Jim Rosa @jimrosa519
It was a pretty special day on the campus of Point Pleasant Boro yesterday as the final day of tryouts were underway. To Kick off the 2015 season, the panthers hosted their annual Alumni game. This was a great game with a lot of energy as we saw many faces that represented Point Boro boys soccer throughout the decade and years before.Most importantly, however, this game was being played for a cause as the Point Boro Community honored Kyle Hazard. In his honor, all participating players wore the number 16.
In addition, the game was also played as a fundraiser with numerous items available for sale. The game featured two sides that would be represented with Gold and Silver shirts. From the class of 2015 we saw former members Gabe Pesante along with Quin Hornish and Kenny Follows who were big contributors during the run to the Central Jersey Group II Semi-Finals. Steve Corso also made an appearance for the 2015 class as well along with Evan McHugh. As for the class of 2014 Dan Hunt was the lone man to take the field. As for the class of 2013 we saw Larry Monaco and Matt Hornish. For the class of 2012 Andy and Colin Fixer Joined Mike Henrich to represent the Black team.
Other Players to take the Field for the black team in the 2015 Alumni game included Claudio Graziano, Mike Cappello, Mike Matter, Dave Thompson, and Tori Remondelli. Although many players did play in this decade, players such as Ryan Speiser and Jim Dempsey did not. This shows just how important this game is to many of the former Panthers who were able to play for the program.
The game itself was a highly entertaining one. This game featured goals by Matt Riley, Quin Hornish, Mike Cappello, Evan McHugh, Kenny Fellows, and Dan Greenwood. What started as a defensive game turned out to be high scoring in a 4-3 decision. Dan Greenwood ended the scoring with about a minute left to make it a 4-3 with just over a minute left in the game. However, there were no goals in the final minute of the game and the silver team was able to hang on and preserve the victory.
Immediately following the Alumni game, the 2015-2016 panthers took the field in what would be a final intrasquad game before the final rosters would be decided. Here are some takeaways from this game that will be essential for the panthers this season as I preview the the upcoming season.
Each side did not have a problem with being aggressive towards each other. They were able to play solid defense on both sides to play out the first half scoreless. With the panthers having to replace Gabe Pesante, it seems as if Goalkeeping will not be an issue. Tyler Haines was extremely impressive not only being able to make many impressive saves throughout the night but also showing off his impressive leg on goal kicks.
Stacking the box,the panthers look for many new faces to step up after loosing 13 seniors to graduation. Last night we were able to see the talent that could present itself to be big this season. Brendan Murray, and jacob Kirinovic both had sensational goals last night. Assuming they are on the roster for the panthers , they could have impact seasons for the panthers as Sophomores. These undergraduates will have the task of working with players who return as key members from last season. Two of these upperclassmen are Mason Remondelli and Mason Pitts. Remondelli was the only player to score in the final game the panthers played last season.
The Panthers will look to make the Central Jersey Group II Finals this year which is something that they feel they is a very attainable goal this season. When asked about the overall expectations for his team Mason Remondelli said ” We want to win it all this year, we feel like we have what it takes for sure.” He added that replacing thirteen seniors will not be easy. However, staying together as a unit will be the biggest strength because they know they can pickup one another.
The panthers will look to dominate a class B south scedule that they were quite succesfull with last year winning the division. They will also be featured in the Shore Shootout in Monroe where they will be paired with St .Joes Metuchen .