SPORT SHORTS

Top Notch Sports offers goalkeeper training at its new training center at 111 Rt. 35 in Aberdeen. Training is offered on a year-round basis — the only such program in New Jersey.

Training employs Brazilian methods that are renowned worldwide. Learn the correct goalkeeping techniques used by the professional keepers. Classes held from beginner to collegiate player level.

Top Notch Sports’ Soccer Training Academy offers advanced supplemental training for youth of all ages and ability levels. The academy’s training methods have become renowned statewide for building better athletes at any age.

A number of its members have gone on to successful collegiate and even professional careers through the training program. Those same training methods are now available to all youths of any age or level.

The focus is on providing players with the individual attention they need to grow and fulfill their potential.

Vikings ready to open sectional football playoffs

VARSITY REPORT

By WARREN RAPPLEYEA
Correspondent

 Natalie Ginez was the first runner across the finish line for South Brunswick High School at the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group IV Championships Nov. 7 at Thompson Park in Jamesburg. With Ginez finishing 11th overall, the South Brunswick girls placed third to move on to the Group IV meet Nov. 14 at Holmdel Park.  SCOTT FRIEDMAN Natalie Ginez was the first runner across the finish line for South Brunswick High School at the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group IV Championships Nov. 7 at Thompson Park in Jamesburg. With Ginez finishing 11th overall, the South Brunswick girls placed third to move on to the Group IV meet Nov. 14 at Holmdel Park. SCOTT FRIEDMAN The South Brunswick High School football team will host Hunterdon Central Regional High School Nov. 13 in the opening round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group V playoffs.

The Vikings (7-1) earned 151 power points — 20 more than second-place New Brunswick High School — to gain the top seed. Hunterdon Central (3-6) squeezed into the playoffs with a 9-8 upset win against Immaculata High School (7-2) Oct. 30.

South Brunswick coach Joe Goerge said people should not be misled by Hunterdon Central’s record.

“It doesn’t matter if you play high school, college or pro — any team can beat another on any given day,” he said. “Now it’s a one game season. Anything can happen in the playoffs. It’s really about us preparing the best we can and playing our game.”

Goerge always preaches preparation and regularly notes that the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Red Division, which the Vikings won this fall, is among the toughest in the state. That has been borne out in recent weeks as an improving Sayreville War Memorial High School bested Piscataway Township High School, which in turn downed Old Bridge High School, while Edison High School edged Sayreville. All are playoff-bound teams.

South Brunswick opened the season with a disappointing 41-21 home loss to perennial Shore Conference power Middletown High School South (8-0), which went on to earn the first seed in the North Jersey II Group IV playoffs.

The Vikings have roared back with eight straight wins, all against GMC Red Division foes, outscoring those opponents, 236- 58, over that span. South Brunswick is coming off a tough, 14-10, come-from behind win over Piscataway Oct. 30.

South Brunswick took the lead with under five minutes to go in regulation on a halfback option pass from Wendell Allen to Justin Shorter. Then Shorter came up with a key interception to halt a Chiefs drive and ice the game.

With eight games already in the books, South Brunswick has been off since that win. Goerge said the time off enabled his team to regroup and allow its bumps and bruises to heal. It also gave Goerge and his staff a chance to scout Hunterdon Central Nov. 6 when the Red Devils lost, 33-14, to Westfield High School.

“It’s good to have a little time to practice and work on some things,” he said. “It’s a long, tough season, and we’ve had some hard games. We’ve had this same week off for the past four years so we’re used to it. I think the extra time will help us.”

South Brunswick looks to make its third trip to the finals in four years. Last year, the Vikings fell to Manalapan High School, 21- 7, at High Point Solutions Stadium. In 2012, South Brunswick downed Manalapan, 33- 22, to win the crown.

Boys’ soccer

South Brunswick’s boys soccer team fell to seventh-seeded Freehold Township High School in the Central Jersey, Group IV semifinals to end the year with a 17-4-1 mark. The Vikings had to play a man down after Kyle DeGroff was red-carded after a scrum that followed a set-piece play just 15 minutes into the match. The Patriots scored the game’s only goal later in the first half.

The second-seeded Vikings managed to outshoot the visitors, 12-6, but were unable to get the equalizer. Arvind Swaminathan made five saves for South Brunswick.

In its opening-round game, South Brunswick brushed past 15th-seeded Sayreville, 5-0. Nasser Aamer scored twice and Jermaine Small, Keiler Knapp and Kumal Thakral, who connected early on a header, also scored for the Vikings.

Girls’ soccer

In girls soccer, the Lady Vikings came up short in the opening round of the Central Jersey, Group IV tournament, falling 5-0 to ninth-seeded Freehold High School.

South Brunswick, the eighth seed, may have been a bit spent as the match came just two days after its storybook run through the GMC Tournament that culminated in a 1-0 win over East Brunswick High School in Suth Brunswick South Brunswick,the ,,,,cham,pionship game.

SPORT SHORTS

It is rewarding to breed in the Garden State again thanks to the newly approved Renaissance Incentive issued by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ).

Effective with the 2016 breeding season, breeders will be incentivized to stand stallions and foal their mares in New Jersey with reimbursements and bonuses.

“We are enhancing the mare residency program and adding trotting stallions along with pacing stallions to the successful program we introduced last year,” SBOANJ President Tom Luchento said in a prepared statement. “These programs will help to bridge the gap until we start to see the potential revenue from expanded gaming. We have every expectation that racetrack-based casinos will be a referendum question in November of 2016.”

The mare residency program requires that the mare reside in New Jersey for 150 days, be veterinarian-certified as fit for breeding and the foal be made eligible for the New Jersey Sire Stakes or New Jersey Standardbred Development Fund.

Payments of up to $500 per mare will be issued to the registered owner after verification of breeding and residency, but not prior to Aug. 1, 2016. The maximum pool for payments is $150,000.

The foals of mares bred to New Jersey-based pacing and trotting stallions will be eligible for a 25 percent refund of the paid stud fee, up to a maximum of $1,500, for breedings in 2016.

The incentive rebate will be issued on or about Aug. 1, 2017, and the stud fee must be paid by the registered owner prior to that date. It is required that the participating stallions be enrolled in the USTA’s STARS Program and the resulting foals be nominated to the New Jersey Sire Stakes.

A maximum of $100,000 per gait will be paid out.

Among the participating stallions are the trio of Trixton, Rock N Roll Heaven and Lis Mara, all of whom stand at Deo Volente Farms in Flemington, and Philos Hanover — a son of Cam’s Card Shark — who stands at Last Cance Farm in Chesterfield.

The program is also available to any other New Jersey stallions that meet the eligibility requirements.

“The Breeders Committee and the SBOANJ has approved what I believe to be a truly forward looking and innovative program to create excitement around the breeding and racing industry in New Jersey,” said Michael Gulotta, chairman of the Breeders Committee and president of Deo Volente Farms, in a prepared statement.

Vikings football, soccer teams enjoy weekend of title wins

VARSITY REPORT

By WARREN RAPPLEYEA
Correspondent

 South Brunswick High School’s Russell Baskin (14) gets between South Plainfield High School defenders as he tries to secure control of the ball during the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament final played at Woodbridge High School Oct. 31. The teams played to a 1-1 tie and were declared co-champions.  SCOTT FRIEDMAN South Brunswick High School’s Russell Baskin (14) gets between South Plainfield High School defenders as he tries to secure control of the ball during the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament final played at Woodbridge High School Oct. 31. The teams played to a 1-1 tie and were declared co-champions. SCOTT FRIEDMAN It was a banner weekend for South Brunswick High School, as it captured the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) title in boys and girls soccer and the football team clinched the GMC Red Division crown.

Girls’ soccer

South Brunswick’s girls’ soccer team scored just five goals in its four tournament games, but the Lady Vikings made them stand up to win the GMC Tournament.

Coach Beth Barrio’s girls, seeded fourth, squeezed past East Brunswick, 1-0, Oct. 31 at Priscoe Stadium in Woodbridge to win their first GMC title since 2001. After a scoreless first half, the Lady Vikings, who outshot the Bears, 8-5, slowly began to get the better of the play.

South Brunswick finally struck with about four minutes remaining in regulation when Francesca Dimitrakis saw striker Julianna Franco heading for open space. The Lady Vikings’ midfielder got the ball to Franco, who went in alone and beat the goalkeeper for her team-leading ninth goal of the season. Sydney Schneider turned aside all five shots she faced to keep a clean sheet.

The win had additional sweetness for the Lady Vikings, as East Brunswick had knocked Barrio’s team out of last year’s tournament with a 1-0 win in the semifinals.

“The girls worked very hard to get here,” said Barrio, whose team won all its tournament games by one goal. “We had some tough losses during the season, but the team kept improving. They really learned the importance of staying focused for an entire game and it paid off.”

South Brunswick (11-7 overall) earned its berth in the GMC finals with an exciting shootout win over top-seeded Monroe Township High School in the semifinals. The Falcons got on the board first with a goal 15 minutes into the second half, but Dimitrakis scored the equalizer with her fifth of the year. The score remained 1-1 through two overtimes, but the Lady Vikings prevailed, 6-5, in the penalty kick shootout.

Barrio’s team also came from behind in its quarterfinals victory over fifth-seeded Old Bridge High School Oct. 27. The Knights led, 1-0, at the half; however, Moriya Frankel’s fourth goal knotted things in the second half and Franco went on to score the overtime game-winner. Schneider was superb as well, making 14 saves.

Frankel scored the only goal in her team’s 1-0 opening-round win over Edison High School Oct. 23.

The Lady Vikings, who earned the eighth seed, were set to meet ninth-seeded Freehold High School (7-7-1) Nov. 2 in the opening round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV tournament.

Football

South Brunswick clinched the GMC Red Division football championship with a 14-10 victory over Piscataway Township High School in a defensive battle Oct. 30.

Most of the scoring came in spurts. The visiting Chiefs got on the board first when Elijah Barnwell, who gained more than 200 yards on the night, ran 24 yards midway through the second quarter. South Brunswick took the ensuing kickoff and quickly went 75 yards to tie the score. Junior quarterback Josh Liao’s 3-yard keeper concluded the drive.

Piscataway regained the lead early in the third quarter with a time-consuming drive that covered 70 yards and ended with a 22- yard Michael Stalenyj field goal after the Vikings stopped the Chiefs at the 4-yard line.

South Brunswick took the lead with just over five minutes remaining on a 50-yard halfback option pass from Wendell Allen to Justin Shorter. Piscataway looked to bounce back, but Shorter intercepted a pass with three minutes to go to end the Chiefs’ drive.

Piscataway got the ball back at its own 29-yard line with just over a minute remaining after its defense forced the Vikings to punt. Phil Campbell’s interception sealed the win for South Brunswick. Campbell also led his team in rushing, gaining 140 yards on 11 carries.

Since a 41-21, opening-night loss at home against Middletown High School South, the Vikings have won seven straight games, allowing just 58 points during that stretch. Many of those points came after the outcome of the particular game was no longer in doubt.

Coach Joe Goerge noted that his team played most of the game against Piscataway without two-way lineman Richie Hoff and cornerback/punter Jaier Garrett, who were both injured during the game.

“Our defense made a number of big plays, including two big fourth-down stops,” Goerge said. “We were shuttling a few sophomores in and out, and they did the job for us. They bent, but didn’t break. We had contributions from just about everyone. It was a quintessential team effort.”

With the win, South Brunswick clinched the top seed for the Central Jersey Group V playoffs. The power point rankings have not been finalized, but it appears the Vikings will host eighth-place Freehold Township High School in an opening-round game Nov. 13.

Boys’ soccer

In boys’ soccer, top-seeded South Brunswick earned a share of the GMC title with a 1-1 tie against South Plainfield High School Oct. 31 in a hard-fought, physical match. The teams played two overtime periods and were still deadlocked. Championship games do not go to a penalty kick shootout. As a result the Vikings and Tigers are co-champs.

“Both teams had chances to win,” South Brunswick coach Chris Hayston said. “South Plainfield played us very well. They had a good game plan, and they were able to execute defensively and create some chances on the counter.”

The coach said both teams were disappointed that there was no winner. In any event, if it were up to him, Hayston said he would rather have played to a conclusion that go to penalty kicks.

“It’s weird for a championship game to end in a tie,” he said. “It was a game that could have gone either way. So no one was happy, but on the other hand no one is devastated either. In a lot of ways, it’s better than a tie.

The two teams battled through a scoreless first half, and sixth-seeded South Plainfield opened the scoring 10 minutes into the second half and appeared keep the Vikings at bay. However, Patrick Grudnick converted a penalty kick for his 18th goal of the season after South Plainfield was called for a hand ball in the box.

Vikings goalie Arvind Swaminathan made a huge sliding save with about seven minutes remaining to prevent a South Plainfield game-winner. Swaminathan was injured on the play and was replaced by Jake Foeldes, who made a huge save in overtime to keep the score even.

Hayston is hoping his team can turn its disappointment in the GMC result into a positive as it heads into the Central Jersey Group IV tournament. The defending champion Vikings are seeded second and were set to host Sayreville War Memorial High School in an opening-round game Nov. 3.

“We’ve responded well to adversity all season long,” the coach said. “We started out 2-2, and we came back to win the [GMC] Red Division. Along the way, we had a lot of must-win games, and we were able to win them. Our guys want to come back strong.”

In the run-up to the GMC championship game, South Brunswick defeated East Brunswick, 1-0, in the semifinals. Russell Baskin’s late goal off an assist from Nasser Aamer made the difference.

In the quarterfinals, the Vkings downed Old Bridge, 8-2, as Kevin Nunez led the way with a pair of goals. Grudnick, Keiler Knapp, Kyle DeGroff, Jermaine Small, Koonj Patel and Kunal Thakral also scored in the victory.

Vikings, Raiders pick up victories on the gridiron

VARSITY REPORT

By WARREN RAPPLEYEA
Correspondent

 South Brunswick High School teammates watch the floor exercise routine during the Greater Middlesex Conference Gymnastics Championships Oct. 24 in the South Brunswick High School gym.  SCOTT FRIEDMAN South Brunswick High School teammates watch the floor exercise routine during the Greater Middlesex Conference Gymnastics Championships Oct. 24 in the South Brunswick High School gym. SCOTT FRIEDMAN The South Brunswick High School and North Brunswick Township High School football teams chalked up victories Oct. 23.

For South Brunswick, it was a sixth straight win following its opening-day loss to Middletown High School South. The Vikings went right to work against Edison High School (2-4), as Mo Jabbie returned the opening kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown. Coach Joe Goerge’s team built a 28- 0 lead before the first quarter was over en route to a 43-14 win.

Phil Campbell scored three touchdowns and ran for 110 yards. He also scored three two-point conversions. Wendell Allen returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown, and Jaier Garrett hauled in a 46-yard pass from Josh Liao for another score. Clearly, the Vikings were focused on the task at hand, and as a result sit alone atop the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Red Division. South Brunswick will host second-place Piscataway Township High School (5-1), which is coming off a 23-21 loss to Sayreville War Memorial High School Oct. 23.

South Brunswick has accumulated 113 power points, good for first in the race for the

NJSIAA Central Jersey Group V playoffs and seven points ahead of New Brunswick

High School. The top eight teams will qualify. The best seven of a team’s first eight games count in the standings.

In North Brunswick, the Raiders turned a 14-12 deficit into a 34-14 edge in less than three minutes to best winless J.P.

Stevens High School.

Zach Rowell, who ran for 187 yards, ignited the rally with an 81-yard run that led to a Tyler Bryant touchdown. After the kickoff, Rowell intercepted a Hawks pass and returned it to the 1-yard line, and Bryant scored again on the next play. An Elijah Hicks interception set up a 5-yard scoring run by Quamere Nance, who rushed for 71 yards on the night.

With the win, the Raiders improved to 2-5, and first-year coach Don Zsak said the sudden turnaround was a result of his team’s hard work.

“Our players never quit, things didn’t seem to be going our way, but they showed a lot of character,” he said. “They kept battling and then they came up with the big plays we needed. I’m proud of them.”

Next up for Zsak’s improving team is a trip to Middletown High School North (4-2) Oct. 30. The Eagles last played Oct. 16, downing Howell High School, 21-7.

Girls tennis

South Brunswick won the GMC team title in girls tennis. Prathyusha Pandu and Swathi Chandrika won at first doubles and Sneha Rampali and Ashi Yadav took second doubles in a grueling three-set match to pace the Lady Vikings. In first singles, Rashmi Venkatarama finished second to East Brunswick High School’s Jennifer Chen, who won for the third straight year. In third singles Neeharika Kishore took second place for South Brunswick.

Boys soccer

The top-seeded South Brunswick’s boys soccer team downed 16th-seeded J.P. Stevens in the opening round of the GMC Tournament Oct. 24. Patrick Grudnick and Keiler Knapp scored two goals apiece and Jermaine Small and Christos Lolas also scored in the win.

Earlier on the week the Vikings fell, 2-1, to New Brunswick, the second seed in the GMC Tournament, in a regular-season match. The two teams could see each other again in the tournament. Kyle DeGroff scored the lone goal in the loss.

“That was one tough match; New Brunswick is a very good team,” said Vikings coach Chris Hayston, whose team is 14-3. “We expected them to be good, but I was very impressed.”

The Raiders boys won their preliminary match, 3-0, against Perth Amboy High School. Jordan Luthers scored twice and Chris Shamy once as Pawel Dzielski stopped 13 shots. New Brunswick eliminated North Brunswick, 3-0, Oct. 30, despite a strong showing by Dzielski in goal.

Girls soccer

In girls soccer, fourth-seeded South Brunswick (8-7) downed Edison, 1-0, in the first round of the GMC Tournament. The Lady Vikings had a 13-4 edge in shots. Moriya Frankel scored the only goal her team would need on a pass from Brielle Eder. Sydney Schneider stopped all four shots she faced.

North Brunswick, meanwhile, won its preliminary-round match against J.P. Stevens, 3-2. Delaney Timm scored the game-winner in double overtime. Tatum Altman and Ashley Gorda also scored for the Raiders, who were then eliminated Oct. 23 by Bishop George Ahr High School, 5-0.

Vikings on 11-game win streak as GMC Tournament nears

VARSITY REPORT

By WARREN RAPPLEYEA
Correspondent

 North Brunswick Township High School’s Quamere Nance carries the ball for the Raiders during their victory over Edison High School Oct. 9. The Raiders play J.P. Stevens High School in North Brunswick on Oct. 23.  SCOTT FRIEDMAN North Brunswick Township High School’s Quamere Nance carries the ball for the Raiders during their victory over Edison High School Oct. 9. The Raiders play J.P. Stevens High School in North Brunswick on Oct. 23. SCOTT FRIEDMAN South Brunswick High School’s boys’ soccer team is riding an 11-match winning streak as it prepares to open the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Tournament.

The Vikings split their first four games and have done nothing but win since then, allowing just nine goals during the winning streak and winning the Red Division for the second year in a row. As a result, South Brunswick has earned the top seed in the tournament and a bye into the quarterfinals, which begin Oct. 27

New Brunswick High School (15-0) is seeded second, and the two teams were scheduled to meet in a regular-season match Oct. 19.

While South Brunswick has been defensive minded in front of goalkeeper Arvind Swaminathan, who has four shutouts, the Vikings can score as well. Both of South Brunswick’s losses — to Monroe Township High School, 2-1, and East Brunswick High School, 1-0 — were by one goal.

“Everyone knows their role, and they really play as a team,” coach Chris Hayston said. “We’re difficult to defend because we have so many players who can score, and we move the ball around very well.

Patrick Grudnick leads a balanced attack with 12 goals and eight assists. Nasser Aamer has tallied seven goals to go with six assists, and Jermaine Small has also scored seven times. Kevin Nunez has five goals and three assists, Kyle DeGroff has contributed four goals, and Paul Grudnick has three goals and eight assists.

The Vikings are coming off a 3-1 win over North Brunswick Township High School Oct. 15 that clinched the division title. Aamer, De- Groff and Nunez all scored in what was also South Brunswick’s 500th victory in boys soccer. South Brunswick’s previous match, a 4-1 success against J.P. Stevens High School Oct. 13, also highlighted the Vikings’ balance. Aamer, Small, Patrick Grudnick and Max Antisell scored goals.

North Brunswick ended its season on a high note, downing Carteret High School, 1-0, Oct. 17 to up its record to 4-12. Davide Sousa scored for the Raiders, with Chris Shamy earning an assist on the play. Pawel Dzielski stopped five shots in keeping a clean sheet.

Football

South Brunswick continued to make Ridge Road an inhospitable destination for visitors by quickly jumping out in front of visiting Monroe on its way to a 52-7 win Oct. 16.

The Vikings dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and were able to move the ball with regularity while limiting the Falcons offense to mostly short gains. Wendell Allen, Mo Jabbie and Phil Campbell scored two touchdowns apiece, and Campbell, who ran for 80 yards on the night, scored four two-point conversions.

Junior quarterback Josh Liao completed a touchdown pass to Jabbie for 18 yards and also ran for 24 yards and a touchdown. Allen returned the second half kickoff 95 yards for a score as the Vikings seemed unstoppable. Monroe scored a late touchdown to avoid the shutout.

After losing its season-opener to Middletown High School South, 41-21, coach Joe Goerge’s Vikings have reeled off five straight wins and now stand at 5-0 in Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Red Division play. In those five wins, South Brunswick has piled up 159 points while allowing its opponents only 34 points.

The win gives South Brunswick 87 power points — good for first place in the race for the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group V playoffs. New Brunswick sits in second place with 77 power points. The best seven of a team’s first eight games count in the standings.

South Brunswick is scheduled to host undefeated Piscataway Township High School, which is also 5-0 in Red Division play, in a much-anticipated matchup Oct. 30. However, the Vikings will first travel to Edison High School (2-3) Oct. 23. The Eagles are coming off a bye week that followed a 40-21 loss to North Brunswick Oct. 9.

“We’re preparing for Edison — that’s it,” Goerge said. “[The Red Division] is one of the toughest in the state. Anyone can beat anyone else.”

North Brunswick had the difficult task of playing Piscataway Oct. 16 and fell, 42- 18. The Raiders scored first on an electrifying 80-yard run by Quamere Nance. The Chiefs came back to take the lead, 7-6, by the end of the first quarter and increased their edge to 28-6 by halftime. Piscataway added two more touchdowns in the third quarter to put the game away.

The Raiders’ other points came in the fourth quarter on a 43-yard scoring run by Max Emmanuel and a Dylan Steel-to-Kelson Hopson scoring pass that covered 12 yards.

Next up for North Brunswick is a visit from winless J.P. Stevens Oct. 23. The Hawks are coming off a 41-6 loss to East Brunswick Oct. 16.

Girls’ soccer

North Brunswick’s girls soccer team looked to end a three-game losing streak Oct. 21 when it took on J.P. Stevens during the preliminary round of the GMC Tournament. The Raiders (6-7-1), seeded 15th, came off a pair of 2-0 losses to Woodbridge High School (Oct. 15) and Edison (Oct. 13). Goalkeeper Danielle Segerholm turned aside 17 shots in the two matches.

J.P. Stevens is seeded 18th.

South Brunswick’s girls soccer team also enters the GMC Tournament on the heels of two straight losses. The fourthseeded Lady Vikings (7-7) will play Oct. 23 in the first round against the winner of the Dunellen High School (20th seed) vs. Edison (13th seed) game.

Coach Beth Barrio’s team was set to play a non-conference game against Columbia High School Oct. 20.

In its last outing Oct. 17, South Brunswick lost a 3-1 decision to Steinert High School. Francesca Dimitrakis scored her fourth goal of the season, while Sydney Schneider stopped 13 shots in the match. Schneider made 19 saves Oct. 13, but it was not enough to prevent a 3-0 loss to Manalapan High School.

Girls’ tennis

South Brunswick (11-3) is coming off a perfect week. On Oct. 14, Rashmi Venkataram, Neeharika Kishore and Shohini Bagewadi swept the singles matches while the tandems of Swathi Chandrika and Prathyusha Pandu and Sneha Rampali and Ashi Yadav captured the doubles in a 5-0 win over Piscataway.

On Oct. 13, the Lady Vikings defeated The Hun School, 4-1. Venkatarama and Kishore won at singles, and Ashima Agarwal and Tiffany Xu and Christina Fernandes and Anisha Javvaji took the doubles matches.

The previous day Kishore won at singles while Chandrika and Pandu won first doubles and Rampali and Yadav won second doubles to help South Brunswick squeeze by East Brunswick, 3-2.

North Brunswick’s girls team won three of its four matches. Colleen Binbinon, Komal Grover and Carly Lodise won the singles events while Harshitha Katikala and Kelly Huang won at first doubles and Swathi Vasudevan and Akshaya Dinesh took second doubles against both Perth Amboy High School (Oct. 16) and Woodbridge High School (Oct. 14). Abby Tan and Athmika Vaseeharan stepped in for Vasudevan and Dinesh in a 5-0 win over Colonia High School Oct. 12. The Raiders are 11-5 on the year.

Girls’ volleyball

South Brunswick won two of its last three matches to even its record at 9-9. The Lady Vikings lost a 2-1 heartbreaker (22- 25, 28-26, 18-25) to East Brunswick Oct. 16 despite a 10-kill, 11-dig performance by Sarah Weeden. Nina Trach had four service aces and 15 digs in the loss.

Two days earlier, Kelly Matuszewski led the way with seven service aces, nine digs and five kills in a 2-1 victory (24-26, 27-25, 26-24) against Old Bridge High School. Weeden added eight kills and 14 digs, and Miranda Irizarry had five kills. On Oct. 12, the Lady Vikings edged West Windsor- Plainsboro High School North, 2-1. Jaime Klemas posted eight kills, Shannon Fisher had 23 assists and seven digs and Trach led both teams with 24 digs.

Field hockey

South Brunswick (9-6) scored a 1-0 win over sixth-seeded Metuchen High School Oct. 17 in the first round of the GMC Tournament. Skyler Aspir’s eighth goal of the year made the difference, and Kavya Sreeram stopped all five shots she faced in goal.

Third-seeded South Brunswick was set to play second-seeded Monroe Oct. 20 in

Raiders pick up their first gridiron win of the season

VARSITY REPORT

By WARREN RAPPLEYEA
Correspondent

 North Brunswick Township High School’s Quamere Nance (10) carries the ball against Edison High School Oct. 9 in Edison. The Raiders picked up their first win of the season, 40-21.  SCOTT FRIEDMAN North Brunswick Township High School’s Quamere Nance (10) carries the ball against Edison High School Oct. 9 in Edison. The Raiders picked up their first win of the season, 40-21. SCOTT FRIEDMAN North Brunswick Township High School’s football team won its first game of the season with a strong allaround effort as it outscored Edison High School, 40-21, Oct. 9.

The Raiders seem to be getting a little better each week as they get more comfortable with new coach Don Zsak’s system. They jumped to a 21-0 lead and never really looked back. North Brunswick also benefited from five Edison turnovers — two of them interceptions by Isaiah Hall — and Zsak’s physical defensive unit stymied the Eagles.

“Our defense was particularly strong up front,” Zsak said. “We knew they were going to run, and our guys prepared themselves well. The secondary was good, too. They intercepted four passes.

North Brunswick ran the ball well, as Eddie Carpenter ran for 175 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and Quamere Nance rushed for 115 yards and scored twice. Sophomore quarterback Dylan Seal hooked up with fullback Zach Rowell for a 25-yard touchdown pass. Carpenter, however, suffered a knee injury and had be carried off the field.

After a season-opening, 27-6 loss to Old Bridge High School Sept. 11, Knights coach Anthony Lanzafama said North Brunswick would make its mark.

“They’re going to be a very good team,” the Old Bridge coach said. “They never quit, and they made every play tough. They come right at you, and they keep coming. They’re not an easy team to play.”

After losing to Sayreville War Memorial High School, 22-6, North Brunswick lost a 16-14 decision to East Brunswick High School Sept. 25. On Oct. 2, the Raiders could not get on the scoreboard but played very well on defense in a 9-0 loss to Monroe Township High School.

Zsak’s team faces a stiff test Oct. 16 when unbeaten Piscataway Township High School, which shares the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Red Division lead with South Brunswick High School, comes to visit.

South Brunswick, meanwhile, won its fourth straight game, defeating East Brunswick, 31-0. Josh Liao’s 30-yard touchdown pass to Justin Shorter gave the Vikings a 6-0 lead in the first quarter. It got late early after that for the host Bears, as the visitors extended their lead to 25-0 at the break.

Mo Jabbe had a stellar evening, scoring on a short run in the second quarter, pulling in a pass from Liao for 53 yards that set up another touchdown and intercepting a pass. Wendell Allen and Phil Campbell also scored for South Brunswick. Liao completed 7 of 9 pass attempts for 170 yards and a touchdown, and he also ran 34 yards for another score. Jabbe caught three passes for 109 yards.

“We wanted to get out in front early because East Brunswick is a much-improved team,” Vikings coach Joe Goerge said. “The way I look at the Red Division is one of the toughest in the state, and they’re a Red Division team. We’re happy with the win.”

The Vikings have 64 power points and sit atop the standings in the race for NJSIAA Central Jersey Group V playoffs. New Brunswick High School is just one point back in second place. The best seven of a team’s first eight games count in the rankings. The Vikings reached the Central Jersey Group V finals last fall and won the title in 2012.

Boys’ soccer

South Brunswick’s boys’ soccer team ran its winning streak to nine straight matches last week and stands at 11-1 on the season. On Oct. 8 Jermaine Small’s two goals propelled the Vikings to a 2-0 win over Old Bridge. Paul Grudnick and Kevin Nunez picked up assists, and Arvind Swaminathan kept a clean sheet, stopping three shots. On Oct. 6, South Brunswick downed Monroe, 4-0. Patrick Grudnick led the way with two goals and an assist, while Russell Basking and Ronaldo Solano also scored. Sergio Caballero, Keiler Knapp and Sean Ray all picked up assists, and Swaminathan made four saves.

South Brunswick is 10-2 and in first place in the GMC Red Division. Monroe, which downed the Vikings 2-1, earlier in the year, and East Brunswick are tied for second place at 9-2-1.

Girls’ soccer

In girls’ soccer, North Brunswick split a pair of games and is 6-5-1 overall. The Raiders downed Perth Amboy High School, 3-0, as Tatum Altman scored two goals and assisted on a goal by Ashley Gorda. Danielle Segerholm turned in the shutout in goal.

Two days later, the Raiders and South Plainfield High School were tied at 2-2 at halftime before the Tigers pulled away with two goals after the break. Altman and Deanna Ehrhardt scored for North Brunswick, and Segerholm made three saves.

South Brunswick’s girls had a solid week that saw them win three straight and improve to 7-5. The Lady Vikings are coming off a 1-0 win over Sayreville Oct. 10. Julianna Franco’s eighth goal of the year came in the first half, and Sydney Schneider made six saves to make it stand up — her third successive clean sheet — in a game that saw South Brunswick outshoot Sayreville, 15-6.

Two days earlier, the Lady Vikings edged J.P. Stevens High School, 2-0, as Cathlene Kaseta and Christina Savoth scored in the win. On Oct. 6. South Brunswick downed Old Bridge, 4-0. Franco had a goal and an assist, and Savoth, Zuleeka Alvarado and Adrianna Mouzakis also scored.

Girls’ tennis

In tennis, North Brunswick’s girls won three of four matches to raise their record to 8-4. The Raiders edged John F. Kennedy (JFK) Memorial High School Oct. 9, as Colleen Binbinon and Carly Lodise won their matches at first and third singles, respectively. Abby Tan and Kathmika Vaseeharan won at first doubles and Harshitha Katikala and Kelly Huang took the second doubles match.

The previous day, the Raiders downed Colonia High School, 5-0, with Komal Grover winning at second singles to ensure the shutout. On Oct. 7, North Brunswick fell, 5-0, to Marlboro High School in the second round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV tournament. Earlier in the week, the Raiders beat New Brunswick, 4-1.

Girls’ volleyball

In girls’ volleyball, South Brunswick’s record dropped to 7-8 following a 2-0 loss to Mother Seton Regional High School Oct. 9. Sarah Weeden had six kills and six digs in the defeat. The day before, the Lady Vikings took a 2-0 decision over Edison. Kelly Matuszewski had five kills and a block, and Shannon Fisher dished out 10 assists.

On Oct. 7, South Brunswick edged Colonia, 2-1. Jaime Klemas has seven kills and a dig, and Nina Trach picked up 15 digs to go with two kills and an assist. Trach also had 14 digs and Klemas had four kills in a 2-0 loss to JFK Memorial Oct. 5.

North Brunswick got its third win of the volleyball season Oct 9 when it won, 2-0, against South Plainfield. Epiphani Woodard had nine kills, and Ariana Morgan posted five digs and three aces.

Field hockey

In field hockey, South Brunswick got past Piscataway, 2-1, Oct. 8 to improve to 6-6. Danielle Gallagher and Skyler Asper both scored in the first half for the Lady Vikings. Jill Grzelak and Mollie Hayes picked up assists. Kavya Sreeram made three saves in the victory.

Earlier in the week South Brunswick lost a match, 5-0, to South Plainfield. Sreeram was kept busy and made 14 saves.

Vikings stay perfect in GMC downing Sayreville gridders

VARSITY REPORT

By WARREN RAPPLEYEA
Correspondent

 North Brunswick High School forward Ashley Gorda brings the ball upfield during a recent game against Colonia. Heading into action this week, the Raiders have a 5-4-1 record.  MATT DENTON North Brunswick High School forward Ashley Gorda brings the ball upfield during a recent game against Colonia. Heading into action this week, the Raiders have a 5-4-1 record. MATT DENTON The South Brunswick High School football team upped its record to 3-0 in Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Red Division play with a convincing 32-12 victory over Sayreville in the rain on Oct. 2 in South Brunswick.

After a scoreless first period, the visitors struck first when quarterback Jayson Demild hooked up with Jahsim Floyd for 10 yards and a TD early in the second quarter. The Vikings tied things up as Phil Campbell scored on a 25-yard touchdown run.

Jaier Garrett recovered a fumble on the Bombers’ next possession, enabling South Brunswick to take 12-6 lead into halftime after junior quarterback Josh Liao found Justin Shorter for a 22-yard scoring pass.

After the break, Garrett intercepted a Demild pass and South Brunswick scored again on a short run by Wendell Allen to increase its lead to 18-6. Sayreville sliced the South Brunswick lead to 18-12, but the Vikings answered back with a 2-yard scoring run by Campbell and another interception by Garrett, which he returned 26 yards for a TD to ice the game.

“Our defense played well all night and created turnovers,” South Brunswick coach Joe Goerge said. “I think that frustrated them because we turned those turnovers into points and that gave us the momentum we needed.”

South Brunswick will look for its fourth straight victory on Oct. 9 when it travels to East Brunswick (1-2). The Bears are coming off of a tough, 28-26, triple-overtime loss to Edison on Oct. 2.

North Brunswick’s football team turned in a solid effort against Monroe on Oct. 2, but came out on the short end of a 9-0 score, leaving the Raiders still looking for their first victory this fall. North Brunswick visits Edison on Oct. 9.

The visiting Falcons put together a lengthy, 14-play drive that covered 90 yards, ending with Matt Van De Sande scoring on 2-yard keeper as Monroe opened a 6-0 lead.

North Brunswick had a chance early in the third when Quamere Nance’s 54-yard run gave his team a first-and-goal situation from the Monroe 2-yard line. The Raiders were unable to cash in, however. The Falcons’ Josh Wood kicked a 20-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter to put the game away.

Boys Soccer

In boys’ soccer, South Brunswick is coming off of a pair of victories that extended its winning streak to seven matches and upped its record to 9-2 on the year.

Coach Chris Hayston’s team is coming off of a 4-1 triumph over Old Bridge on Oct. 1. Kevin Nunez’s goal enabled the Vikings to take the lead going into the half. After the break, Kyle DeGroff, Patrick Grudnick and Jermaine Small all scored as South Brunswick pulled away. A late goal spoiled goalkeepers Arvind Swaminathan’s bid for a shutout.

South Brunswick downed St. Joseph of Metuchen, 2-0, on Sept. 29. Caballero and Paul Grudnick both scored, Patrick Grudnick had an assist and Swaminathan turned a clean sheet in goal to pick up the win. South Brunswick dominated the match, outshooting the Falcons, 16-5.

Girls Soccer

In girls’ soccer, South Brunswick split a pair of games and is now 4-5. Julianna Franco scored both goals on Oct. 1 in a 3-2 loss to East Brunswick. Samia Baig and Brielle Eder picked up assists and Sydney Schneider made seven saves.

On Oct. 29 the Lady Vikings got past Piscataway, 2-1. Eder had a goal and an assist and Rachel Hecht also scored for South Brunswick, which out-shot the Chiefs, 17-6.

In other soccer action, the North Brunswick boys’ team earned its third victory on Oct. 1 when it beat Piscataway, 1-0. Kevin Weilson scored the lone goal off of a Yardin Miranda pass and Pawel Dzielski turned aside six shots in keeping a clean sheet. Dzielski made 13 saves two days earlier in a 2-0 loss to Old Bridge.

North Brunswick’s girls’ soccer team dropped a pair of games and is now 5-4-1. On Oct. 3 Piscataway took a 1-0 lead into the half and scored four times after the break to put the game on ice. On Oct. 29, the Raiders lost a 2-0 decision against Old Bridge, despite eight saves by Danielle Segerholm.

Girls Tennis

South Brunswick’s girls’ tennis team won its opening round match, 5-0, against Manalapan in the opening round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV tournament. Rashmi Venkatarama, Neeharika Kishore and Ashima Agarwal swept the singles matches, while Swathi Chandrika and Prathyusha Pandu won at first doubles and Sneha Rampalli and Ashi Yadav won at second doubles.

In field hockey, Jill Grzelak scored a goal and Kavya Sreeram made 12 saves, but East Brunswick still managed to edge South Brunswick, 2-1, on Sept. 30. The Lady Vikings defeated Old Bridge, 2-0, on Sept. 28. Mollie Hayes and Olivia Mosco both scored as Grzelak and Skyler Asper had assists. The Lady Vikings are 5-5.

Girls Volleyball

South Brunswick’s girls’ volleyball team is 5-6 following a 2-0 victory over Woodbridge on Oct. 2. Jaime Klemas and Sarah Weeden had seven kills apiece in the win. The previous day, the Lady Vikes won the first set, but dropped the next two sets in a 2-1 (25-21, 16-25, 23-25) loss to Monroe. Weeden had seven kills and five digs and Lindsay Szucs added 18 assists to go with five digs and a block.

Kelly Matuszewski had five kills, five digs and four aces in a 2-0 victory against Piscataway on Sept. 30. On Sept. 28 J. P. Stevens downed the Lady Vikes, 2-0. Shannon Fisher had four assists and two digs in the loss.

North Brunswick fell to 2-8 in girls’ volleyball following a 2-0 loss to West Windsor- Plainsboro North on Oct. 2. Epiphani Woodard had six kills and a block and Christina Ko contributed nine digs and an ace.

Vikings pick up their 2nd division victory on gridiron

VARSITY REPORT

By WARREN RAPPLEYEA
Correspondent

 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.

Taking control


 South Brunswick High School midfielder Olivia Mosco gains control of the ball away from Metuchen High School’s Emily Glutz (15) as Bulldogs defenders Rachel Jordan (11) and Diana Misrahi (17) look on. Metuchen won the Sept. 18 game played on the Bulldogs’ home turf, 2-0.  MATT DENTON South Brunswick High School midfielder Olivia Mosco gains control of the ball away from Metuchen High School’s Emily Glutz (15) as Bulldogs defenders Rachel Jordan (11) and Diana Misrahi (17) look on. Metuchen won the Sept. 18 game played on the Bulldogs’ home turf, 2-0. MATT DENTON