West Orange HS boys’ soccer team has stellar season

Photo courtesy of Buzz1441.
West Orange HS sophomore Kalleo Mendes earned All-SEC-American Division First Team honors.

WEST ORANGE, NJ – The West Orange High School boys’ soccer program has enjoyed tremendous success in head coach Doug Nevins’ 19 seasons at the helm.

This fall, the Mountaineers produced another outstanding season, finishing with an impressive 11-5-2 record.

West Orange advanced to the Essex County Tournament semifinals where the Mountaineers lost to an unbeaten and top-seeded Montclair team in overtime, 1-0, Oct. 25 in a matchup of Super Essex Conference-American Division teams. Montclair went on to win the ECT title via a penalty-kick shootout against WOHS neighbor Seton Hall Prep.

The Mountaineers featured five players who earned SEC-American Division honors. They include three on the First Team – senior goalkeeper AJ Petrucci, senior Wes Rideau-Winds and sophomore Kalleo Mendes – and two on the Honorable Mention – seniors Roodlenscky Charles and Brian Merlos.

Mendes scored 12 goals and dished out 12 assists, both team highs, this season. Merlo collected five goals and eight assists, both second on the team.

Nevins won his 300th career game in the 2-1 road victory over Livingston on Sept. 21. He now has 307 wins.

In addition, Petrucci, Rideau-Winds, Mendes, and junior defender Yasin Aly earned All-State Coaches recognition. The same four also earned All -County recognition, along with Jared Robertson and Tyreke Wray, who made Honorable Mention.

“Overall, it was a terrific season in an incredibly hard division,” said Nevins. “Montclair, SHP and Millburn were all ranked top 10 in the state in the final poll. Montclair and SHP were ranked nationally. We were ranked in the NJ.com Top 20 for the majority of the season and only fell out after the state tournament. Four of our five losses were to teams ranked in the top 20 in New Jersey (Montclair twice, SHP, and Newark East Side). We beat Millburn, 2-0, and they made it to the Group 3 finals. We also beat MKA (Montclair Kimberley Academy) who made it to the sectional finals in Non-Public B. We also beat East Side 2-1 in overtime in the county quarterfinals, and they were ranked in the top 20.

“Overall, the boys had a very good season. We thank the seniors for all they have done – they will be missed.  And we look forward to next year with a strong group of returning players.”