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Konopka is BIG EAST Bound
December 9, 2002

Feature article on – Published December 9, 2002.


Konopka is BIG EAST Bound
December 09, 2002, 04:35 PM

Toms River, NJ – Jersey Shore Boca goalkeeper Chris Konopka announced today that he has verbally committed to attend Providence College and will sign a National Letter of Intent during the NCAA men’s soccer signing period in February. He will continue his soccer career under Friar’s Coach Chaka Daley at the BIG EAST school in the fall.

Konopka chose Providence over West Virginia, Seton Hall, Rutgers, American University, Rhode Island, Boston University, East Carolina and LIU who were also heavily recruiting his goalkeeping services.

The senior from Toms River East High School will follow the footsteps of another former Jersey Shore Boca standout Johnny Martin, who played soccer for the Friars from 1987-1991.

Martin also graduated from Toms River East and was a member of TRE’s high school NJ State Group IV championship team of 1985. Martin was also a fixture in the Jersey Shore Boca youth program and played under former Boca Coach Don Yerks.

As one of the Providence College’s all-time greats, Martin currently ranks 4th on the all-time Providence scoring list with 21 goals. He also ranks 5th all-time in points at Providence with 56. Martin registered 21 goals and 14 assists in his career at Providence.

At the club level, Konopka is also a long-time member of the Jersey Shore Boca youth program and was a part of the Boca USL Super Y-League teams for 2002 and 2001. He was named the USL Super Y-League “National Player of the Week” on May 21, 2001 for his 11 save effort against national powerhouse FC Delco.

He is also a current member of the United States Youth Soccer Region I Olympic Development Program team and a four-year member of the New Jersey ODP state team.

Konopka who stands 6’4″ and weighs 200 lbs. was also nominated for the prestigious Adidas ESP program in 2002 and 2001.

“Chris has developed into one of the top young goalkeepers in the northeast and maybe even in the nation. During his club career with us, Chris has played extremely well against some of the best young soccer talent in the United States in the Super Y-League as well as with the Region I program” said Walt Pericciuoli, USSF “A” license coach and Director of Coaching for Jersey Shore Boca.

“He has excellent range on high balls, catches very well, has quick footwork, can play the ball very well with his feet, is a bona-fide shot stopper and with his size, has a tremendous presence inside his own penalty area” Pericciuoli continued about Konopka.

Throughout his club career, Konopka propelled his Boca teams in numerous state, regional, national and international competitions. During July of 2000, Konopka led his Jersey Shore Boca U16 team over an 8 game – 7 day period to the championship match against Denmark at the internationally renowned USA Cup in Blaine MN.

At the high school level, Konopka is a three-year varsity starter for Coach John Crowley and the Raiders of Toms River East. He was named team co-captain in his senior year.

As a senior he led TRE to a 9-9-2 mark and a berth in the NJSIAA State playoffs. In 20 games Konopka allowed 25 goals for a GAA of 1.25 per game, made 133 saves for a SPG of 6.65, had a save percentage of 84.18% and recorded 4 shutouts.

For his efforts during his senior year Konopka received a 2002 NSCAA/Adidas High School All-American nomination.

He also was selected as one of New Jersey’s top high school players receiving 1st team All-State Sectional (Ocean, Monmouth, Mercer and Middlesex counties), 1st team All-Conference (Shore), 1st team All-County (Ocean) and 1st team All-Division (A-South) honors from the Soccer Coaches Association of New Jersey.

Konopka was also only one of eight goalkeepers from throughout New Jersey named to the All-State Senior All-Star team. He will represent the Central team in the 2002 New Jersey All-State Senior Showcase game to be held on December 14th at Rutgers University in Camden, NJ.

Konopka finished his 56 game high school career with an overall record of 26-23-7. He allowed only 66 goals and has a career GAA of 1.18. Konopka made 402 saves, had a SPG average of 7.18 and save percentage of 85.90% in his 3 years at TRE. He also recorded 14 shutouts, just one short of matching the all-time Toms River East High School shutout record.

Konopka also received All-Conference, All-County and All-Division honors for his high school goalkeeping efforts as an underclassman.

Academically Konopka is a 4-year honors student at Toms River East. He has a 3.88 GPA and ranks in the top 20% of his senior class of 469 students. He plans to peruse a computer graphics and design major at Providence.

Providence College finished the 2002 soccer season with an overall record of 7-11-0 and 5-5-0 in the BIG EAST regular season. The Friars advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2002 BIG EAST Tournament where they lost to Boston College. Chaka Daley was appointed the third head men’s soccer coach in Providence history on July 18, 2000. He completed his third season in 2002.

The Jersey Shore Boca soccer club has been in existence for over 20 years and is one of the most respected soccer clubs in New Jersey. The club is based out of Toms River and programs include youth level teams from U11 to U19, a U20-U23 program and men’s “open” team. The club will celebrate their 25-year anniversary in 2003.

Boca is also one of the newest members of the Premier Development League of the United Soccer Leagues and will begin play in the PDL during 2003. Jersey Shore Boca is also a three-year member of the USL’s prestigious elite Super Y-League.

In addition to Martin and Konopka, Boca alumni include several former National and Olympic Team members as well as numerous collegiate DI, DII & DIII players, coaches and former local high school standouts.

One of the most recognized Boca alum is current U18 United States Men’s National Team & University of Virginia Coach George Gelnovatch who played under Boca’s Director of Coaching Walt Pericciuoli. Gelnovatch starred at Wall High School in the 1980s.

“I have known Chris for some time now. I have seen him grow up and become a fine young man. He is always very respectful toward his coaches, fellow teammates and opponents both on and off the pitch” Pericciuoli further commented. “Chris has a real passion and desire to succeed at the highest level of soccer. He has an excellent individual work rate and is a natural leader. Chris is a type of player that all coaches would love to have on their roster. I believe Chris has made an excellent choice in Providence College”.