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The Journal magazines are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Dec 13, 2021

Knollwood School Boys’ Soccer Team Completes Undefeated Season

By Les Pierce

Last year, the Knollwood Middle School boys’ soccer program was shut down due to COVID-19 concerns. The 2021 season was a huge bounce back for the Knights as they posted an undefeated 12-0 record.

Knollwood outscored opponents by a 43-8 margin over the course of the campaign. Leading the unit in goals scored were Zach Halpern (eight), Will Berry (seven), James Brady (six) and Xander Kucich (five). Tops in assists were Berry (seven), Bobby Quaglia (six) and Brady (five).

Alex Calabretta, Jack Gymiesi and Zach Winig were standouts of a dominating defense that produced five shutouts. Goalies Declan McCormack and Tommy Baron split halves to anchor the backfield.

A perfect season was jeopardized in a clash with crosstown rival Forrestdale. It was a highly physical battle that remained a scoreless deadlock into double overtime. Brady finally ended the struggle with a goal on a penalty kick with less than a minute remaining in the second overtime period.

“It was amazing to be able to represent our school and community again this year on the soccer field after the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19,” stated fourth-year Head Coach William Dodich. “It did not take long to realize how special this team was going to be. Besides soccer, I loved seeing how much this team came together off of the field. I believe this togetherness carried over in the way that they played and communicated with each other on the field. Their toughness, both mentally and physically, helped us to control almost every game that we played in and helped us to overcome challenging moments which threatened our undefeated season.”

Rostered on the 2021 Knollwood Knights boys soccer squad were Tommy Baron, Avery Bellincampi, Will Berry, James Brady, Alex Calabretta, Aidan Dill, Fionn Gallagher, Quinn Gaun, Frankie Gripp, Jack Gyimesi, Zach Halpern, Xander Kucich, Chase Lehder, Miles Martin, Declan McCormack, Bobby Quaglia, Ben Smelyansky, Kyle Winig and Zach Winig. Assisting Coach Dodich were Managers Marlon Hoagland and Cristian Santos.