The Official Site of Jersey Shore Boca Jr. FC

Focused on succeeding
September 4, 2003

Jon Curry-Edwards, a member of Boca’s 2003 U17 Super Y-League team talks about his experiences on playing in the SYL this summer in a feature from The Coast Star previewing the St. Rose HS boy’s soccer season.
Focused on succeeding
St. Rose soccer preview

By Dan Pennucci
Published 9/04/03
The Coast Star

A great goalkeeper can single-handely affect the outcome of his team’s season and St. Rose senior Jon Curry-Edwards is one of those goalkeepers.

Curry-Edwards returns as part of a nucleus of juniors and seniors that captured a share of the Parochial B state title last season with a 0-0 tie against three-time defending state champ Morris Catholic. There is little question that he will be one of, if not the, Roses’ most important player as they look to defend that title.

Curry-Edwards is regarded as one of Shore Conference’s top goalkeepers this year, earning a share of the conference lead for shutouts last season with 12.

He helped lead St. Rose to a 17-4 record, with key wins over Wall and Neptune, while also capturing the Shore Conference Parochial B division title and the state co-championship.

One year later he is a stronger, faster and better version of the keeper that anchored an extremely solid St. Rose defense in 2002.

“He really wants it,” said St. Rose head coach Tim McInerney. “He became hungrier when he saw some of the success he was having last year.”

“He’s one of our fastest players this year. Whenever we have runs or sprints he’s always one of the first done,” added the coach.

Curry-Edwards spent the off-season working out with friend and teammate, senior defender Pat Reynolds. According to Curry-Edwards, he gained around 15 pounds from last season.

“I got a lot bigger,” he said. “I’m more aggressive and faster. I’m more athletic in the air and I’m controlling the box. With my height it’s perfect.”

Curry-Edwards got in much game experience in the offseason as well, playing in the summer Y-League for Toms River-based Jersey Shore BOCA.

He was pitted against some of the top talent on the East coast every game and it helped him polish his skills.

“The speed of the game was so much faster than high school,” Curry-Edwards said. “I learned to think and react faster.”

For Curry-Edwards this season represents a chance to prove to the Shore soccer community that he is indeed one of the best around.

His work ethic has improved and there’s an air of determination about him that is striving for both the success of the team as well as individual success.

“We’re relying on him a lot,” assistant coach Mike Parshelunis said. “He has the desire to do well. He’s committed and he’s stepped it up a lot this year in practice, I think, because of the recognition he didn’t get [last year]. He’s different in practice this season.”

[Curry-Edwards was not named to any of the three All-Shore teams in 2002].

In addition to the constant workouts and Y-League games he played, Curry-Edwards also spent some time at the College of William and Mary’s soccer camp.

William and Mary has been the collegiate home to several professional goalkeepers, including Adin Brown, a recent W&M graduate who recently finished a stint on the U.S. Men’s National team this past summer when they competed in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Brown currently plays for the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer.

Curry-Edwards is certain that he wants to continue playing in college. He has been in contact with several Division I schools and coaches outside of the area.

Being a tall and imposing keeper, one of the strongest parts of Curry-Edwards’ game is his play in the air.

He is adept at coming out and snaring crosses and corner kicks and is a tremendous shot stopper.

In last fall’s 2-0 win against Wall on the second day of the season, Curry-Edwards put on a goalkeeping display that saw him deny every chance Wall threw at goal, usually in acrobatic fashion.

He’s an athlete that is confident in his abilities and what he can do to help the team win.

“I’m focused on being more of a leader this year,” Curry-Edwards said. “We always had [now departed captain] Brian [Moore] to take care of that. I want to be more of a vocal leader and take charge of the team.”

Recognition for how well you play is something that every athlete strives for. It can be a driving factor in how well one will play. Curry-Edwards wants his due recognition and feels that it’s just as much the team’s as it is his.

“It makes you glad that all the hard work pays off,” he said of being called one of the top keepers around. “It’s a testament to the team. We all work together and it’s nice to be credited with that .”

The pressure placed on goalkeepers can be a large burden. If a forward makes a mistake, the worst that happens is that he loses the ball or misses an easy shot on goal. If a keeper makes a mistake, the ball is in the back of the net.

Playing well and responding to the expectations and demands of the position is something that is required of keepers. Curry-Edwards says the pressure and expectations are something that you just get used to.

“You always want to do your best with the pressure on you,” he said. “I like being a leader and I don’t mind it. You just have to stay focused.

Curry-Edwards’ presence on the field has a calming effect on the rest of the team. They know if they make a mistake they can rely on the man in goal.

“Having him behind me just makes me that much more confident,” junior sweeper Gary Racich said. “I don’t have any worries if the ball gets past me.”

Racich and Reynolds make up the nucleus of a defense that has been playing together for two years. The communication between Curry-Edwards and his defense is strong, as the unit knows one another well.

Offensively, knowing that there is a solid defense in the back is key to helping relieve some of the pressure on the scores.

“It helps me out a lot because there is less pressure [to score],” junior striker Vinnie Cozzetta said. “It’s great knowing that Jon and the defense are back there.”

There is a good chance that St. Rose will live up to most of the expectations they have placed on themselves for 2003. Curry-Edwards will be an invaluable part of that expected success. His talent, composure and leadership are indispensible to St. Rose as he looks to leave his mark as one of the area’s finest keepers.