SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ -- A record-breaking scorer and solid goalkeeping in the pre-season are just two factors that have South Brunswick boys soccer coach Chris Hayston optimistic about another successful season for the program in 2019.
The Vikings open their campaign Tuesday afternoon at South Plainfield. They are coming off a 17 -3-2 season that included the 200th victory of Hayston's coaching career. His overall record stands at 209-113-11.
Senior center-forward Jake Stump will be looking to extend his school record for career goals at South Brunswick. Termed by Hayston "one of the best finishers I’ve coached," Stump enters the season with 52 career goals.
"We have two excellent forwards returning to this year's team, so they are definitely a strength," said Hayston, who has senior Antonio Iovine back at the other forward spot to complement Stump. Senior Romir Chatterjee also will see plenty of time on the attack.
Seniors Cory Petersen and Pasel Mohamed will patrol two spots in the middle of the pitch, with senior Seba Villano and junior Colin Harbison manning the back line in front of senior goalie Joe Mastromonica.
"I think our goalkeeping has been strong this pre-season," Hayston said. "While we have talented players in the midfield and defense, we are younger and more inexperienced there."
Additions to this year's regular rotation should include senior midfielder Omar Gawaly, junior defender Pranavan Sriringanthan, sophomore defender Krish Shetty, sophomore midfielder Ishaan Bhardwaj, sophomore defender Eric Mejia and freshman midfielder Adithyan Tamilselvan.
Following the road opener against South Plainfield, South Brunswick will play its first game at home Thursday against J.P. Stevens. On Saturday, the Vikings will host defending Greater Middlesex Conference champion East Brunswick at 10 a.m.