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Locals help Boca juniors earn win
August 11, 2002

Publlished in the Ocean County Observer – Staff Report – August 11, 2002.

Locals help Boca Juniors earn win
Published in the Ocean County Observer 08/11/02

TravelSoccer Staff Report

The Jersey Shore Boca Juniors under-17 team battled the South Jersey Barons in a Super Youth League match on Wednesday night at Edgewood High School in Winslow Township and came away with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over their in-state rivals from the south.

The Barons (6-6) went ahead in the 27th minute after Ryan Morgan knocked in a low ball just inside the near post after a scuffle inside the penalty area.

But the Jersey Shore Bocas came back with a pair goals in the second half to seal the win.

In the 54th minute, Lacey High School’s Christian Pontier won a ball on the right side about 40 yards out. After moving around one defender, Pontier served a high ball to the back post and found a sprinting Mike Baiata (Point Pleasant Beach High School), who drilled the ball past the outstretched Barons’ goalkeeper.

Boca (3-6-1) controlled the midfield for most of the match as Baiata, Lacey’s Andrew Krebs and Christian Brothers Academy Pat Bulvanoski and Will McMaster continually slowed the Barons’ attack.

Krebs, who usually plays at an outside midfield position, wore the captain’s arm band for Boca for the entire match. He moved into the central midfield spot because of an injury to Jack Facemeyer (Pinelands Regional High School), Bocas’ regular central midfielder, who was not dressed for the game.

Boca sealed the win in the 85th minute after Jackson High School’s Nick Gkionis blasted a shot from 20 yards out which the Barons’ netminder had trouble with and couldn’t hold on to. Brick High School’s Mike Kubas pounced on the rebound, and from 10 yards out by the near post, he eluded a defender and booted the ball past the goalie for the game winner.

Boca goalkeeper Chris Konopka (Toms River High School East) played well in goal facing nine shots and making seven saves. Konopka, who was recently selected to the United States Youth Soccer Association Region 1 Olympic Development Program Player Pool, came up with two big saves on point-blank shots late in the game.

“This was a very good game for us,” said Boca head coach Walt Konopka. “We played well as a team. The Barons are a top-notch organization, and we are developing a good rivalry with them. Our boys felt that, and came to play.”

Konopka had quite a bit of praise for Kreb.

“Krebs is a very hard-working player,” he said. “With the injury to Jack, we had to move Andy to the central midfield spot, and he did very well there. Andy worked the entire 90 minutes non-stop and gave the Barons quite a bit of trouble.”

Konopka also said that the Boca defenders, Gkionis, Brian Simpson (Manchester High School), and Chris Jennings and Arjun Thacker, both from Piscataway High School, did a very good job of shutting the Barons after they scored the initial goal.

Bocas next game is today as they travel to Downingtown, Pa., for a game against FC Delco, the 2001 Super Y-League champions.

The Super Y-League is a national elite youth league which is run and administered by the United Soccer Leagues (USL) and the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). It is the only national youth soccer league in North America.

Jersey Shore Boca is now in its second year of competition in the Super Y-League. Boca is one of only four soccer clubs in New Jersey invited to participate in the Super Y-League.

Jersey Shore Boca is the only soccer club in Monmouth and Ocean counties that is a member of the SYL. Boca has placed four teams in the 2002 Super Y–League: 14-and-under, 15-and-under, 16-and-under, and 17-and-under.

from the Ocean County Observer

Published on August 11, 2002