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NBHS Boys Soccer Season Ends With Heartbreaker Against Monroe

Kevin Sanchez Finished Season as Top Goal Scorer In NJ With 53 Goals & 20 Assists
Zebra Soccer Team
Zebras Against Freehold Boro Stephen Roca

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The wonderful and exciting season for the #11 New Brunswick boys soccer team (20-2) came to an end on November 10, as they suffered their second loss of the season.

The Zebras fell to the #16 Monroe Falcons (17-4-2) in the central group four state tournament semifinals, but their spectacular season will not soon be forgotten.

The Zebras shocked the entire state this season, as they blew out every opponent in the white division. It was not until they took down red division champion, South Brunswick, when they were finally considered a dangerous team.

And they did it without All-State midfielder William Rojas, who has played overseas and garnered interest from the New York Red Bulls before he was injured in the second game of the season.

The Zebras were scoring arcade numbers all season long, finishing with 115 goals in 22 games, a five goal per game average, and had 82 assists. Their season high was 12 against the Edison Eagles.

Defensively, only 31 goals got past their defense, an average of 1.4 goals per game.

Only South Plainfield and Monroe, two great teams who needed near-perfect performances in order to win, can say they defeated the Zebras.

South Plainfield won the group three state tournament last year, finished second in the white division this year after winning it last year, and tied South Brunswick 1-1 to share the county title, before advancing to the state semifinals once again.

Monroe was ranked as high as #6 this season, finishing second in the red division and defeating powerhouses South Brunswick and East Brunswick.  Now ranked #16, Monroe has appeared in back-to-back state championship games, having lost 1-0 to Manalapan last year and 3-2 to Freehold Township this year.

The central group four bracket was considered the "bracket of death," as seven of the sixteen teams were ranked in the top 20 at some point during the season.

The Zebras were interesting to watch in the first two rounds, as they had to rally from behind to defeat Freehold Borough 6-3, and then Manalapan 2-1.

Down two goals to Freehold Borough, New Jersey's leading goal scorer Kevin Sanchez hammered home the Zebras first goal of the state tournament, connecting on a sensational bicycle kick to put his team on the board. Goooooollllllaaaaazzzzzooooo!!!!!!

The superlative cross was delivered from Raul Galindo, who went on to score a minute later.  Unbelievable accuracy by Galindo and incredible timing and finish by Sanchez, the goals represented the Zebras in a nutshell.

Scoring four goals in the span of five minutes, the Zebras went from trailing 0-2, to being up 4-2 at the half.

Against Manalapan, with the score tied 1-1 after an Arlin Martinez goal, Kelvin Ortiz shot a 25-yard bullet into the upper 90's for the go-ahead goal with nine minutes left to play.

Against the Falcons, Raul Galindo and Kevin Sanchez each scored in the first fourteen minutes of play, making it seem as though the Zebras would demolish the Falcons.  But the Falcons overcome the early deficit by rallying with three unanswered goals in the span of 37 minutes.

One Falcon player with the last name Mischler pulled off a hat-trick, scoring on a free kick at the 18-yard line with four minutes left to stun the Zebras.

With time winding down, officials missed an obvious hand-ball call that could have given the Zebras a golden opportunity to score.

The ending was bitter sweet as the Zebras' fantastic season came to an end, one of the best the program has ever had.

Rafael Castillo, second year head coach, improved their record last year of 13-5 to 20-2, winning the white division by going 14-0, and advanced to the semifinals of both the Greater Middlesex Conference County and State tournaments. He is now an impressive 33-7 as a varsity head coach, turning the program around in his first two seasons.

Kevin Sanchez outscored every player in New Jersey with 53 goals and 20 assits, connected for two bicycle kicks in his first season of high school soccer.

On all levels, the program went 46-3-1, winning white division titles on every level, as the Freshmen and JV teams both won the GMC county championship.

Kevin Sanchez, Jason Zarate, and Raul Galindo were named to the all conference team. All three players and Arlin Martinez made the all-division team.

Looking at the players selected, it appears as though coaches were being nice, including at least one player from each team named to the all-division team. Otherwise, the entire Zebra lineup would have likely been on it.

Alexis Narvaez was sensational in goal this year, while centerbacks Santos and Reyes were like walls on defense, and Sarmiento, Ortiz, Canseco, Solano, and Peña, Rojas, and Guzman dominated the sidelines.

Coach Castillo was named the division's head coach of the year, after leading a team with many talented players that acted like a family on the field.

They huddled together before and after each game, they celebrated goals with hugs and high-fives, had respect for one another, and ultimately had each other's back when opponents tried to mess with them.

With great promise from the junior varisty and freshman teams, along with multiple returning starters on varsity, the future looks incredibly bright for the Zebras soccer program.

Below are the season stats game by game.

September 8 - Zebras vs. Sayreville
(4-1 win)

Goals: 1 Sanchez, 1 Will Rojas, 1 Ortiz, & 1 Galindo
Assists: 2 Zarate, 1 Will Rojas, &1 Galindo

September 12 - Zebras vs. Colonia
(4-1 win)

Goals: 2 Sanchez, 1 Ortiz, & 1 Galindo
Assists: 1 Will Rojas, 1 Felix Rojas, 1 Sanchez, & 1 Zarate

September 15 - Zebras vs. Iselin Kennedy
(6-0 win)

Goals: 2 Sanchez, 2 Zarate, 1 Sarmiento, & 1 Guzman
Assists: 3 Sarmiento, 1 Sanchez, & 1 Ortiz

September 17 - Zebras vs. South Plainfield
(8-0 win)

Goals: 4 Sanchez, 3 Zarate, & 1 Guzman
Assists: 2 Sarmiento, 2 Sanchez, 1 Zarate, 1 Felix Rojas, & 1 Ortiz

September 19 - Zebras vs. Edison
(9-0 win)

Goals: 6 Sanchez, 1 Zarate, 1 Martinez, & 1 Galindo
Assists: 3 Galindo, 1 Canseco, & 1 Zarate

September 21 - Zebras vs. Woodbridge
(7-2 win)

Goals: 3 Sanchez, 1 Zarate, 1 Canseco, 1 Galindo, & 1 Ortiz
Assists: 3 Sanchez, 1 Ortiz, & 1 Sarmiento

September 24 - Zebras vs. Perth Amboy
(10-1 win)

Goals: 4 Sanchez, 3 Zarate, 1 Martinez, 1 Ortiz, & 1 Guzman
Assists: 4 Martinez, 1 Solano, 1 Sanchez, 1 Galindo, & 1 Guzman

September 26 - Zebras vs. Colonia
(2-1 win)

Goals: 1 Sanchez & 1 Galindo

September 29 - Zebras vs. Sayreville
(5-0 win)

Goals: 3 Sanchez, 1 Galindo, & 1 Zarate (PK)
Assists: 1 Sanchez & 1 Canseco

October 1 - Zebras vs. Iselin Kennedy
(5-0 win)

Goals: 3 Sanchez, 1 Zarate, & 1 Galindo
Assists: 1 Martinez, 1 Peña, & 1 Sarmiento

October 6 - Zebras vs. Perth Amboy
(5-3 win)

Goals: 2 Sanchez, 2 Zarate, 1 Martinez
Assists: 1 Sanchez, Galindo, & 1 Ortiz

October 8 - Zebras vs. South Plainfield
(6-3 win)

Goals: 3 Zarate (PK), 2 Sanchez, & 1 Ortiz
Assists: 1 Felix Rojas, 1 Sanchez, 1 Peña, & 1 Galindo

October 13 - Zebras vs. Edison
(12-2 win)

Goals: 7 Sanchez, 2 Zarate, 1 Martinez, 1 Ortiz, & 1 Sarmiento
Assists: 2 Martinez, 1 Cabrera, 1 Galindo, 1 Guzman, 1 Peña, 1 Sarmiento, & 1 Zarate

October 15 - #20 Zebras vs. Woodbridge
(6-0 win)

Goals: 2 Sanchez, 2 Zarate, 1 Guzman, & 1 Ortiz
Assists: 1 Canseco, 1 Sanchez, 1 Solano, 1 Zarate, & 1 Sarmiento

October 17 - #13 Zebras vs. St. Joseph's
(5-4 win)

Goals: 3 Sanchez, 1 Zarate, & 1 Galindo
Assists: 2 Sanchez & 1 Reyes

October 19 - #20 Zebras vs. South Brunswick
(2-1 win)

Goals: 1 Sanchez, & 1 Galindo
Assists: 1 Sanchez

October 25 - #13 Zebras vs. North Brunswick
(3-0 win)

Goals: 1 Sanchez, 1 Ortiz, & 1 Galindo
Assists: 2 Galindo, 1 Sanchez

October 27 - #8 Zebras vs. Metuchen
(5-1 win)

Goals: 2 Sanchez, 1 Martinez, 1 Ortiz, & 1 Guzman
Assists: 1 Ortiz, 1 Peña, 1 Sanchez

October 29 - #8 Zebras vs. South Plainfield
(3-4 loss)

Goals: 1 Sanchez, 1 Martinez, & 1 Zarate
Assists: None

November 3 - #11 Zebras vs. Freehold Boro
(6-3 win)

Goals: 2 Sanchez, 2 Galindo, 1 Canseco, & 1 Martinez
Assists: 2 Martinez, 2 Sanchez, & 1 Galindo

November 6 - #11 Zebras vs. Manalapan
(2-1 win)

Goals: 1 Martinez & 1 Ortiz
Assists: 1 Zarate & 1 Martinez

November 10 - #11 Zebras vs. #16 Monroe
(2-3 loss)

Goals: 1 Sanchez & 1 Galindo
Assists: 1 Sanchez

Goals (115)
Kevin Sanchez 53
Jason Zarate 23
Raul Galindo 13
Kelvin Ortiz 10
Martinez 8
Guzman 5
Sarmiento 2
Kevin Canseco 2
William Rojas 1

Assists (82)
Kevin Sanchez 20
Raul Galindo 12
Adam Sarmiento 9
Arlin Martinez 10
Jason Zarate 8
Kelvin Ortiz 6
Marcos Peña 4
Felix Rojas 3
William Rojas 2
Kevin Canseco 3
Claudio Guzman 2
Evaristo Solano 2
Abel Cabrera 1
Kevin Reyes 1

Saves (181)
Alexis Narvaez 101
Dalber Inestroza 77
Jamar Palma 3