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Donovan Catholic boys’ soccer seeks SCT berth

The boys’ soccer team at Donovan Catholic High School is focused on earning a berth in the Shore Conference Tournament.

To earn a slot in the SCT, a team must sport a .500 record.

At 3-5-1, Donovan Catholic must avoid any more defeats.

The team did just that when Donovan Catholic broke a tie and went on to defeat Barnegat High School, 4-2, on Oct. 3 in Toms River.

“We as a team want to make the Shore Conference Tournament. We as a team knew this was a must win game to get back to .500. I am happy with the way we have played these last three games. We need to keep improving, stay together and keep building team chemistry,” Donovan Catholic coach Ken Oliver said.

The game on Oct. 3 served as a benefit to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer research. The proceeds from the game were donated to the Lustgarten Foundation.

Senior Matt Kekatos, juniors Ronan Bova and Neithan Ramos and sophomore Clay Yannazzone each contributed to the Donovan Catholic victory with a goal apiece. Freshman Preston Kyriakoulis recorded two assists.

Donovan Catholic had opened a 2-0 at the half behind goals from Bova and Yannazzone

“I was just seeing the team work together beautifully and my eyes opened up and the opening was there for my score,” Bova said on the goal that he received a pass from senior Max Dalton.

But that lead was lost in the second half when Barnegat struck twice to tie the game at 2-2 on goals from Joel Roig and Ricky Norman.

“After Barnegat scored the two goals to get back into the game. I was telling the team to keep our heads, play our game and we will come out with the win tonight,” Kekatos said.

Kekatos listened to his own words when he scored to snap the tie.

“Just to get out there and get the goal that put the team out front in the second half was an amazing experience. I am just glad to have gotten it early in so the team could continue the tempo,” Kekatos said.

Then with seven minutes left in the game, Ramos connected on a long shot  to seal the game and close the scoring at 4-2.

Kyriakoulis said he was trying to hit his target players.

“The team worked on it in practice. Obviously, Matt Kekatos was one of them, Clay Yannazzone was one and Chad Yannazzone (Clay’s brother) was one of them,” Kyriakoulis said.

Oliver said he planned for the team to come out aggressive and get the ball up the field.

“The game plan was to be more offensive minded heading into this game and I think we were able to wear them down a little bit. The team’s defense has to tighten up a bit,” Oliver said.

Donovan Catholic’ will continue its bid to earn a trip to the Shore Conference Tournament when it plays Brick Memorial High School, Manchester Township High School and Lakewood High School in the coming week.

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