NEWARK, NJ - The Cedar Grove High School boys soccer team clinched the division title today, beating Newark Tech, 3-2. This is the first division title in the school’s history. Seniors Massimo Saletta and Simone Saletta, as well as junior Danny Gonzalez, each scored a goal. Junior Joel Botros had two assists.
“I'm proud of the group of guys we've got on this team,” said Coach Mike Konopka. “With a small school like Cedar Grove, it seemed like in the past we were just missing a piece here or there every year . . . which led to some heartbreaks over my nine years at the wheel. But now we've got a deeper roster of talented players, and we don't have any glaring weaknesses.”
This is a historic season for the team, which can also boast the most goals scored in a season (70) and the fewest goals allowed in a season (currently 14, previous team record is 16). The team is undefeated in division play.
“Every time we step on the field I believe we are going to win,” said Konopka. “At this point, it is just fun for me to watch them play.”
Now at 11-3, which is a significant improvement from last year’s record of 5-8-4, Konopka notes that the seniors have come a long way from their freshman year, and the sophomores and juniors have all made significant progress as well.
“They took some lumps over that time because in a small town, those guys have to hit the varsity field maybe before they are completely ready,” said Konopka. “But it pays off in the long run because of the experience they've gained.”
TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.