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No division in the Shore Conference was more competitive from top-to-bottom than Class B North was in 2021. Three teams – Wall, Neptune and Manasquan – won a share of the division championship and one of the preseason favorites to win the division (Colts Neck) finished a half-game out in fourth place. Meanwhile, middle-of-the-pack teams St. John Vianney and Red Bank played the role of spoiler by scoring wins or draws against at least one of the top four teams.

Heading into 2022, the division looks even better and by a pretty wide margin. Freehold Boro was the seventh-place team in the division and they are joining Class A North with Long Branch coming into the division off of deep postseason runs and Shore Sports Network Top 10 finishes in each of the past four seasons. The division does lose Wall to Class A Central, but will welcome back Ocean – a perennial Group III championship contender that will stack up well in the field.

While adding Long Branch and Ocean to the division is likely going to impact the top of the standings given the talent of both programs, it also strengthens the entire field. Every team is returning at least five starters, with Neptune and Manasquan returning the vast majority of their starters. Matawan was the last-place team in 2021 but is restocked with a key transfer, a goalkeeper returning from injury and some impact returning from the academy ranks as well.

It's hard to find a weak link in the bunch, which makes it equally hard to pick a winner and find a team that could wind up in the cellar. It’s fair to say that whichever team finishes eighth out of eight in Class B North, that will be the best last-place team in the Shore Conference this season.

In predicted order of finish

1. Long Branch

Over the past four years, Long Branch has had to battle some of the Shore’s best programs while playing in the Class A North division. For three of those four years, the Green Wave have also been classified as a Group IV school, so the degree of difficulty has been about as high as it can be. To the credit of coach Adrian Castro and his team, while Long Branch has not had any high finishes in the division, the competition has made them undeniably better. Long Branch has been a Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinalist and a two-time NJSIAA sectional finalist – once in Central Jersey Group IV in 2019 and again in Central Group III in 2021.

Now in the Class B North division, Long Branch has a chance to use the experiences of the past four years to win an elusive division championship. To complete that journey, the Green Wave will have to successfully break in more than half of its new starting lineup. A pair of proven scorers return up top in Chris Garcia Lopez and Kayk Moreira, while Anthony Vasquez brings some senior experience back to a midfield that will miss All-Shore standout Eduardo Ribiero. With that being said, Long Branch has a replacement lined up with the arrival of Nick Davhi Borges from Brazil. Borges is entering is junior year, will be eligible at the start of the season and has the sort of skillset that could make him one of the Shore’s leading scorers in 2022.

While the defense will sport three new starters, fourth-year starter Jeremy Hernandez is an ideal player to return as a leader of the defense and he will have help in the back with returning senior Chris Lazo in goal. There will be some growing up to do around the formation – particularly in the back and the midfield, but Long Branch has key players back in key spots and an impact transfer in Borges that have them looking like postseason title contender. Now that the Green Wave are out of Class A North, a division title could be in play as well.

Head Coach: Adrian Castro, 11th season
2021 Record: 13-7-2 (3-4, fifth in Class A North)
Key Losses: Eduardo Ribiero (Forward/Midfield), Davenson JoinVilmar (Defense), Brian Yocute (Midfield), Cesar Rojas Lopez (Midfield/Defense), Arturo Garcia (Midfield), Jose Rincon (Defense)

Projected XI (Returning Starters in Bold)

Chris Garcia Lopez, Jr., Forward (9 goals, 3 assists)

Kayk Moreira, Sr., Forward (4 goals, 1 assist)

Nick Davi Borges, Jr., Forward/Midfield

Anthony Vasquez, Sr., Midfield (5 goals, 1 assist)

Wyatt Vicente, Jr., Midfield

Anthony Hernandez Garcia, Jr., Midfield

Jeremy Hernandez, Sr., Defense (2 goals, 4 assists)

Nick Ribiero, Fr., Defense

Evan Santiago, So., Defense

Alejandro Lopez, So., Defense

Chris Lazo, Sr., Goalkeeper (9 shutouts)

 

Other Key Players

Johan Gomez, So., Midfield

Erick Mendez, Jr., Defense

Kenny Oliva, Jr., Defense

Everaardo Hernandez Ortiz, So., Defense

 

2. Ocean

Like Long Branch, Ocean is back in Class B North after a short stint in another Shore Conference division and will return with designs on flagging down a division championship en route to what the Spartans hope is a big season. A year ago, Ocean was heavily dependent on First-Team All-Shore forward Aidan Tisony for goal-scoring and when it wasn’t Tisony making things happen, it was often fellow 2022 graduates Brian Miranda and Michael Reid. That will be a lot of production to replace, but the Spartans have remained a factor in the Shore Conference year after year despite graduation, so the 2022 season should be no exception.

Despite the loss of the three senior scoring threats, Ocean brings back second-leading goal-scorer in Archeley Eugene. After a 10-goal junior campaign the Spartans will be looking for Eugene to be a constant scoring threat rather than the secondary option he was last year and he is poised to step into that role. Senior Jake Schwartz also returns with some scoring to his credit a year ago and will combined with Eugene to form a capable one-two punch up top. Senior Stephen Aliaj steps into the attacking midfield role in play of Miranda after coming on strong over the course of 2021.

Daniel Abrams and Thomas Alessi lead the defense as returning senior starters. Abrams missed most of 2021 with a torn ACL that is now healed as the senior gears up for his comeback campaign. Alessi saw increased playing time with Abrams sidelined and after playing center back in Abrams’s place a year ago, Alessi is set to play defensive center midfield this season. Junior Justin Cook is also returning from a torn ACL and will start along with classmate Andrew Palumbo and sophomore Leon Leon to round out the defense in front of goalkeeper Zack Frabizio, who got a dose of time as a sophomore. A healthier 2022 is part of the plan and if injuries don’t derail another season, Ocean will look a lot strong heading into this year’s postseason than the Spartans did a year ago.

Head Coach: John Terlecsky, sixth season
2021 Record: 13-6-2 (3-3, fourth in Class A Central)
Key Losses: Aidan Tisony (Forward), Brian Miranda (Midfield), Michael Reid (Midfield), Dylan Gargulinski (Defense), Paco Castello (Goalkeeper), Shane Foster (Defense), Kareem Eraky (Defense/Midfield), Colin McLeod (Midfield)

Projected XI (Returning Starters in Bold)

Archeley Eugene, Sr., Forward (10 goals, 1 assist)

Jake Schwartz, Sr., Forward (3 goals, 2 assists)

Rodley Petit, Jr., Forward

Stephen Aliaj, Sr., Midfield (4 goals, 6 assists)

Zach Sutton, So., Midfield

Thomas Alessi, Sr., Midfield/Defense

Andrew Palumbo, Jr., Midfield/Defense

Daniel Abrams, Sr., Defense

Justin Cook, Jr., Defense

Leon Leon, So., Defense

Zack Frabizio, Jr., Goalkeeper

 

Other Key Players

Marc Gleason, Jr., Defense

Anjan Bagchi, Sr., Midfield

Jacob Gomez, So., Midfield

Joe Critelli, Jr., Defense

 

3. Neptune

It is up for debate whether last year’s Neptune boys soccer team was the best in the last two decades at the school, but it is a matter of fact that it was the first Scarlet Fliers team to win a share of a division title since 2002. It is also a matter of fact that the Scarlet Fliers are bringing back most of the players from the team that broke a nearly-two-decade division-title drought, which means the expectations heading into 2022 are as high as they have been in quite sometime for the Neptune program.

It starts up top with three dangerous scorers in Ernst Louisius, Kervins LaFortune and Lee Petrowski, who combined to score 34 goals to go with 12 assists in 2021. Louisius is the standout of the group coming off his 17-goal, All-Shore junior season, with Lafortune also eclipsing double-digit goals a season ago as a sophomore. Sebastian Canaverde and Aidan McAnee return with experience in the starting midfield and the Scarlet Fliers will get a lift from Asbury Park transfer Luckerson Pierre – an all-division player for the Blue Bishops in Class B Central.

The defense is where the lineup suffered its heaviest losses, with two starters graduating and All-Shore junior Nate Kerr opting to play academy soccer. Junior Anthony Muñoz Garcia will pick up the slack by moving to center fullback full time, while seniors Jack Tinik and Marc Bondurant are both back on the back line. Kevin O’Neill also slid in as goalkeeper last season and will be a dependable last line of defense for the Scarlet Fliers. Losing Kerr was a blow to Neptune’s high aspirations, but adding Pierre will help offset the loss and give Neptune one of its best all-around rosters in the last decade-plus.

Head Coach: John Knight, 17th season
2021 Record: 10-6-1 (5-2, tied first in Class A North)
Key Losses: Amir Houllier (Goalkeeper), Stephen Seidle (Defense), Donoy Hilton (Defense), Nate Kerr (Jr., Defense)

Projected XI (Returning Starters in Bold)

Ernst Louisius, Sr., Forward (17 goals, 9 assists)

Lee Petrowski, Sr., Forward (6 goals, 2 assists)

Kervins Lafortune, Jr., Forward (11 goals, 1 assist)

Luckerson Pierre, Sr., Midfield (Transfer from Asbury Park; 4 goals, 2 assists)

Aidan McAnee, Sr., Midfield (3 goals, 1 assist)

Anthony Muñoz Garcia, Jr., Defense (1 goal, 8 assists)

Sebastian Canaverde, Jr., Midfield

Jack Tinik, Sr., Defense

Marc Bondurant, Sr., Defense

Alexis Altamirano, Sr., Defense

Kevin O’Neill, Sr., Goalkeeper

 

Other Key Players

John Lucender, Jr., Defense

 

4. Manasquan

Three years removed from reaching the Shore Conference Tournament championship game, Manasquan gears up for what the Warriors are expecting to be a season more like that one than the last two. Over the past two seasons, the Warriors are 11-15-4, although that did include a three-way share of the Class B North championship a year ago. Those seasons followed a two-year stretch in which they went 25-13-6 with championship-game appearances in both the SCT and South Jersey Group II. The Warriors have sent out a young team in each of the past two seasons and while there will still be some youth at important spots this season, Manasquan will be able to lean on more senior experience this season than it could last season.

Two of Manasquan’s top three scorers from 2021 are back, headlined by all-division striker Matt Karolak. Classmate Kevian Kraemer will complement Karolak up top after finishing six goals of his own a year ago and an experienced midfield will be in charge of building up the attack. Aidan Sugrue and Vin Hyland are the seniors of the group, with Sugrue entering his fourth season as a starter, while juniors Luke Roy and Lukas Farkas are also back. Farkas’s 2021 season was cut short by injury and his return will have a major impact on the lineup. Younger brother, freshman Cruz Farkas, is also ready to contribute on the field, with sophomore Christian Gonzalez also pushing for important minutes with Cruz Farkas as potential additions to the starting lineup in time.

Three seniors are back on the defense in Mike Flanagan, Drew Perkins and D’Arcy McGill, with sophomore Griffin Linstra also back as a starter in the middle of the defense coming off a strong showing as a freshman. Juniors Patrick Woodrow and Peter Debenedetto will also see minutes in the back to keep everyone fresh, while six more players – Braeden Chek, Kevin Klodowski, Max Hartelius, Thomas Stamos, Eddie Gunnel and Shane Salvatoriello – are pushing for minutes in the midfield. The depth is rather staggering for a Group II program and if Manasquan can put everything together, the Warriors can challenge for another share of a Class B North title and become a factor in the postseason.

Head Coach: Tom McGill, ninth season
2021 Record: 6-8-4 (4-1-2, tied first in Class B North)
Key Losses: Mike Cafiero (Midfield), Gavin Guagenty (Defense), Joe Kennedy (Defense), Ezra Shim (Goalkeeper)

Projected XI (Returning Starters in Bold)

Matt Karolak, Sr., Forward (10 goals, 5 assists)

Kevian Kraemer, Sr., Forward (6 goals, 4 assists)

Aidan Sugrue, Sr., Midfield (1 goal, 2 assists)

Vin Hyland, Sr., Midfield

Luke Roy, Jr., Midfield (7 assists)

Lucas Farkas, Jr., Midfield (2 goals)

Griffin Linstra, So., Defense

Mike Flanagan, Sr., Defense

Drew Perkins, Sr., Defense

D’Arcy McGill, Sr., Defense

Rory Mather, Sr., Goalkeeper; Tyler Collison, Sr., Goalkeeper; Dylan Morris, So., Goalkeeper

 

Other Key Players

Christian Gonzalez, So., Midfield (3 goals, 2 assists)

Patrick Woodrow, Jr., Defense

Peter Debenedetto, Jr., Defense

Braeden Chek, Sr., Midfield (2 goals)

Kevin Klodowski, Sr., Midfield

Max Hartelius, Sr., Midfield

Thomas Stamos, Sr., Midfield

Eddie Gunnel, Sr., Midfield (1 goal)

Shane Salvatoriello, Jr., Midfield

Cruz Farkas, Fr., Midfield/Forward

 

5. Colts Neck

An injury to 2020 All-Shore forward David Tuschmann derailed Colts Neck’s 2021 postseason plans, as the Cougars missed out on the Shore Conference Tournament and fell one result short of at least a share of the Class B North championship. This year, the Cougars will be without Tuschmann full-time, as well as another top scorer in Tom Samaras. Replacing that production will be an ongoing challenge, but Colts Neck returns two creative players on the attack in senior Jairo Chira and sophomore Kyle Moore to help spark the goal-scoring effort in 2021.

With Chira and Moore up top, Colts Neck will be leaning on six new starters among the other nine spots in the starting lineup, with 2021 starter Brent Glantz another loss to cover after he decided to play academy soccer this fall. Sophomore Sam Gershon is the lone returning starter in the midfield, with Juniors Tom Nadolny and Dan Dahkno, plus sophomore Ben Ilyin joining the starting group in the middle of the pitch. In the back, seniors Ryan Gershon and Nico Cappelini return to captain the defense, with two more seniors in Jeff DeCarvalho and Josh Appelbaum back in the fold as well and ready for more minutes.

Sophomore Dan Ravalo will get the nod in goal and coach Art Collier will hope to see his new keeper take the new job and run with it for the next three seasons. Keeper is one of several positions that come with questions for Colts Neck heading into the new season, but having Chira, Moore and an all-senior defense will provide a stable foundation for Colts Neck to build upon over the course of the season.

Head Coach: Art Collier, 24th season
2021 Record: 8-9-1 (4-2-1, fourth in Class B North)
Key Losses: David Tuschmann (Forward), Tom Samaras (Midfield), Vivam Ghandi (Defense), Aidan Schauer (Defense), Dylan Williams (Defense), Joseph Portello (Goalkeeper), Michael Perrette (Defense), Brent Glantz (Sr., Midfield)

Projected XI (Returning Starters in Bold)

Jairo Chira, Sr., Forward (5 goals, 1 assist)

Kyle Moore, So., Forward (6 assists)

Sam Gershon, So., Midfield

Ben Ilyin, So., Midfield

Tom Nadolny, Jr., Midfield

Dan Dahkno, Jr., Midfield

Nico Cappelini, Sr., Defense (2 goals, 1 assist)

Ryan Gershon, Sr., Defense

Josh Applebaum, Sr., Defense

Jeff DeCarvalho, Sr., Defense

Dan Ravalo, So., Goalkeeper

 

Other Key Players

Binyamin, Berkovsky, Jr., Defense

Josh Katsnelson, So., Defense

Matt Bartelli, Sr., Midfield

Danielson Chinchilla, Forward

 

6. Matawan

While the few seasons prior to 2021 have had some NJSIAA Tournament wins sprinkled in, Matawan has been awaiting a big season. Based on last year’s one-win campaign, it would appear the Huskies are a long way from breaking through a competing for division and postseason titles, but Matawan is actually set up for a resurgence in 2022 if just a few things break the way of the Huskies. Tyler Coco and Jarrett Norman are legitimate losses via graduation, but the Huskies are also reloading with older talent that has moved into or returned to the program.

Evan Arendt, Daniel Rabinovich and Aaron Kalish will be a returning senior trio in the midfield and the fourth member of the group is set to be senior Amar Dzombalic – a transfer from New York who looks like he will be one of the division’s more impact newcomers. Another new starter is Andrew Fanelli, who is jumping in with the Huskies after playing academy soccer to provide his school team with a scoring threat up top to go with classmate William Gardell and Andrew Barripaglia.

Junior Owen Nappi leads the defense as the lone returnee on the back line, with classmates Eric Friedman and Noah Pagan also ready to start and senior Maddox Cole the elder statesman of the bunch. The biggest lift in the back will come from senior goalkeeper Jared McMeans, who suffered a season-ending injury in Matawan’s third game of 2021 and returns ready to perform behind what should be a much-improved Huskies side.

Head Coach: Tyler Isaacson, seventh season
2021 Record: 1-11-3 (0-6-1, eighth in Class B North)
Key Losses: Tyler Coco (Defense), Jarrett Norman (Forward), Esben Nielsen (Midfield), Chris Mularadelis (Midfield), Andrew Martins-Mahoney (Midfield)

Projected XI (Returning Starters in Bold)

Andrew Fanelli, Sr., Forward

William Gardell, Sr., Forward; Andrew Barripaglia, Jr., Midfield

Amar Dzombalic, Sr., Midfield

Evan Arendt, Sr., Midfield

Daniel Rabinovich, Sr., Midfield

Aaron Kalish, Sr., Midfield

Owen Nappi, Jr., Defense

Maddox Cole, Sr., Defense

Eric Friedman, Jr., Defense

Noah Pagan, Jr., Defense

Jared McMeans, Sr., Goalkeeper

 

7. Red Bank

Red Bank turned in one of the stranger seasons you will see from a high-school soccer team, which is to say it had some really good moments and some that ranged from forgettable to infamous. While the Bucs overall won-loss record was not particularly impressive, several of its results were. Red Bank collected wins over Wall, Holmdel and Monmouth Regional and earned a draw with Rumson-Fair Haven. The Bucs actually played each team from the Class A Central division once and went 4-2-1, with losses to Ocean and Shore Regional and two additional wins over Raritan and Red Bank Catholic. The out-of-division success had the Bucs feeling good about a state tournament run, as did a 1-0 lead late in the opening round at home vs. Brick Memorial. An ill-fated red card, however, with seven minutes to go led to two Mustangs goals – including to winner with 16 seconds left – and ended the Bucs’ season in heartbreaking fashion.

There will, undoubtedly, be an excess of motivation for the six returning Red Bank starters this season given the highs and lows that defined the 2021 campaign. Carlos Guerra will be chief among that group after a five-goal season and will be part of a forward trio that includes fellow returning starter Joe Koetzer. The midfield also brings back plenty of experience with Mario Moza, James Castell and junior Brady Walsh. The defensive and goalkeeper spots come with the most turnover, with Sean Chenery the lone returning defender. Ty Tozzolino, Teddy Riddle and Jimmy Romero will contribute in the back, with junior Colin Williams backing them up as a first-year starter in goal.

The Class B North slate will be as tough as it has been in a long time and Red Bank is the kind of team that could push its way toward the front of the pack or find itself on the wrong end of some close matches while finishing closer to the bottom. The benefit to that is, whatever the outcome in divisional play, the Bucs have a talented roster that, if healthy, can be dangerous in a postseason setting. After the way last season ended, the are surely hoping to get back to a tournament setting anyway they can and finish the job this time around.

Head Coach: Vincent Gruosso, fifth season
2021 Record: 6-10-2 (2-4-1, sixth in Class B North)
Key Losses: Jacob Kirkpatrick (Midfield), Phil Stolfa (Midfield/Defense), Matt Lynch (Forward), Braeden Carrol (Goalkeeper), James Castell (Midfield), Thomas Keegan (Midfield)

Projected XI (Returning Starters in Bold)

Joe Koetzer, Sr., Forward (3 goals, 2 assists)

Edward Lima, Sr., Forward

Carlos Guerra, Forward (5 goals, 2 assists)

James Castell, Sr., Midfield

Mario Moza, Sr., Midfield (4 goals)

Brady Walsh, Jr., Midfield

Peter Barreca, Jr., Midfield

Sean Chenery, Defense

Ty Tozzolino, Sr., Defense

Teddy Riddle, Jr., Defense

Colin Williams, Jr., Goalkeeper

 

Other Key Players

Jimmy Romero, Defense

 

8. St. John Vianney

On sheer number of graduated starters, St. John Vianney is not in any worse shape than most other teams in the Shore Conference, which includes most of the teams in Class B North. Where the Lancers face a more daunting task than most teams is in replacing a First-Team All-Shore striker in Johnny Troiano who just about did it all for his team a year ago. While St. John Vianney did not play deep into the postseason, Troiano made a legitimate case for himself as the Player of the Year by scoring 23 goals and stepping up against some of Vianney’s toughest competition. The Lancers bring back some proven varsity talent and production, but they will have to adjust to life without the program’s best player over the past three seasons.

Seniors Danny Herdon and Luke Molloy are the top returning players for Vianney, with Molloy tallying double-digit assists while feeding Troiano and Herndon throughout the year and Herndon finishing third on the team in total scoring. The Lancers will be looking for a lift from juniors Will Keegan and Keoni Jensen as well as sophomores Kyle DiMarco and Anthony Marano within the front six of the formation, with DiMarco and Marano showing promise as freshmen.

St. John Vianney will also be young on the back line, where the Lancers are looking to replace a trio of starters led by Matt Skolnick. Senior Dean Sokolowski is the senior of the group, while junior Ty Peperoni and sophomores Jack Scheuing and Dylan Smith round out the last line of defense in front of returning all-division goalkeeper Matt Brana. With Brana back, the Lancers will have a legitimate safety net to help mitigate some of the expected early-season acclimation for the new group of starters, but in time, the Lancers will be as tough as any team in the division. The fact that a team as good as St. John Vianney even appears to have a chance to finish at the bottom of the division speaks to the depth of B North and if the Lancers catch fire in 2022, it will be some other quality side that finds itself looking up at the rest of the field.

Head Coach: Ryan Tetro and Fran Farrell, fourth season
2021 Record: 8-6-2 (3-2-2, fifth in Class B North)
Key Losses: Johnny Troiano (Forward/Midfield), Matthew Skolnick (Defense), Jonathan Moreira (Forward), Jack Allen (Defense/Midfield), Luca Esposito (Defense)

Projected XI (Returning Starters in Bold)

Danny Herndon, Sr., Forward (3 goals, 4 assists)

Will Keegan, Jr., Forward

Anthony Marano, So., Midfield

Kyle DiMarco, So., Midfield (2 goals, 2 assists)

Luke Molloy, Sr., Midfield (1 goal, 10 assists)

Keoni Jensen, Jr., Midfield

Jack Scheuing, So., Defense

Dean Sokolowski, Sr., Defense

Ty Peperoni, Jr., Defense

Dylan Smith, So., Defense

Matt Brana, Sr., Goalkeeper (4 shutouts)

 

Other Key Players

Mason Boles, Fr., Forward

Alex Cardenas, Fr., Midfield

Dominick Fuoco, Fr., Defense

Luke Noble, Fr., Midfield

Alex Siniscalchi, Fr., Midfield

 

Class B North Starting XI

Ernst Louisius, Sr., Forward, Neptune

Matt Karolak, Sr., Forward, Manasquan

Kervins Lafortune, Jr., Forward, Neptune

Archeley Eugene, Sr., Forward, Ocean

Jairo Chira, Sr., Forward/Midfield, Colts Neck

Mario Moza, Sr., Midfield, Red Bank

Stephen Aliaj, Sr., Midfield, Ocean

Jeremy Hernandez, Sr., Defense, Long Branch

Anthony Muñoz Garcia, Jr., Defense, Neptune

Daniel Abrams, Jr., Defense, Ocean

Matt Brana, Sr., Goalkeeper, St. John Vianney

 

Breakout Players to Watch

Nick Davi Borges, Jr., Midfield/Forward, Long Branch

Amar Dzombalic, Sr., Midfield, Matawan

Kyle Moore, So., Colts Neck

Lucas Farkas, Jr., Midfield, Manasquan

Kyle DiMarco, So., Midfield, St. John Vianney

 

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