BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Two-sport athlete Brian Arrigan already missed out on his junior season in one sport, so the Ridge senior soccer player is making the most of his opportunity to play that sport this fall.
Arrigan is also a member of the Ridge High School boys lacrosse team, which had its 2020 season canceled when the entire state of New Jersey shut down scholastic sports at the height of the pandemic last spring.
So far this fall, Arrigan is leading the Red Devils in scoring with four goals and two assists. Three of those goals came in a 7-0 victory over Warren Hills last week, in a game in which he also had an assist. Teammate Chris Profaca also had three goals and one assist in that game.
"Brian's partnership and chemistry with our other striker/winger Chris Profaca has been key in our wins both this and last season, and we look forward to what else they can do together going forward," Ridge boys soccer coach Enzo Minicozzi said.
Arrigan has been named the Valairco Heating & Cooling TAPinto Basking Ridge Athlete of the Week.
"Brian is a key component of our offense and has been since his inclusion in our lineup as a sophomore two years ago," Minicozzi said. "Since then, he's developed his game on both the technical and tactical side. Because of this, he is versatile for us as both a striker and a winger."
In Arrigan's sophomore season, the program was in the early stages of a rebuild and Ridge won just one game that season. While wins are still tough to come by in the challenging Skylands Conference, the strides the program has made since then have much to do with Arrigan's development.
"Brian does a great job in finding pockets to get both breakaway chances and open spaces in the box for crosses," Minicozzi said. "He draws a lot of attention which creates space for others as a result too."
Arrigan took time this week to respond to some questions from TAPinto Basking Ridge.
Q: What are some of your team's goals and personal goals for this year's soccer season?
A: This team has a ton of varsity experience now and a huge amount of talent in our senior class. We haven't seen the results we are looking for at the end of the season the past three years but that's something my fellow seniors and I are looking to change. Without a captain's band this year I still want to show that I'm a leader on this team and make my friends, family and coaches proud. The Skyland conference is a battle week in and week out. Not many teams get to play Gill-St. Bernard's, Pingry, Hunterdon Central, Bridgewater-Raritan and North Hunterdon which are some of the best teams in the state every year like we do. This year is about making a name for ourselves and showing everyone that we shouldn't be taken as a joke.
Q: What has been your most memorable game to date?
A: In my years with the program my favorite game was an away game vs. Union (in 2019) under the lights in the state tournament, where we were the 13th seed playing Union, the fourth seed. We were up most of the game until we went down a man, and they forced penalty kicks, which we won, 5-4. Something about playing for my school and with my friends feels different, so upsetting a team like that in a physical tournament game at the end of a season was just the fire I needed for this season.
Q: Have you seen your game change since your last year?
A: I have seen my game change a lot over the last few years of playing and I'm excited to now be one of the biggest kids on the field and show my capability I know I have on the wing and up top.
Q: Are you aspiring to play soccer in college?
A: I have interest in playing college soccer and I know I can. Considering the circumstances I'm in right now with COVID-19 and not playing for a club, it's hard to get the proper recognition I need to get looked at by schools.
Q: What do you like most about Ridge High School?
A: By playing both lacrosse and soccer it is hard sometimes to keep up with the workload that is put on you at times at Ridge. With that being said, utilizing your resources and making relationships with the staff can go a long way in your success as a student athlete. I've had a close group of friends throughout Ridge mostly from the football, lacrosse and soccer teams, so when I'm not playing my sport or doing my work, I love to hang out and do things like fishing and golfing with them.
A: Do you have a favorite subject?
Q: My favorite subjects in school are wood shop and English.
Q: Who is your favorite athlete?
A: My favorite athlete is (2019 National League Rookie of the Year) Pete Alonso of the New York Mets.