Vikings pick up their 2nd division victory on gridiron



 South Brunswick High School harriers competed in the Central Jersey Shootout at Thompson Park Sept. 26. The 5K race was hosted by Old Bridge High School.  SCOTT FRIEDMAN South Brunswick High School harriers competed in the Central Jersey Shootout at Thompson Park Sept. 26. The 5K race was hosted by Old Bridge High School. SCOTT FRIEDMAN South Brunswick High School’s football team earned its second Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Red Division win with a solid defensive effort against Old Bridge High School Sept. 25 in a game that had several big plays.

The Vikings (2-1) opened the scoring in the first quarter when Mo Jabbie returned an Old Bridge punt 80 yards to give his team a 6-0 lead. However, the host Knights bounced back with a field goal and then turned a turnover into six more points. Following an interception, Old Bridge’s Jake Esposito put the Knights in front with an 83-yard run that electrified the large crowd at Lombardi Field.

Vikings quarterback Josh Liao calmly led his team back on its next possession, connecting with Justin Shorter for a 47-yard touchdown pass with time running out in the first half to regain the lead, 12-9. The junior signal-caller ended the evening with 9 completions in 18 attempts for 120 yards.

The score stayed that way until South Brunswick increased its lead early in the fourth quarter when Phil Campbell scored on a 1-yard run. Old Bridge tried to come back late in the period, but Dillon Donaldson recovered a fumble to end the threat.

“Our defense really did the job all night long,” South Brunswick coach Joe Goerge said. “Offensively, we put together two big drives. It was a tough game against a good team, but we did what we had to.”

The Vikings, whose only loss came in a non-divisional game against Middletown High School South, will host Sayreville War Memorial High School (2-1) Oct. 2 in another Red Division match-up. The Bombers, also 2-0 in the division, are coming off a 47-27 loss to Manalapan High School.

Neighboring North Brunswick Township High School’s football team fell to 0- 3 on the year despite a strong effort in a 16-14 loss to East Brunswick High School. The Raiders fell behind 9-0, but got on the board late in the first half when Max Emmanuel ran back a punt for 31 yards to make it 9-8, following a two-point conversion, at the intermission.

The host Bears extended their lead to 16- 7 in the third quarter, but North Brunswick scored early in the fourth when Ed Carpenter ran for 9 yards and a touchdown. The Raiders’ attempt to get two points failed.

The Raiders visit Monroe Township High School (1-2) Oct. 2. The Falcons picked up their first win Sept. 25, downing J.P. Stevens High School, 47-7.

Boys soccer

After splitting its first four games, South Brunswick’s boys soccer team has run off five successive wins to up its record to 7-2. The latest came Sept. 26. After a scoreless first half, the two teams traded goals, but Patrick Grudnick’s second goal of the game proved the difference in a 2-1 Vikings win. Nasser Aamer assisted on both goals, and Arvind Swaminathan turned aside five shots in goal.

Earlier in the week, South Brunswick downed Piscataway Township High School, 6-1. Kunal Thakral led the way with two goals, and Grudnick added a goal and an assist. Paul Grudnick, Jermaine Small and Tyler White also scored in the victory.

The Vikings began the week with a 4-1 win over North Brunswick. Patrick Grudnick notched a pair of goals to go with an assist. Thakral and Aamer also scored for South Brunswick.

North Brunswick’s boys soccer team upped its record to 2-7 Sept. 26 with a 4-1 win over J.P. Stevens. Jordan Luthers scored twice and added an assist. Chris Shamy also scored two goals, and Davide Sousa had two assists. Luthers also scored earlier in the week in a 3-1 loss to East Brunswick, while Shamy had a goal in a 4- 1 defeat at the hands of South Plainfield High School.

Girls soccer

North Brunswick’s girls soccer team has come back after winning just one of its first three matches to go 4-0-1 in its last five games. Despite being outshot 10-4 Sept. 26, the Raiders forged a scoreless tie with Colonia High School. Keeper Danielle Segerholm stopped 10 shots to post her fifth clean sheet of the season.

Prior to the season, Raiders coach Javier Velasco said Segerholm would be the key for a strong defense that also includes junior fullback Victoria Tucci and promising sophomore Christy Perez. That has certainly been the case. Only Bishop George Ahr High School, which scored an 8-2 success, has scored more than one goal against Velasco’s defense.

In its previous game, North Brunswick easily downed Perth Amboy, 4-0. Ashley Gorda led the offense with a pair of goals and an assist. Deanna Ehrhardt contributed a goal and an assist and Tatum Altman rounded out the scoring.

Segerholm made 10 saves Sept. 21 in a 2-1 overtime win against Woodbridge High School. Altman scored in regulation, and Gorda’s overtime tally gave the Raiders the win. North Brunswick has also picked up shutout wins against Edison High School, South Plainfield and Sayreville.

South Brunswick’s girls soccer team also depends heavily on its defense and goalkeeper Sydney Schneider. If the hardworking Lady Vikings, now 3-4, can generate a little more offense, they could be a factor. Schneider made eight saves Sept. 21, but Monroe edged South Brunswick, 1-0. Two days later, Schneider’s 14 saves keyed a 1-0 win over East Brunswick, as Francesca Dimitrakis scored the game’s only goal.

“The last game against East Brunswick was a much better played game for us as a unit,” South Brunswick coach Beth Barrio said. “We’re confident that the results will get better as our team as a whole becomes stronger and more confident.”

Girls tennis

In girls tennis, North Brunswick upped its record to 5-1 Sept. 22, defeating South Plainfield, 5-0. Colleen Binbinon, Komal Grover and Carly Lodise swept the singles competition, while Amy Tan and Athmika Vaseeharan at first and Kelly Huang and Harshithka Katikala at second took the doubles matches.

The Raiders lone loss came against Monroe Sept. 21. North Brunswick’s closest win was a 3-2 verdict against Metuchen High School Sept. 17, as Grover, Lodise and the duo of Tan and Vaseeharan won their matches.

South Brunswick’s girls team is now 6- 2 after a pair of 5-0 wins over Sayreville and Edison. Rashmi Venkatarama, Anisha Malhotra and Neeharika Kishor won their singles matches, as did the doubles tandems of Swathi Chandrika and Prathyusha Pandu and Sohini Bagewadi and Ashi Yadav.

Girls volleyball

In volleyball action, South Brunswick’s girls are coming off a 2-0 win against Piscataway Sept. 25. Nina Trach had eight digs, four aces and a kill, while Jaime Klemas contributed five kills as the Lady Vikings improved to 3-4.

The previous day, South Brunswick jumped out ahead of East Brunswick but fell, 2-1. Sarah Weeden had eight kills and nine digs, while Lindsay Szucs picked up 17 assists to go with four digs.

The Lady Vikings also lost a tough match against West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, 2-1 (23-25, 25-23, 23- 25). Kelly Matuszewski had Klemas added five kills.

Also in girls volleyball, after losing its first five matches, North Brunswick has won two of three and stands at 2-6 on the year. On Sept. 25, the Raiders downed New Brunswick, 2-0, as Epiphani Woodard had six kills and Nina Patel added 13 assists and two service aces.

The prior day, North Brunswick fell, 2- 0, to West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, despite four service aces and six assists from Nicole Illicic. The Raiders opened the week with a 2-1 victory over Edison, with Christina Ko picking up 18 digs to go with three service aces and a pair of kills. Woodard led North Brunswick with eight kills in the match.