Lancers quietly put together a stellar season

first_imgBY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer The St. John Vianney High School boys soccer team owns a fine 9-3 record heading into the Shore Conference Tournament, which is scheduled to begin tomorrow afternoon. SJV’s opponent was not known at press time, since the seeding meeting for the tourney was set to occur last night. Meanwhile, the Lancers have already clinched a berth in the NJSIAA Parochial A playoffs. Balanced scoring and a solid defensive unit anchored by four-year veteran David Goodman, who has recorded three shutouts, are the hallmarks of Vianney’s team. “Our opponents haven’t been able to focus on one or even two guys, and that’s really helped us,” coach Brian Grimm said. “We’re fortunate to have plenty of guys who can put the ball into the net.” The coach’s son, center midfielder Brian Grimm, also a four-year veteran, leads the team in scoring with 10 goals and seven assists. Fellow midfielder Steve Fernicola, who missed all of last season with a broken leg, has returned to record six goals. Forwards Andrew Scollo and junior Rhyan Nelson have six goals apiece, and sweeper Alain Ball has contributed a goal and seven assists. Colin Cecere and Chris Hackman are solid two-way midfielders, while Chris Dominick and Kyle Manning, who usually marks the opposition’s top scorer, are the fullbacks, and junior Tom Serpico is the sweeper. Coach Grimm has a strong depth chart as well. Frank Burroughs and Dan Wilday provide relief up front, with junior Michael Swisher and sophomores Jess Moeller, Sean Gilpin and Eric Van Schaack coming off the bench to shore up the middle. Joe Schneider and sophomore Tony Ganter are the reserve fullbacks. Andrew Fensham backs up Goodman in goal. The coach cited come-from-behind wins against Raritan and Matawan among the season’s highlights, as well as a victory at Manasquan. Like most area teams, SJV had to postpone three games due to last week’s inclement weather. All three — Manalapan, Howell and Marlboro — are non-divisional games, but Grimm is hoping to make them up before the state tourney begins. “Right now our main focus is the conference tournament,” said coach Grimm, whose team was scheduled to meet Holmdel on Monday. “We want to make a strong showing there and build some momentum for the states.” Postseason looming for local teams The Shore Conference Tournament selection committees met on Monday night to create the brackets for the upcoming tournament. That meant that teams needed to be .500 or better by the end of play Monday to qualify for that tournament. On the boys side, the Christian Brothers Academy team was the only local team that could rest easy over the weekend, since the Colts entered the week at 7-3-1. The Colts will benefit from playing in a very competitive A North division, which was won by Manalapan (9-1-3), and are also a lock for the Parochial A South tournament. The deadline for the state tournament is Friday. Among the local boys teams on the bubble are the Holmdel Hornets, the Raritan Rockets and the Matawan Huskies. Holmdel is in the SCT, as they entered Monday’s game with SJV at 7-6, and are assured of a .500 record. However, they need to have a solid week to secure their state playoff berth. Meanwhile, Raritan entered Monday’s game with Middletown South at 7-7 and in need of a win to secure its SCT berth. This is a big week for the Rockets as it is for Matawan, who entered the week at 6-7. Mater Dei needs some wins as well, as the Seraphs entered the week at 5-7. On the girls side of play, the two-time A North champion Middletown North Lions (9-0-2), fresh off their division-clinching 3-2 win over Ocean Township last week, are expected to be the second seed in the SCT, behind Brick Memorial, the No. 5-ranked team in the nation. They could also be the second seed behind the Mustangs in the Central Jersey Group IV tournament, though East Brunswick, who has lost to Memorial in the last three sectional finals, could take that spot, pushing the Lions back to the third seed. Middletown South is also postseason bound, as the Eagles entered Monday’s game at Raritan at 7-4-1. St. John Vianney (7-3-1) and Holmdel (6-4-2) were set to square off on Monday in a game that probably meant more for the Hornets, who entered the game needing at least one win this week to secure a state tournament berth.last_img

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