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Boca good as silver
July 27, 2000

Boca good as silver

Published in the Ocean County Observer 7/27/00

Staff report

BLAINE, Minn. — The Jersey Shore BOCA juniors, an under-16 boys soccer team, captured the silver medal at Schwan’s USA Cup-2000.

BOCA fell to Sollerod, 3-1, in the championship match. It was the second time the teams met during the tournament. BOCA scored a 1-0 victory during an initial qualifying-round game.

In the championship match, Sollerod took a 1-0 lead approximately 10 minutes into the first half.

“We had three or four solid opportunities to tie the game, but we could not convert on those chances,” losing coach Walt Konopka said.

With two minutes left in the first half, BOCA tied the game when Pat Montefinese, a Howell High School student, headed a cross from Charlie Smith, a Toms River East student, on a corner kick into the net.

Sollerod scored on a penalty kick 12 minutes into the second half. Keeper Chris Konopka of East deflected the kick, but failed to push it wide of the goal post.

“We had numerous scoring chances in the second half, but we could not capitalize,” coach Konopka said.

Sollerod scored its final goal with one minute left in the match.

The BOCA players and coaches were awarded individual medals and the team received the Schwan’s USA Cup Runner-Up Cup in a formal awards presentation after the championship match.

The championship match was the last of eight games BOCA played in six days. BOCA opened the tournament with two initial-round losses and went 4-0-1 in its next five outings to advance to the championship match.

The Toms River-based BOCA along with more than 13,000 athletes participated in the Olympic-style opening ceremonies which kicked off the event at the National Sports Center.

“The opening ceremony was the experience of a lifetime and the beginning of a memorable week for the BOCA team,” coach Konopka said.

Teams from 34 states and 21 foreign nations paraded around the National Sports Center Stadium in their native clothing and uniforms, carrying flags and banners that represented their team and country. The Minnesota Thunder was also in the parade of athletes, carrying the American Flag into the stadium.

The National Sports Center-Blaine Soccer Complex is in the Guiness Book of World Records as the largest soccer complex in the world with 55 fields in one location. This year’s tournament boasted the largest foreign contingent in Schwan’s USA Cup history with 105 teams representing 21 countries. More than 6,000 games were played.

A total of 34 states and 21 foreign countries were represented.

The event was the last of a successful season for BOCA.

The team won the South Jersey Soccer League Olympic Division at 8-0-0 and was a finalist in the 1999 Lancaster (Pa.) Invitational Thanksgiving and 2000 Potomac (Md.) Memorial Day tournaments.

BOCA competed in the New Jersey Premiere Development League, which pitted the top teams from the state against each other.

Other team members are East’s Ryan Trachman, Point Pleasant Beach’s Mike Baiata, Southern Regional’s Kris Cheeseman, Toms River South’s Jordan Demarest, Central Regional’s Anthony Tramontano, Cherry Hill East’s Matt Acciani, Christian Brothers Academy’s Dan Brady, Freehold Township’s Mike DaSilva and Jon Lester, Howell’s Pat Montefinese and Chris Ehlers, Ocean Township’s Tommy Gallo and CBA’s Brian Giglio of Toms River.

Jackson Memorial’s Tim Lyons and Joe Garrett, Bloomington, Minn., played with BOCA as guests.

from the Ocean County Observer

Published on July 27, 2000