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SYL Review – Boca Ends Season On Loosing Note
August 22, 2002

Staff Article – Published in the Ocean County Observer August 22, 2002.

“Boca ends season on a losing note”
Published in the Ocean County Observer 08/22/02
Staff report

The Jersey Shore Boca Under-17 Super Y-League soccer team has concluded its season with a 3-7-1 record.

Based in Toms River, Boca finished fifth in the seven-team Mid-Atlantic Division of the SYL, which includes talent from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and Virginia.

Boca went 1-10-0 as an under-16 member of the Mid-Atlantic Division one year ago.

Boca was led in scoring this season by Pinelands Regional High School’s Jack Facemyer, who netted five goals and handed out two assists for 12 points. One goal was on a penalty kick against D.C. United — the first the team allowed after blanking its previous five opponents.

Nick Gkionis of Jackson Memorial tied for the team lead in goals with five. He was followed by Jackson’s Valdo Thompson, who netted two. Thompson was the lone Boca player to compete in each match.

Six other players — Point Pleasant Beach’s Mike Baiata, Manchester’s Billy Eggers and Sean Cahill, Brick’s Mike Kubas, Piscataway’s Arjun Thakker and Colts Neck’s Yusuf Qasim — each scored one goal for Boca.

Boca’s Christian Pontier and Andy Krebs (both of Lacey), Manchester’s Brian Simpson and Central Regional’s Adam Taha each handed out two assists. Qasim and Baiata each posted one assist.

Boca’s Chris Konopka, a Toms River East senior, minded the goal in 10 of 11 matches. He logged 900 minutes, averaging 11.5 saves per game. He allowed 34 goals for a 3.40 goals against average and recorded one shutout. Teammate Jon Curry-Edwards of St. Rose played in one match, allowing three goals and recording eight saves.

Konopka’s name is on the lips of several schools, including Seton Hall, East Carolina, Rhode Island, American University, Monmouth and Providence.

Boca coach Walt Konopka said his team was competitive.

“I think our overall record is not really indicative of how we played,” he said. “We were very competitive in the majority of our matches. We had a chance to pull off some big upsets. Take for example our 3-0 loss to D.C. United. It was only 1-0 at the half and we had two of our shots hit off the post. If those shots go in, that game changes drastically. We had several games like that this year.”

Walt Konopka said Boca was under the gun day in and day out.

“By far, the Super Y League is the most competitive elite youth soccer league in the country,” he said. “Where else do you get a chance to play against opponents such as DC United and FC Delco on a regular basis? The names of their players may be on our future World Cup roster some day.”

After competing at the high school level, Boca will reconvene in November and start its 2002-003 season as an under-18 team. Boca will open in the CASL Raleigh Shootout in North Carolina, one of the top college recruiting tournaments in the nation. Approximately 400 coaches attend on an annual basis.

from the Ocean County Observer

Published on August 22, 2002