EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ -- The East Brunswick boys soccer team, coming off a championship season, opens its 2019 campaign Tuesday at 6 p.m. with a home game against Piscataway.
The Bears had 17 seniors graduate from a team that won the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament and the Central Jersey, Group 4 title in 2018.
"There are plenty of shoes to fill," said East Brunswick head coach Terry McKibbin, whose career coaching record is 200-81-18.
"The conference looks to have a lot of parity this year, with many star players being lost to graduation," said McKibbin, who remains optimistic about East Brunswick's chances for making a deep run again this year with many new players in the lineup.
Senior midfielder Zane Taha, senior forward Srihari Sudhir, junior midfielder Andre Shelton and senior forward Antonio Baratta will lead the Bears' attack. Senior midfielder Derek Ferro is another returning contributor. Senior goalie Ryan McSweiney will anchor the back line.
Some new faces who'll be counted on to replenish some of the lost talent on this year's squad include senior forward Anthony Rappa, senior back Nate Levitt, senior midfielder Frank Santana, junior defender Lewen Trussler, junior back Anthony Mastro, sophomore defenders Dominic Villalona and Jordan Popovski and freshman forward Joseph Carbone.
"We should be able to attack with several talented players," McKibbin said. "(We) expect to contend for the conference title once again with a combination of youth and experience."
Following the home opener Tuesday, East Brunswick will have a key road matchup against South Brunswick Saturday morning.