SOMERSET, NJ — The Seton Hall Prep soccer team concluded its 2023 season, defeating Christian Brothers Academy 3-0 in the Non-Public “A” state final at Franklin High School in Somerset on Friday night, Nov. 10.
The Pirates finished the season with a 19-2-1 record. This was the Pirates’ fourth consecutive finals appearance and their fifth state title. Their other titles came in 2021, 2019, 2009 and 2007. Their record in the finals is 5-5, and against CBA, it is 4-2.
The Pirates opened the scoring when junior Jeremy Munoz lobbed a pass into the box to senior Nicholas Lapczynski, who then fed a pass to senior Eddie Krupski, who swung around the defender and fired the ball into the upper right corner of the goal to give Seton Hall Prep a 1-0 lead with 32:02 left in the first half.
In the second half, junior Benjamin Mills scored on a free kick with 35:18 left to increase the Pirates’ lead to 2-0.
Just 3:10 later, Mills sent a free kick toward the box. Senior Brady Longstreet headed it and Krupski fired the ball into the net for the goal and a 3-0 Pirates lead.
The backline of seniors Roan Sullivan, Wil Bauer, Longstreet and Whye Li Ong played outstanding, as well as senior goalie Ray Bonanno (eight saves), who, along with fellow senior Matthew Touchard, recorded the Pirates’ 11th clean sheet of the year.
Following the game, Krupski said, “Last year crushed me, (CBA won 1-0), and I knew I could not let it happen again. I knew, with my teammates around me, the amount of quality that they have and the amount of hard work that they put in every day in training and in the weight room, it drives me and we earned this victory as a team.”
Bonanno said, “The back line really played outstanding and Eddie was locked in during warmups.”
SHP head coach Marty Berman said, “To get to the final was great the last four years, but to capture three titles is unbelievable against the competition we played. I am also so excited for our seniors who have been loyal and committed to our program for the last four years.”
On Tuesday, Nov. 7, the Pirates traveled to Delbarton’s Ryan Family Field to face the Green Wave. With 4:32 left in the game, Krupski delivered what will arguably be the defining moment of his career, when he headed in a Mills corner kick to the far post to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead as they captured their 10th Non-Public “A” North title. Their record against Delbarton in the North final is now 4-3.
Seton Hall Prep controlled most of the play throughout the first half and capitalized with 26:19 left when Lapczynski scored off of his own rebound, right in front of the goal, to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead off a cross by junior Lucas Mendes. Delbarton tied the score at 1-1 with 1.6 seconds left in the first half. Bonanno finished with five saves.
Following the game, Krupski said, “Scoring the big goal is something that, as a center forward, I need to do when called upon and today I answered that call.” Bauer said, “We come into games like this knowing that we are going to win. We had a lot of confidence and stayed focused the whole game and finished the job.” Berman said, “To be kings of the north again is a hell of a feeling. It is not an easy road to go through this section. If you get through this stretch, you have earned your stripes.” The Pirates’ record in the North final is 10-4 and this was the seventh consecutive North final in which Seton Hall has participated. The Pirates are currently ranked No. 7 in Region III in the United States Coaches Poll and finished No. 1 in New Jersey in the Star-Ledger.
The Super Essex Conference–American Division team has been announced by the SEC. The following SHP players were honored:
- First team – Krupski, Mendes and Li Ong.
- Second team – Mills, Munoz and senior Max Williams.
- Honorable mention – Bauer and Longstreet.
Photos Courtesy of Seton Hall Prep