Brookdale men’s soccer team relying on balance

first_imgBy tim morrisStaff Writer By tim morris Staff Writer Beyond the team’s obvious talent, what stands out the most about the Brookdale Community College men’s soccer team to new head coach Scott Baker is the Jersey Blues’ commitment to the team. He has discovered that he has a group of athletes who have put the team before themselves, making his transition to a new coach position smoothly. “The skill level is impressive, but what has been great is their determination to learn a new system,” he said. “They are dedicated and committed players.” Beyond the talent and the dedication to cultivate it to a team, the Blues have something else going for them. “Our No. 1 strength is our leadership,” said Baker. “We have a few kids in the captains’ roles that can make a really big difference.” Tri-captains Lou Vaz, Chris Amato and Emanuel Zeon are the players who have stood out as leaders and again made the transition that much more palatable. “They play great, but they are really terrific leaders,” Baker noted. “They lead vocally and by example. They put a lot of time and effort into it.” Brookdale, which has consistently been a contender in the Garden State Athletic Conference and Region XIX, would like to get over that hump this fall and win a championship. Baker has assembled a team that is strong from the frontline to the backline and goal. “We’re pretty balanced,” he said. “We have the ability to score, defend together and win possession of the ball to get into our attack. Our goal is to get the ball to our two players up front.” Vaz, an All-Region XIX in 2001, and fellow sophomore Don Pereira provide Brookdale with as good a scoring tandem as there is. “They are both dangerous scorers,” noted Baker. “What I like is that they are committed to getting back and playing defense as well.” Helio Guimaraes is the trailer for the attack up front and complements Vaz and Pereira. A player who can establish control of the midfield is important for any team that wants to win. In Gregg Cohen, the Blues have such a player. The center-midfielder is a superb all-around player. His physical play helps him win possession of the ball, and with it, he is a crafty play-maker. On one of Cohen’s flanks is Robbie Whyte, whose speed creates gaps in defenses. Gus Aguino and Rich Frye will rotate at the other outside midfield. What Baker likes about Brookdale’s defense is its balance. No one is ever out of position, and that is because of the play of Amato and Brian Eichenberg, the team’s central defenders. They keep everyone in the right place. Brad Fraley and Rodalbert Boyer are both solid defenders lining up on the outside of Amato and Eichenberg. Zeon could turn out to be one of the surprises of the season. This basketball player is bringing his athleticism to the goalie position. Last fall, he played just about every position for Brookdale before settling in at defense. With the need for a goalie, Baker took a look at Zeon and discovered that he is more than an adequate replacement. In fact, Baker thinks that his sophomore could turn the goalie position into one of BCC’s strengths. Manny Zambaro and John Pereira are versatile players who can provide a spark as substitutes. BCC will be a team that relies on its subs. Providing the all-important depth for the team are Diego Buritca, Francisco Chevez, Pete Cuevas, Chris Hoenig, Chris Howard, Ricardo Adrian Lopez, Vincenzo Passalacqua and Alhassan Quaye. “We need everybody to win,” Barker explained. “Everyone is very valuable.” The Jersey Blues are off to a 1-1 start, beating Hartford, Md. 3-2 and losing to Del Tech, 2-1. The next home match is another GSAC tilt, Gloucester, at (3:30 p.m.) Sept. 25.last_img

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