one of the top 15 or so teams in the state and covering a team a lot makes you more attached to them than you might be to other teams when it comes to objective evaluation.

That’s why it’s hard for me to do what I’m about to do. Chatham will be the best team Holmdel sees all year and they are battle-ready to boot. They have a strong midfield to at least hang with Holmdel’s and their defense has been phenomenal all year. In a lot of ways, I think Holmdel would have been better off drawing Montville, another team that was blazing the trail for a program that had never been this far. Instead, they get a Chatham team to a rich history and the talent to add to that history.

Holmdel has been a superior to every team on its schedule this year and it’s possible they are a better team than Chatham too. Dan Metzger will still be the premier player on the field, but he’s been through a long season of high school ball on top of his Red Bulls training and he may finally be feeling the affects of that schedule. If Chatham can come out and possess with Holmdel, I think they have an advantage because of the big game experience from this year against top competition. I actually think Holmdel will have the better of play over the 80 minutes, but this Chatham team strikes me as one that’s not going to break. I would not be the least bit surprised to see this game go 100 minutes and these two might be able to play 200 minutes without anyone scoring. But I’m not here to predict ties. Holmdel could very well put it together and win 2-0. But it’s not a matter of whether or not they can anymore. It’s a matter of whether they will, and the team on the other side will have an awful lot to say about Holmdel’s fate Friday night. Hopefully for Holmdel’s sake, my inept picking skills from last season reappear.
The Pick: Chatham 1-0

Group IV Final
Hunterdon Central vs. Cherokee

Cherokee has been very similar to last year’s version of Toms River South and they’ll have a shot with their size. South Jersey has looked pretty good this tournament, but how do you go against Hunterdon Central right now? They have been as impressive as any team in the tournament and it looks like its finally their year.
The Pick: Hunterdon Central 3-1

Group II Final
Haddon Heights vs. Cliffside Park

Cliffside Park gets another shot after losing in the title game this year and while Haddon Heights has been through the wars, Cliffside Park has paid their dues.
The Pick: Cliffside Park 2-1

Group I Final
Pitman vs. Wallington

Wallington has been a force this tournament and might have been a favorite to win Group II had it been in that field. Pitman is a very good team, and as previously stated, South Jersey has looked good, but I’m picking against the team to the South for the fourth straight time.
The Pick: Wallington 2-0

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3 Responses

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  1. Nick said, on November 19, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Matt Manley are you serious?!?!?! After that whole analysis on the championship game and how Holmdel is probably better you pick Chatham. How about a little belief and faith in the team you been following all year. Support is what they need, and you always pick your team to win

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