The Official Site of Jersey Shore Boca Jr. FC

Curry-Edwards Tends Boca’s Net
August 2, 2006

Jersey Shore Boca goalkeeper Jon-Curry Edwards played a big role in the success of the Boca U23 team during the 2006 summer season. Staff writer John Bush of the Asbury Park Press features the Spring Lake Heights native in a recent story as the standout GK prepares for the fall college soccer season at his new home, the University of Delaware.
Asbury Park Press – 08/3/06


No matter who played in goal for the Jersey Shore Boca U23 men’s soccer team this summer, coach Walt Konopka didn’t have to worry.

Whether it was his son, Chris Konopka, or Jon Curry-Edwards, chances are the Boca squad would keep its opponent from scoring.

Behind its two keepers, Jersey Shore went 13-3-1 overall this season. Boca ended its summer with a 2-1 loss to West Chester United 82 Coppa in the semifinals of the Mid-Atlantic Soccer Showcase League Cup championship on Sunday at the John F. Patrick Sports Complex in Lakewood.

“Jon and Chris have been splitting time all summer and they’ve been tremendous,” Konopka said. “We’ve had one of the lowest goals-against averages in the league.”

Curry-Edwards received most of the playing time. He started 11 games, allowing just 14 goals and posting one shutout as Jersey Shore finished second in the MSSL regular season. Konopka, an emerging star at Providence College, had four shutouts in six games and allowed just two goals.

“We just complement each other real well,” Curry-Edwards said. “I think we both do a lot of the same things well. We let each other know what we could’ve done better.”

A standout at St. Rose High School in Belmar who lives in Spring Lake Heights, Curry-Edwards will be a redshirt junior this fall at the University of Delaware after transferring from Old Dominion. In two years at Old Dominion, Curry-Edwards played in just one game, a 6-0 victory last season over Georgia State in which he played 25 minutes and made one save.

“I wanted to leave because I didn’t think I was going to get a fair chance to play,” said Curry-Edwards, who has three years of eligibility remaining. “It didn’t work out. Delaware got a new coach (Ian Hennessy) and I got in touch with him. It’s a good situation. The best keeper is going to play. I’m excited about it. I’m going in looking forward to being able to compete.”

At the season-ending MSSL championship, Curry-Edwards was the goalkeeper in the 2-1 loss. Earlier, Chris Konopka had pitched a shutout in Boca’s 1-0 quarterfinal victory over the NJ Rangers FC Golden Hawks, making a big stop at 0-0 early in the second half.

“Coming in here we thought we were going to do a lot better,” Curry-Edwards said. “A couple of things didn’t go our way (against West Chester). We couldn’t tie it up in the second half. We had some chances. It was a tough game. The other team played well.”

“With respect to his goals today, I don’t think they were his fault,” Walt Konopka said. “Jon’s pretty intelligent, and he reads the game pretty well. Jon has kept us in games with some spectacular saves during the season. I’m sure he’s going to do very well at Delaware.”

Curry-Edwards’ best game may have been in Boca’s 1-0 loss to national powerhouse FC Delco in the semifinals of the United States Adult Soccer Association Regional U23 championship in Horsham, Pa., coming up with two point-blank saves in the second half to keep Jersey Shore in the game.

“I think Jon’s a great all-around player,” Chris Konopka said. “We’ve trained together since high school. It kind of stinks that he got to go to ODU and didn’t get a good shot down there. I know Delaware is definitely going to work out for him. He definitely can play at a top Division I school.”

Succeeding at the Division I level is something Chris Konopka has already established. Playing his first full season last fall, the 6-foot-5 Konopka led the Friars to a 7-4-9 record, the 10th biggest turnaround in NCAA history after a 0-16 record the previous year. Providence reached the semifinals of the Big East Tournament, and made the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in school history. The Friars blanked Hofstra, 1-0, in the first round of the NCAAs before losing to North Carolina, 2-0, in the second round.

Overall, Konopka allowed just 21 goals in 20 games.

“Chris’ size, he’s so big, he’s real good in the air,” Curry-Edwards said. “He’s so long, he can make all the saves.”

When not playing for Boca this summer, the former Toms River High School East star was training with the Red Bulls at Giants Stadium.

“I go up five days a week,” Konopka said. “It was great. I got to work side by side with Tony Meola. I learned a lot of stuff. It’s the best training anyone could ask for around here.”

In the games when Curry-Edwards was in goal, Konopka usually could be found on the field anyway as a forward and a defender. He even scored two goals this season.

“I played the field (against West Chester) because I know I have a 2 1/2-mile run that’s going to kick my butt in a week or so,” Konopka said. “That’s why I jumped out in the field, to stay in shape.”

Asbury Park Press – 08/3/06