WEST ORANGE, NJ – The West Orange High School varsity boys’ soccer team will host crosstown neighbor Seton Hall Prep this Monday, Oct. 9, in a key Super Essex Conference-American Division game at 4 p.m.
Through Oct. 2, the Seton Hall Prep Pirates had a 11-1 record and 4-0 in the division, while the WOHS Mountaineers had a 6-1-3 overall record and 1-1-3 in the division. SHP was ranked No. 2 in the state and WOHS was ranked No. 17 in the state by The Star-Ledger/NJ.com as of Sept. 28.
WOHS head coach Doug Nevins, who is a SHP alum, is looking forward to the game against the Pirates.
”It is always a huge game,” Nevins said. “Year in and year out (the SHP Pirates) are one of the best teams in the state. They are usually the measuring stick in Essex County. We hope to continue to improve to the point where we can be really competitive with them. And as a proud SHP alum, it is always a little bit bigger game for me.”
Emphasizing his one-game-at-a-time approach, SHP head coach Marty Berman was more focused on the three important games this week prior to game against West Orange. The Pirates were scheduled to face rival Columbia on Oct. 2, Millburn on Wednesday, Oct. 4 and Kearny on Friday, Oct. 6. WOHS lost to Millburn, 1-0, Sept. 18. Kearny is one of the best teams in the state.
Berman, a West Orange resident, mentioned the friendly rivalry with WOHS, noting how he would bump into the WOHS players in town and that Nevins was one of his former players. He also noted how the game goes a long way toward deciding the division race and the seeding for the upcoming Essex County Tournament.
Said Berman: “West Orange has been very good for a lot of years and Seton Hall Prep has been good for a lot of years. Between the two programs, we have been able to put West Orange on the map and put a lot of exposure for West Orange being a soccer town.”
The Mountaineers defeated Montclair Kimberley Academy and Irvington last week. Maurice Williams scored on an assist from fellow senior Brent Llewellyn in the 1-0 win at Montclair Kimberley Academy on Sept. 27 in a SEC-American Division game.
The Mountaineers defeated Irvington, 8-0, Sept. 28, in a SEC non-division game in Irvington. Manny DePierola and Tyreke Wray, both juniors, each had two goals and fellow junior Wes Rideau Woods had one goal and an assist. Seniors Jonathan Flores and Bijan Terani each had a goal; junior Roodlensky Charles, Llewellyn, and junior Edgar Moreno each had two assists; and sophomore Nalima Fisher had one assist. Junior Matt Kotowski made one save and senior Paul Shuler made two saves for WOHS.
The Mountaineers defeated East Orange Campus HS, 3-1, Monday, Oct. 2, at Lincoln Field. DePierola had two goals and Wray had a goal. Alan Becerra, fellow junior Musie Weldeghergis and Charles each had an assist and Schuler made three saves.
Nevins has been pleased with his team’s progress. “We have had some growing pains, replacing nine starters, and have struggled to score early in the season, but the last three games we have looked like they are starting to ‘get it’”
SHP vs. WOHS from 2001 through 2016
SHP holds a 9-6-3 edge in the series between these two local teams. This includes the 2006 Essex County Tournament final when WO won, 4-1, and 2010 final when SHP won, 2-1.