Can’t-miss games for Oct. 9-14

October is now firmly underway which means the cutoff for the state tournament is fast approaching and that county and conference tournaments are well underway.

Adding to that, there are still plenty of meaningful regular season games with big power point implications or chances for Top 20 upsets on the line as well, so there’s no shortage of quality action around the Garden State this week.

Check out the can’t miss games for this week from Monday, Oct. 9 to Saturday, Oct. 14.


Gateway at Woodstown, 10

A hot defense in Gateway and an offense looking to recover could be one of the main talking points in this late season, cross-conference matchup. After losing four games in a row in late September, Gateway has been one of the hottest teams in the Colonial to start October. The Gators have won its last three games by a combined score of 19-2, while Woodstown features one of the top offenses and goal scorers in the Tri-County in Adrian Ibarra (15 goals). But the Wolverines fell for just the second time all season in its last game with a 6-2 defeat at the hands of Schalick and will be looking for a rebound performance.

Maple Shade at Holy Cross Prep, 3:45

A BSCL crossover game, Holy Cross and Maple Shade both sit second in their respective divisions with Maple Shade in the Freedom division and Holy Cross in the Patriot. Both teams have been on hot streaks of late. For Maple Shade, the Wildcats started the year 0-3 but are 6-1 since and have won three in a row and are led by freshman Jose Vivas Roque and Bruna Barroso De Souza, both of whom have five goals this year while Roque has one assist and Barroso De Souza has three. Holy Cross has won three out of its last four and four of its last five losses are by one goal, so they’ve been in the majority of their games. The Lancers have two four goal scorers in Richie DeFulvio and Landon Smith. These two sides haven’t met since 2019, when Holy Cross won both beetings by one goal while Maple Shade last won a game between the two 2-1 on Sept. 29, 2018.

18-Point Pleasant Boro at 15-Manasquan, Shore Conference Tournament First Round, 3:45

One of the marquee games between double digit seeds to open the Shore Conference Tournament, this is the first meeting between these two since all the way back in 2017 in the first round of the state tournament. Point Boro won that meeting 1-0, but Manasquan won the previous four meetings dating back to 2010, all by one goal. Both teams qualified for the SCT by finishing second in their respective groups, with Point Boro doing so in Group 11 and Manasquan doing so in Group 3. Boro is also coming off an upset over state No. 18 Southern while Manasquan is coming off a 1-0 win against Long Branch. Sophomore Cruz Farkas (nine goals, two assists), Cristian Gonzalez (six goals, four assists) and Luke Roy (five goals, four assists) pace the offense for ‘Squan, while Owen Clearwater (six goals, one assist), Matt Decker (four assists) and John Witkowski (four goals, one assist) are the leaders for Point Boro.

Morris Knolls at West Orange, 4

After snapping a bad stretch of five straight games without a win, West Orange is looking to get its season back on the right track in a cross-conference battle with NJAC member Morris Knolls. The Mountaineers have recently struggled against teams with winning records, but that’s in part due to the injuries and absences of two of its top contributors in Marcus Jackson and Jack Dvorin. The Mountaineers are hoping that those two will be back in what would be a big win as it awaits its first game of the Essex County Tournament. Morris Knolls has won three straight games and has a shutout in the last two, so the Golden Eagles are riding high. They feature one of the best scoring duos in the state in Giacomo and Giovanni Zizza, which should be an interesting battle against the West Orange backline duo of Arthur Rosu and Cameron Morgan.

No. 12 Shawnee at Rancocas Valley, 4

These two Olympic Conference American Division opponents will meet for the first time this season. Both teams are atop the division, with Rancocas Valley sitting at 3-1 and Shawnee at 2-0-2. Shawnee has won both previous meetings, including last year, 4-3. The Renegades have tied Cherokee and Cherry Hill East in their last two games after a three-game win streak. Rancocas Valley has won two-straight games since a 6-1 loss to Delran on Sept. 30.

No. 19 Washington Township at Schalick, 4

Washington Township, ranked No. 18 in the NJ.com Top 20, have proven time and time again this season why they’re one of the best teams in South Jersey. The Minutemen have rebounded very nicely since falling to No. 12 Shawnee with two straight wins over Gloucester Tech and Williamstown but could receive another challenge in this game against Schalick. One of the best teams in the Tri-County Conference this season, Schalick just rolled past Woodstown 6-2 and will be looking to cause another upset in this game. These two teams have met just twice since 2011, with the Minutemen winning the most recent matchup last season by a final score of 4-0.

Glen Rock at Pompton Lakes, 4

Members of the NJIC Colonial Division, this has become one of North Jersey’s top rivalries. While Pompton Lakes won this year’s contest 2-0, the two sides played each other three times last year, with Glen Rock winning twice, including knocking Pompton Lakes out of the state tournament in the North 1, Group 2 quarterfinals. Pompton Lakes is one of only a handful of undefeated teams left in the state, sitting at 9-0-1 and bolstered by the state’s top scorer in Andrew Armstrong (26 goals, seven assists). The Cardinals are through to the Passaic County semifinals for the second year in a row and beyond Armstrong, have gotten impressive play from Jose Guales (seven goals, five assists), Stefan Jastrzembski (three goals, eight assists), Connor Mohan (three goals, 10 assists) and Luka Petkovski (five goals, three assists). Glen Rock has a strong keeper in Zachary Sturiale while the Panthers also have a balanced offense with Drew Carlin (five goals, one assist) while Mike Sasunov and Harrison Wortley both have four goals.

Hackettstown at Mount Olive, 4

A showdown between two NJAC division leaders, two undefeated teams and two leaders atop their respective power points standings, Mount Olive sits at 10-0-1 and leads the National Dvision and North 1, Group 3, while Hackettstown is also 10-0-1 out of the Freedom Division and sits atop North 2, Group 2. The Marauders are the No. 2 seed in the Morris County Tournament while Hackettstown is No. 2 in HWS as well. Mount Olive has seven shutouts and has shut out three opponents in a row thanks to the play of Kristian Dobbek in net and Devin Conway in the field (nine goals, nine assists). Hackettstown has five shutouts and has one of the conference’s top scorers in Yasseen Zoklat (15 goals, four assists) while Chris Rafalko and Mamadu Bah both have five goals this year as well. Mount Olive won the last meeting between these two 4-0 on Sept. 13, 2021.

Randolph at No. 4 Hunterdon Central, 5

A showdown between one of the NJAC’s perennial contenders in Randolph and one of the state’s top programs in Hunterdon Central, these two played to a 0-0 draw last year, while Hunterdon Central won 2-1 in 2021 and Randolph won 1-0 in 2019. All nine of Randolph’s contests have been decided by one goal so far this year and prior to the Rams’ most recent loss to Delbarton, they had won four in a row. Hunterdon Central is coming off a 2-1 win over Ridge and a 3-0 loss over No. 2 Pingry while also thoroughly beating a ranked Gill St. Bernard’s team. The Red Devils have enjoyed a breakout campaign in net from Sam Freed while Thomas Shreiber (five goals, one assist) and Matt Davis (four goals, one assist) pace the offense.

Delsea at Cherry Hill West, 4

Ahead of the South Jersey Coaches’ Cup beginning on Friday, two of the teams in that bracket will face off for the first time in years. Delsea has won seven straight games and has recorded six straight shutouts, while Cherry Hill West has been one of the more impressive teams in the Olympic Conference all season with an 8-2-2 record and has only been shutout once all season. The Crusaders have not been challenged much over these last seven games, as its beaten just two teams with a winning record over that stretch. Cherry Hill West, which was once ranked in the NJ.com Top 20 this season, could provide a postseason like test for Delsea ahead of Friday. Although the Lions have struggled as of late, winning just two of its last four games.

Delran at Clearview, 4:15

Delran, since losing three straight games in the middle of September, is now the owner of a five give winning streak and has scored at least three goals in each victory. Clearview has been on a similar tear, with four straight wins and five wins in its last six games since starting the season with a 3-2-1 record. The Bears have the added benefit of two-time Player of the Year Drew Roskos, who has six goals in the last four games and knows how to help lead Delran on a late season and postseason run. Clearview’s defense has been lights out for most of this season but has been susceptible to giving up goals in bunches as it gave up three goals in one half to Eastern on opening day, and then four goals total to Hammonton in early-October.

Moorestown at Lenape, 6

Moorestown and Lenape have tied 1-1 in their last two meetings dating back to 2021, with Lenape winning 1-0 in 2017. Moorestown has won four of its last five games with three shutouts, while Lenape has gone 4-0-1 in its last five games, outscoring opponents 14-5. Lenape is 1-2 in the Olympic Conference American Division, while Moorestown is battling atop the National Division at 3-1.

Gov. Livingston at No. 17 Elizabeth, 6

These two Union County Conference Watchung Division opponents will meet for the first time this season, and Gov. Livingston will look to snap a five-game losing streak to Elizabeth dating back to 2016. The Highlanders have won their last four games, including a 2-1 victory over then-No. 8 Union, while Elizabeth is riding a five-game win streak since losing two-straight games to Newark East Side and Union.

Westfield at Monroe, 6

Westfield and Monroe will meet in a non-conference matchup for the first time since a 2-0 Westfield victory in 2021. The Blue Devils are 7-3-2 and are coming off a 2-0 loss to No. 17 Elizabeth, a double-overtime 0-0 tie against rival Scotch Plains-Fanwood and a 1-0 win over New Brunswick. Monroe (10-3-1), which has split its regular-season meetings with Red Division rival New Brunswick, has gone 2-1 in its last three games with a 3-1 loss to No. 1 Christian Brothers.

20-Toms River East at 13-Central Regional, Shore Conference Tournament First Round, 6

These two met once already this year on Sept. 13 and Central won 2-1 in overtime, while TRE won the meetings in 2019 (3-0), 2021 (2-0) and 2022 (2-1). Central has been one of the surprises of the Shore this year and while they didn’t win their group, they stunned then-No. 11 ranked Holmdel to punch their ticket to the SCT and to prevent Holmdel from qualifying. Six of Central’s seven wins have been by one goal, but the Golden Eagles have lost two in a row coming in. David Kroon (six goals, three assists) and Keith Swistock (six goals, one assist) lead the Golden Eagles offense. Toms River East, meanwhile, has a solid chance at the upset here, as they’ve won four in a row coming in with three shutouts in that span as well. Luke Bodziak (five goals, two assists) and Rowen Joice (three goals) pace the offense for the Raiders while goalie Bobby Calvo has 43 saves and four shutouts in nine games.

Cinnaminson’s Owen Digney (7) and Palmyra’s Xavier Oliver (19) fight for the ball in Cinnaminson, NJ on Monday, October 10, 2022.


Cinnaminson at Palmyra, 3:45

Cinnaminson has had Palmyra’s number of late, as the Pirates have beaten Palmyra four times in a row, with Palmyra’s last win in the series coming on Sept. 27, 2018. But this Palmyra squad is one of the best in recent history. They’re 11-0-1 and one of just over a dozen undefeated teams left in the state and they qualified for the South Jersey Coaches Cup for the first time since 2018. Seven of their 11 wins have been shutouts and have a balanced and prolific offense. With 48 goals scored this year, they pace the BSCL and have been led by John Bilkims (six goals, five assists), Richie Butler (six goals, seven assists), Luke Cannuli (six goals, six assists), Abdulazeez Iyiola (six goals, six assists), Andrew Santoro (six goals, five assists) and most notably Jase Jennings, who leads the team with eight goals scored while also adding five assists. Cinnaminson, meanwhile, isn’t in the South Jersey Coaches Cup for the first time since 2018 but the Pirates have tested themselves this year with tilts against Delran and non-conference foes Moorestown, Haddonfield and Kingsway as well. Michael Pappas (eight goals, one assist) paces the club in goals while Owen Digney (five goals, three assists) and Noah Huber (five goals, 10 assists) have been strong contributors as well.

9-Long Branch at 8-Marlboro, Shore Conference Tournament Second Round, 4

These two haven’t met since 2021, but the last time they did, Marlboro won that contest 2-0. It was the Mustangs’ first win over Long Branch in five tries and since Oct. 2, 2018. This year, both teams won their respective groups in the Shore Conference Tournament group play round and got first round byes as a result. All three of Marlboro’s losses have been by one goal and the Mustangs are coming off a win over West Windsor-Plainsboro South entering the contest. Coach Ryan Morris’ squad is led offensively by Ryan Cohen (seven goals, three assists) and Trevor Barrett (three goals, three assists) as well as several other complimentary pieces. Long Branch has performed well in its first year under coach Tim Farrell and while they’re coming off a 1-0 loss to Manasquan in their most recent game, the Green Wave went 8-0-1 in their last nine games before that. Five different players have multiple goals, led by Chris Lopez with four.

Summit at No. 14 Union, 4

These two Union County Conference Watchung Division opponents will meet twice in two days, once in the regular season and once in the Union County Tournament quarterfinals. Last year, Union snapped a four-game losing streak to the Hilltoppers dating back to 2021 and just picked up its first loss of the season to Gov. Livingston on Oct,. 3. Summit has gone 4-0-2 in its last six games, including a 1-1 tie with then-No. 16 Scotch Plains-Fanwood, since losing three-straight.

New Brunswick at South Brunswick, 4

These two Greater Middlesex Conference Red Division opponents meet for the second time this season after South Brunswick defeated New Brunswick 2-1 back on Sept. 21. Since then, South Brunswick has gone 3-3 and is coming off a narrow, 2-1 double-overtime loss against No. 17 Elizabeth. New Brunswick had won five-straight games with four shutouts since that loss to the Vikings, but it was snapped with a 1-0 loss to Westfield on Saturday.

Ramapo at Ridgewood, 4:15

These two met earlier this year on Sept. 12 and Ridgewood beat then-No. 19 Ramapo 4-3 for the Maroons’ first win over Ramapo since Oct. 10, 2019. Ridgewood has had an up and down year, though, as they beat No. 3 Clifton 3-0 but also took less than stellar losses against Northern Highlands and Paramus, but lost close to No. 8 Ramsey 1-0 in the Bergen County quarterfinals. Cameron Linnington has been the clear driver of the offense this year with nine goals and two assists while Daniel Kim has been the main distributor with one goal and five assists. Ramapo, meanwhile is through to the Bergen County semifinals and the Raiders have won three in a row and six of their eight wins have been by shutout thanks to strong play from Antonio Spina in net as well as Damian DiLisio (10 goals, three assists) and Ryan DeKorte (four goals, three assists) on offense.

Absegami at Glassboro, 5

This game serves as not just a matchup between two teams with just one loss, but also as a homecoming of sorts for Absegami head coach Alexis Mendoza. In his first year with the Braves, Mendoza was the head coach at Glassboro from 2020-2022 and took the Bulldogs to the South, Group 1 championship game last season. Mendoza has flipped the Braves from a program that won eight games combined in the past three seasons to already nine games this season. Glassboro has continued its success from last season under the tutelage of new head coach and former Washington Township star Chad Yates. The Bulldogs have given up just seven goals all season, while the Braves have scored 47. In its only loss this season back on Sept. 25, the Braves were shutout. Glassboro is coming off of its first loss of this season, a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Overbrook.

Henry Foster (19) of Pingry controls the ball during the boys soccer game against Gill St. Bernards at The Pingry School in Basking Ridge, NJ on Saturday, September 9, 2023.


10-Manalapan at 7-Ocean Township, Shore Conference Tournament Second Round, TBA

The first meeting between these two since the 2021 Shore Conference Tournament when Manalapan advanced on PK’s, both teams got byes straight into the second round of this year’s tournament after winning their respective groups (Group 5 for Manalapan, Group 6 for Ocean Township). Manalapan enters at 5-5 and has had 12 different goal scorers this year, led by Michael Pepe (five goals, two assists) and Tyler Pylarinos (five goals) while Adriano Anzivino (five assists) has been a key distributor as well. Ocean Township’s offense often runs through Noor Eraky (six goals, two assists) and Jacob Gomex (five goals, three assists).

10-Kinnelon at 7-Hanover Park, Morris County Tournament Second Round, 4

Hanover Park has won its last five meetings against Kinnelon, including twice last year. But, this is a different Kinnelon team than years’ past. Under first year coach Kyle Hughes, the Colts are 10-1 and won their opening round Morris County Tournament game 4-0 over Butler, their first win in the county tournament since 2016. They have one of the county’s top scorers in Jaival Kang (15 goals, four assists), while Joseph Mendy (five goals, three assists), Jack Kimberlin (three goals, six assists), Matthew Kispert (four goals) and Leo Dimitrakiou (one goal, eight assists) are a strong supporting cast. In net, goalie Jason Osterman has impressed in his first year on varsity with 70 saves and five shutouts through 11 games, while only allowing more than one goal one time this year. He’ll have a tall task in front of him though, as Hanover Park boasts its own 15 goal scorer in Valentino Della Grazia while the Hornets have deployed a goalie tandem this year. Both teams are 10-1 and sit atop their respective divisions as well (NJAC Liberty for Hanover Park and NJAC Independence for Kinnelon).

Wildwood at Woodstown, 4

Wildwood had been struggling against some of the top competition in its area, but recently drew with Pitman 1-1 and could be showing some more signs of progress heading into the back half of its schedule. The Warriors have already shown plenty of progress this season with six wins, which ties its win total from last season. Wednesday’s game against Woodstown should serve as one of its biggest games all season, and a win could push them in an even better direction. Woodstown is looking to rebound after ending last week with a loss, and this game is its second in three days to start this week. An upstart Wildwood team could prove difficult if the Wolverines don’t come out on the front foot. Wildwood won last season’s matchup 2-1 in overtime.

No. 19 Washington Township vs. Delsea, 4

Delsea’s shut down defense will meet the high powered and skilled offense of Washington Township in a battle between two teams who will be competing in the South Jersey Coaches Cup later this week. The Crusaders have not allowed a goal in six straight games and has additionally scored at least three goals in its last four games. On the other hand, the No. 19 Minutemen are one of the best teams in South Jersey and up top boast Drew Heil (13 goals), Ajani Dwyer (four goals, seven assists), and John DiNoto (seven goals) in what is one of the top attacking fronts in the area. This should be Delsea’s most challenging opponent all season in its quest for another shutout victory.

Monroe at No. 2 Pingry, 4:30

This game will be Monroe’s third-straight non-conference matchup as it looks to gear up for tournament time. The Falcons (10-3-1) battled No. 1 Christian Brothers on Saturday in a 3-1 loss, and also faced Westfield on Monday. Monroe, which is atop the GMC Red Division at 9-2-1, will battle a Pingry team that remains undefeated at 10-0 and defeated the Falcons 1-0 last season.

Zenon Nark (14) of Paul VI moves the ball with Jake McGough (12) of St. Augustine defending during a boys soccer game at Paul VI High School, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.


Paul VI at Delran, 4

This will be a tough test for Paul VI, which will face Delran for the first time since losing the Bears 2-0 last year. The Eagles have lost three-straight games since a 1-0 win over Cherry Hill West on Sept. 27, while Delran has won five-straight games since losing three-straight to No. 1 Christian Brothers, Scotch Plains-Fanwood and Lenape.

Haddon Heights at Haddonfield, 4

These two Colonial Conference rivals meet for the second time this season after Haddon Heights defeated Haddonfield 3-2 in overtime on Sept. 20. Haddonfield has gone 2-0-1 in its last three games, with a 2-2 tie against West Deptford, since losing six of seven to end the month of September. Haddon Heights had a seven-game win streak snapped with its second loss to West Deptford on Friday.

Wayne Hills at Wayne Valley, 5

Always a fierce rivalry between two cross-town foes, Wayne Valley won the first meeting this year back on Sept. 19 thanks to two goals from Dominic Valenzuela, who scored the game winner in the 55th minute. Wayne Valley has won four in a row, all by shutout and upset 2-seed Lakeland in the Passaic County quarterfinals to make the semis as the 7-seed. Wayne Hills got knocked out of the PCT in PK’s to Passaic, but coach Ryan Bayley’s squad also beat a Lakeland squad that sits atop the division. All four of the Patriots’ losses have been by one goal, so they’ve been in every game.

Oliver Rosas of Wallington (10) fights for possession with Connor Mohan of Pompton Lakes in Saturday’s soggy high school boys soccer matchup in Wallington. The Cardinals flew past the Panthers, 4-1. 09/23/2023 Steve Hockstein | For NJ Advance Media


Essex County Quarterfinals

All four quarterfinal games of the Essex County Tournament will take place at the site of the higher seeded teams on Thursday, and it could be another chance to see some of the state’s top teams in action. Top-seeded and No. 5 Montclair, second-seeded and No. 9 Seton Hall Prep, and third-seeded and No. 7 Newark East Side all received a double bye into the first round and will need to win just one game in order to clinch a berth in the quarterfinals. Sixth-seeded and No. 20 Livingston will look to do the same, and if all goes to chalk it would play Newark East Side in the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, other teams such as ninth-seeded Glen Ridge and 17th-seeded Nutley will look to cause a few upsets along the way in order to clinch a quarterfinals berth.

South Jersey Coaches’ Cup First Round

The first round of the annual South Jersey Coaches’ Cup is set to kick off on Friday afternoon with all eight games and 16 teams in action. Top-seeded and No. 10 St. Augustine will look to defend its seeding and ranking, along with second-seeded and No. 19 Washington Township, and third-seeded and No. 12 Shawnee. Some of the more interesting teams include Delsea, which was given the 13th-seed and has earned a shutout win in its last six games, and 14th-seeded Kingsway, which has been one of the more accomplished programs in South Jersey in the past but hasn’t found its footing yet this season and has a record of 4-4-3. Arguably the most intriguing matchup though is eighth-seeded West Deptford playing host to ninth-seeded Cedar Creek.

At 10-1-1, the Eagles have the Colonial Conference Liberty Division title in reach and control its own destiny to clinch it. Cedar Creek has been one of the more surprising teams in the state this season and is among the very few that remain undefeated. The Pirates have not been 12-0 in over a decade and have given up just seven goals all year.

Burlington Township at Northern Burlington, 3:45

These two met just 11 days prior on Oct. 2 and Northern Burlington won that game 3-2 thanks to two goals from Tarun Aravind, who has 10 goals so far this year for the Greyhounds. Northern Burlington enters the game at 5-7 and is coming off back-to-back shutout losses to Delran, but a rematch against Burlington Township, whom Northern Burlington beat once already, could be just what the Greyhounds need. Burlington Township, meanwhile, is 7-4 and coming off a road win against Bishop Eustace and the Falcons have their own double digit goal scorer in Anthony Fitch, who has 11 goals and six assists.

Doane Academy at Willingboro, 3:45

These two met a week ago on Oct. 6 and Doane Academy won 1-0, beating the Chimeras for the first time since Nov. 4, 2020, snapping a four-game losing streak against Willingboro. Doane Academy is one of the state’s few undefeated teams and coach Dan Keefe’s squad has two double digit goal scorers in Khalil Camara (11 goals, 10 assists) and Josh Daly (11 goals, two assists) while Willingboro has a potent goal scorer of its own in Samuel Zonoe, who has eight goals and 10 assists.

Rutherford at Wallington, 4

A showdown between two perennial southern Bergen County powers, these two last met in 2021 when Rutherford won 1-0, a year after both programs tied 0-0 in 2020. The Bulldogs won their opening game against Waldwick on opening day this year, a major upset. Since then, the Bulldogs are 3-4 but have four different players with multiple goals, led by Alejandro Miranda (five goals, three assists). Wallington is 8-4 and has a statement win of its own in Harrison and the Wildcats are led by Eric Moroz on offense (12 goals, two assists).

Vitali Datsyk of Clifton (22) and Alex Defina of Bergen Catholic (6) compete for the ball during the boys soccer match in Oradell on Tuesday, September 13, 2022.


4-Pompton Lakes at No. 13/1-Clifton, Passaic County Semifinals, TBA

This should be one of the more intriguing county semifinals on Saturday. This is a rematch of last year’s Passaic County semifinal, which Clifton won 3-0 and held Pompton Lakes and the state’s top scorer, Andrew Armstrong, in check. In fact, Clifton has won the last four meetings in a row over the Cardinals by a margin of 13-0. But, the Mustangs took a surprising loss to Ridgewood, so they showed they can be beaten under the right circumstances, though it’ll be tough for Pompton Lakes as five of Clifton’s seven wins this year have been shutouts and 15 different players have scored goals, led by Alex Fiedoruk (seven goals, five assists), Simon Deossa (five goals, four assists) and Vitali Datsyk (four goals, seven assists) while Cameron Zutic has 26 saves and five shutouts in goal in eight games played. The Cardinals, in addition to Armstrong, have gotten strong showings from Jose Guales (7 goals, five assists), Connor Mohan (three goals, 10 assists) and Stefan Jastrzembski (three goals, eight assists).

No. 6/1-Bergen Catholic vs. No. 8/5-Ramsey, Bergen County Semifinals, TBA

This is a battle between two of Bergen County’s and the Garden State’s best teams, but also a battle of seemingly unstoppable force (Bergen’s offense, led by Sebastian Ortega and Ryan Chong), against immovable object (Ramsey’s back line of Dan Capuano, Patrick Weir and Max Nierenberg). The Crusaders lead the Big North in goals scored with 53 while Ramsey leads in goals allowed with just five. These two met in the county tournament each of the last two years, with Bergen knocking out Ramsey in the quarters 1-0 while Ramsey advanced past Bergen in the quarterfinals in 2021 on PK’s in a game that ended 1-1.

4-Harrison at No. 16/1-St. Peter’s Prep, Hudson County Semifinal, TBA

While these two have only met three times since 2011, two of the three were in the Hudson County Tournament. Harrison beat Peter’s 2-1 in the 2021 Hudson County quarterfinals while the Marauders haven’t beaten Harrison since the 2011 county semifinal when they won 1-0. This year, both teams have gotten off to hot starts, with St. Peter’s beating then-ranked Kearny and Robbinsville squads while losing by one goal in double overtime to perennial national power St. Benedict’s. Harrison, meanwhile, lost its first game of the year but has won eight in a row since then. Both sides have strong offensive players with Diego Flores Sanchez (12 goals, seven assists) and Yusufu Jaite (11 goals, nine assists) leading the way for Harrison and Matt Sobreiro (11 goals, 10 assists) and Philip Sayouwoh (eight goals, four assists) making things happen for the Marauders.

Shore at Robbinsville, 11

These two non-conference opponents meet for the first time in recent memory. Robbinsville (11-2) is 11-1 in the Colonial Valley Conference and riding a five-game win streak in which it has outscored opponents 20-4 with three shutouts. Shore (7-5) is 4-2 in the Shore Conference A Central Division, has gone 3-1 in its last four games with a 2-1 loss to Holmdel.

Jake Aferiat can be reached at [email protected]. Lauren Knego can be reached at [email protected]. Donovan Hugel can be reached at [email protected].

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