goleader.com - Union County, NJ Newspapers 97sep11

Scotch Plains NJ High School

Raider Boys Booters Could Be Tough to Beat

By DAVID B. CORBIN Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Last year, the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School Boys’ Soccer Team fell one game shy of becoming the New Jersey State Group 3 Champions when Ocean Township High School surged in the final five minutes to pull out a 2-0 victory.

Presently, the Raiders are the defending Section 2, Group 3 State Champions and they definitely plan to repeat this season. A successful defense would give the Raiders their ninth title in 13 years.

Although their accomplishments last year were lofty, their aims are, without a doubt, higher this season. The Raiders have won five State Group 3 Championships out of eight appearances and plan to add another to their trophy case.

The Raiders graduated six seniors last year; Dan Biegelson, Chris Cardinal, Mark Lowyns, Ross McIntyre, Robert Niedzwiecki and Javier Sanchez. Eighteen lettermen will be returning including 13 seniors. Seniors Adam Koster, Jeff Gillie and Mike Milberger have assumed the responsibility of being the team captains. Junior Todd Moser will shift to center midfielder to fill the position vacated by Lowyns.

"Don’t sell our boys short," stated Raider Boys’ Soccer Head Coach Tom Breznitsky. "This may be our best team ever. Three of our boys participated in the Olympic Developmental Program (ODP) this summer, and one, our goalkeeper Gillie, qualified for the United States Regional team."

Moser and sophomore Eugene Ferrara were the other two boys who were selected.

The ODP consists of 22 boys per age group who were selected from club teams to represent their respective state; then, all the states chose several players to represent the United States Regional team.

"Chris Cardinal is returning as our highest goal scorer; however, we have perhaps the most balanced team ever. Each boy is capable of scoring," said Coach Breznitsky. "There will not be a player starting who doesn’t have experience."

"This is the most experienced team we have ever had. We have seven players over six one (6 feet, one inch). We have good speed," Coach Breznitsky declared. "Of course, we need to stay healthy and be lucky."

Raider Assistant Coach Joe Mortarulo stated, "This team has the talent to be the best; maybe the best ever."

Mortarulo was the captain of the undefeated 1987 team which became the first Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School soccer team to win the Group 3 State Championship. The 1992 team was also undefeated and ended up as the third-ranked high school team in the nation. Mortarulo is in his third year as Assistant Coach and is still an active player himself with major league soccer potential.

On Saturday, September 13, the Raiders will have a major challenge when they travel to Wall High School and play highly regarded Christian Brothers Academy at 4 p.m. The Raiders have also been invited to play Archbishop Spalding High School of Maryland at Loyola College in Baltimore on Saturday, September 27.

Copyright 1997
TheWestfield Leader
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Revised: September 14, 1997.