Sayreville boys getting off to a flying start


Staff Writer

The Sayreville High School soccer team is off to a 2-0 start, and will be looking for its third triumph on Saturday against neighboring South River.

Thus far the Bombers have downed Carteret, 7-0, and South Plainfield, 2-1, on the heels of a fine 12-6-2 campaign a year ago.

“This is a hardworking group,” coach Nick Cifelli said. “We really don’t have any superstars, so the key for us is playing smart and working together.”

Sayreville has just three seniors in the starting lineup: forward Jeff Craig and Michael Gary, and midfielder Matt Janas. Craig led the team in scoring last fall with nine goals and 10 assists, and scored both goals in the Bombers’ 2-1 win over South Plainfield on Monday.

Sophomore Lamin Sidibeh also starts up front. He scored five goals and added three assists last season, but has already shown an improved scoring touch, notching a hat trick in a 7-0 win over Carteret on Saturday. Martin Owusu and Steve Mera will also see action on the forward line.

Sophomore Rudy Kolenovic is the sweeper, with juniors Eric Gieg and Mitchell St. Louis, along with sophomore Chris Cesare in the middle. Juniors Carlos Caspao, Alfredo Pradus and Yaw Sakyi provide depth. Pradus had a pair of goals against Carteret on Saturday.

Juniors Brian Nowicki, Peter Wonaszek, Keith Woods and Jim Mauriello are the defenders in front of netminder Larry Pokrywa, who played very well last year after starter Rob Galante was injured.

Versatile freshman Matt Welna will also see minutes on defense, and possibly in the middle as well.

“I like what I’ve seen so far,” said Cifelli.

“Our guys move the ball well, and that has resulted in a lot of scoring chances. But I also like the way we’ve played defense as a team — everyone has been coming back.”

That certainly bodes well for the rest of this campaign, but the future is looking bright too. Cifelli reported that more than 50 players are in the program, which now has junior varsity and freshman contingents.