Home News Transcript News Transcript Sports Marlboro clinches Shore Conference Tournament berth with win over Manchester

Marlboro clinches Shore Conference Tournament berth with win over Manchester

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Marlboro High School boys soccer player Ryan Heller kicks the ball up the field during a game against Manchester on Oct. 7 in Marlboro. Marlboro defeated Manchester by the score of 3-0. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Marlboro High School boys soccer player Cooper Laitman serves the ball into the box during a game against Manchester on Oct. 7 in Marlboro. Marlboro won 3-0.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Marlboro High School boys soccer player Evan Torillo takes a shot on net during a game against Manchester on Oct. 7 in Marlboro.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Marlboro High School boys soccer player Akash Bhujle fends off Manchester's Jake Ruochhio for the loose ball during a game played on Oct. 7 in Marlboro. Marlboro won 3-0. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Marlboro High School boys soccer player Ryan Heller kicks the ball up the field during a game against Manchester on Oct. 7 in Marlboro. Marlboro defeated Manchester by the score of 3-0. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Marlboro High School boys soccer player Cooper Laitman serves the ball into the box during a game against Manchester on Oct. 7 in Marlboro. Marlboro won 3-0.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Marlboro High School boys soccer player Evan Torillo takes a shot on net during a game against Manchester on Oct. 7 in Marlboro.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Marlboro High School boys soccer player Akash Bhujle fends off Manchester's Jake Ruochhio for the loose ball during a game played on Oct. 7 in Marlboro. Marlboro won 3-0. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF

Win and you’re in. That was the mindset for the members of the Marlboro High School boys soccer team as they took the field against Manchester Township High School on Oct. 7 in Marlboro.

The Mustangs needed a victory to clinch a spot in the Shore Conference Tournament and were playing without top scorer Max Rosen and starting center back Dan Cohen.

Both seniors were out against the Hawks after receiving a red card in a 2-1 loss to Freehold Township High School on Oct. 5.

Even without two of their best players, the Mustangs clinched a spot in the conference tournament with a 3-0 victory over Manchester.

“It’s a great feeling,” Coach Ryan Morris said after the game. “I’m proud of these guys for stepping up today. It shows them they can trust themselves more. The younger guys who stepped up now know what it’s like to play against good teams in the Shore Conference.”

The biggest question for Morris coming into the match against Manchester was who would score for the Mustangs.

The coach got his answer in the 17th minute when senior Griffin Wolfe looped a shot into the Hawks’ net to give Marlboro a 1-0 lead. The goal was Wolfe’s first of the season.

“I just let it go and it went over the goalkeeper’s head and dropped in,” Wolfe said. “It feels great. Happy to help the team move on.”

The Mustangs nursed their lead through the second half before scoring with just under 8:00 to play. With an assist from Alex Fischler, freshman Brennan Libo rocketed home his first varsity goal for a 2-0 lead.

Senior Colby Browning capped the win in the waning seconds of the match by scoring his first goal of the season for a 3-0 lead. Freshman Trevor Barrett had the assist.

Senior goalkeeper Nicholas Tango made two saves in the sixth shutout of the season recorded by the Mustangs.

Marlboro (6-4) has won three of its last four games and will look to continue its strong finish to the regular season with contests against Toms River East and Rumson-Fair Haven.

Morris said he believes the Mustangs have played well in 2021 and have shown in their losses to Christian Brothers Academy, Freehold Township, Toms River North and Manalapan that they can compete with the top teams in the Shore Conference.

“We have been playing really well. All of our losses are against top teams in the conference. We know we have some tasks at hand that we have to take care of to show if we want to be taken seriously,” he said.

The victory over Manchester also meant a lot to Morris and his players because it came on Senior Day. The coach understands how special a Senior Day match is to the program and was happy to see his team come out victorious for the occasion.

“This is a representation of who we are. They all knew the implications of this game and what it meant. Their parents and family members were all out here cheering for them. It’s good to see a good outing like that,” he said.

Marlboro will host Toms River East on Oct. 9.

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