SUMMIT, NJ - While it is very early days, it's so far, so really good for the Ben Stuart era of Summit High School Boys Varsity Soccer.
The new head coach and his boys produced a 3-2 win at Dover to open their campaign and then returned home less than 24 hours later to earn a 1-1 draw with perennial power Scotch Plains-Fanwood.
Against the Raiders, Summit was the much brighter side in the opening 40 minutes then, in the second half, looked like a team that was playing its second tilt in consecutive days to open a season -- a bit leggy and chasing the match versus dictating it. Nonetheless, if the Maroon and White would have finished a gilded chance or two that went begging, they would have nicked a victory in a contest that saw two own-goals cancel each other out.
Ultimately, it was a excellent effort against a high-quality opponent, the type of performance which can be built upon to construct a expectation-exceeding season.
"We have pace, power and talent. I think we will create some chances and we are going to shock some teams," said Stuart, a Liverpool native who is currently the technical director at Maplewood Soccer Club. Speaking on the eve of the season Stuart, in Nostradamus-like fashion, added, "We are going to need to finish a good percentage of our chances, especially against the very good teams."
Summit will line-up in a 4-3-3 formation but Stuart stresses that he wants his team to be adaptable tactically. Senior goalkeeper Jake Maslin is a vocal and active presence between the sticks who will guarded by a back line consisting of seniors Theo Hodges, Jose Osorio, Anthony Tepetitla and Pat Della Sala and Alex Supran.
In the midfield, talented sophomore Ethan Harris will occupy the holding role. Given -- and judging by -- his strong performance versus Scotch Plains-Fanwood, it's a task he is more than up for. Joining Harris in the center of the pitch are seniors Luke Rustum and Nathan Todorov.
Up top, seniors Owen Healy and Danny Garcia, along with freshman Daniel Farberov, will use some of that pace and power Stuart referred to in an effort to dart past defenders and score goals.
Team captains are Hodges, Rustum, Todorov and Osorio.
Summit high School Boys Varsity Soccer
2019 Team Roster
17 - Michael Bermudez, senior - Forward
24 - Patrick Della Sala, senior - Defender
0 - Austin Dooley, senior - Goalkeeper
16 - Daniel Farberov, freshman - Forward
7 - Danny Garcia, senior - Forward
21 - Aidan Grazia, senior - Midfield
15 - Jeffrey Greenstein, junior - Defender
6 - Ethan Harris, sophomore - Midfield
30 - Lucas Harris, senior - Defender
5 - Owen Healy, senior - Forward
19 - Sean Hendrie, freshman - Midfield
4 - Theo Hodges, senior - Defender (C)
12 - Daniel Kohaut, senior - Defender
1 - Jake Maslin, senior - Goalkeeper (C)
26 - Chris Merola, senior - Forward
14 - Daniel O'Connell, junior - Defender
10 - Jose Osorio, senior - Defender / Midfield (C)
11 - Luke Rustum, senior - Midfield (C)
8 - Alex Supran, senior - Midfield / Defender
9 - Anthony Tepetitla, senior - Defender
23 - Nathan Todorov, senior - Midfield
18 - Owen Turk, senior - Defender
2 - Eric Wong, senior - Midfield / Defender
C) - denotes team captain
Ben Stuart - Head Coach
Matt Schachtel- JV Head Coach
Kevin Zaleski - Freshman Head Coach
Summit High School Boys Varsity Soccer
2019 Team Schedule
All home games at Tatlock Park (unless otherwise noted)
September 10 @ Elizabeth - 4 p.m.
September 12 v. Cranford - 4 p.m
September 17 @ Plainfield - 4 p.m.
September 19 @ Westfield - 4 p.m
September 21 @ Scotch Plains-Fanwood - 4 p.m.
September 23 v. Franklin Township - 4 p.m.
September 26 v. Elizabeth - 4 p.m.
September 28 @ Oratory Prep - 11 a.m.
October 2 - Union County Tournament (first round)
October 5 - Union County Tournament (second round)
October 7 @ Cranford - 4 p.m.
October 10 v. Plainfield - 4 p.m.
October 12 - Union County Tournament (quarterfinals)
October 16 v. Westfield - 7 p.m. (Senior Night @ Summit High School Upper Turf Field)
October 17 v. Bayonne - 4 p.m.
October 19 - Union County Tournament (semifinals)
October 22 @ Hillsborough - 7 p.m.
October 24 v. Mendham - 4 p.m.
October 25 - Union County Tournament (final)
October 29 - NJSIAA Sectionals begin