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Vikings welcome new head coach in 2009 – Asbury Park Press
September 10, 2009

September 10, 2009
Asubry Park Press

Vikings welcome new head coach in 2009

Staff Writer

TOMS RIVER — Kirk Pericciuoli is no stranger to men’s college soccer.

His dad, Walt, began the program at Stockton State College (now The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey).

“I grew up watching preseason play from the age of five to about the age of 15,” young Pericciuoli said with a laugh.

Pericciuoli figures to receive more than his fill of men’s play as he is in his first season as the head coach of Ocean County College.

And when Pericciuoli heard the Vikings’ position was open because of the resignation of Jason Asch (now the Pinelands Regional High School boys head coach), he wasted little time applying.

“I jumped at the chance as soon as I heard about it,” he said. “I was involved with the Jersey Shore Boca juniors team and a lot of the OCC guys played for them so I knew them.”

Pericciuoli said he enjoys coaching the team.

“I am glad I took the job,” he said. “They are a great bunch of kids. I got lucky . . . so far, anyway.”

Pericciuoli, who played varsity ball through his junior year at Central Regional under coach Robbie Bechtloff, is a 1992 graduate of Philadelphia’s Archbishop Ryan where he competed for one season. After sustaining a knee injury at Seton Hall University, Pericciuoli graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a physical education degree in 2000. He played as a sophomore and junior for the midwestern school.

The Vikings feature a balance of sophomores and freshmen.

The sophomores are Mike Dinsmore, a defender from Jackson Memorial; Eric Istvanditch, a defender from Toms River North; Matt Riley, a midfielder from Jackson Memorial; Joe Shore, a defender from Toms River East; Andrew Curtis, a forward from East; Dan O’Neill, a midfielder from North; Nick Crenshaw, a midfielder from East; Ryan O’Donnell, a midfielder from North; Emanuel Mends, a forward from Africa, David Webster, a midfielder from Manchester, and Joe Kocher, a midfielder from Brick Memorial.

The freshmen are Henry Stuhler, a midfielder from Point Pleasant Beach; Nick McKenney, a forward from Southern Regional; Mike Carletta, a forward from Jackson Memorial; Dan Wroblewski, a goalie from Brick; Rich Baiata, a midfielder from Point Pleasant Beach; Rob McCombs, a midfielder from North; Matt Walls, a midfielder from Point Pleasant Beach; Rodrigo Castro, a forward from North; Kevin Bowden, a defender from Toms River South; Chris Sabo, a defender from St. Rose; Steve Malleck, a defender from Point Pleasant Boro, and Ernie Smith, a defender from Point Pleasant Beach.

Curtis netted four goals and handed out two assists last year. O’Donnell finished with two goals and three assists. O’Neill wound up with two goals and four feeds.

The co-captains are O’Neill and O’Donnell.

“They should have a big impact on our year,” Pericciuoli said.

Carletta, Crenshaw and Castro figure to lead the offense.

“Our offense will probably be led by committee,” Pericciuoli said. “I don’t see one player standing out in front of the other. As we go through the season, one may be more of a threat than the other. We will see.”

Istvanditch will key the defense at sweeper.

“I think we will be strong with Nick in the back,” said Pericciuoli, who is assisted by former North player Sal Colino. “He is smooth, calm and collected. I am impressed with his poise. He should be able to handle different situations very well.”

Pericciuoli said the Vikings went 8-4-2 last season.

“A lot of people say we should have a strong team,” he said. “We have 23 players so we have a little bit of everything in terms of a style of play. Even some of our bigger guys can move pretty well.”