All of the players on the East Brunswick Breakers’ U15 Girls’ Soccer team were born in 2004 and 2005.
They are all about to enter high school and their youth soccer primes.
Over the course of the 2018-19 travel soccer campaign, they proved they were ready for that next level.
On June 2 at the Manalapan Township Recreation Center, the Breakers’ U15 squad won the New Jersey Youth Soccer Commissioner’s Cup, a statewide tournament for travel teams, with a 2-1 victory over the Deptford Soccer Association’s FC Premier squad.
The East Brunswick Soccer Club played fantastic defense throughout the tournament, holding four opponents to just two total goals. East Brunswick shut out the Berkeley Soccer Association’s Sounders club, 1-0, in a semifinal on June 1. It also shut out the Old Bridge Fury in its tournament opener.
Goalkeeper Samantha Motusesky played some of the best games of her young career during the team’s exciting title run.
“They were definitely a couple of the best games I’ve seen her play,” said Rose Motusesky, Samantha’s mother and East Brunswick’s manager. “But all of our defense played great.”
Seven defenders saw time in the tournament, and they all contributed to the Breakers’ victories. They were Camille Bacon, Isabella DeCesare, Ariana Gomes, Niamh Hanna, Julianna Krefski, Sarah Shenouda and Diya Sheegihalli.
Midfielders are also integral to any defensive effort in soccer, and East Brunswick’s midfielders were no different. They made sure the Breakers blanketed ball carriers, turned them over and transitioned the ball back the other way.
That group, like the defensive unit, was deep. It consisted of Julia Bognar, Samantha Lederman, Paige Michlik, Nicole Motusesky, Camille Grant, Aleena Perez and Zoya Choudry.
“The defense was top notch but the offense also took advantage of opportunities,” Rose Motusesky said.
A trio of forwards, Julia Jones, Lauren Matheus and Sophia Rullo, sparked the team’s offense.
The Breakers were a connected club that really came of age over the past year. Some of these players have been playing together for five years. But this was the year when they developed into the best soccer club in New Jersey for their age group.
Nothing signified that growth more than the Commissioner’s Cup championship on June 2. A year earlier in the same game, the Breakers lost after giving up a goal in the final minutes.
“Coming from that to this was quite exciting,” Rose Motusesky said.
The run was rewarding for the players. But it was equally rewarding for their parents. Travel soccer in any state involves a major time commitment from the parents of every team member.
Motusesky and her contemporaries were happy to make that commitment for their daughters. They probably enjoyed the ride as much as the kids did.
“The parents were all excited,” Rose Motusesky said. “It was so exciting. It truly was.”
The Breakers will move up a level, to high school, next year. But they will still play together again, too. NJ Youth Soccer is the host to Commissioner’s Cup tournaments all the way up through the U19 age group.
You get the feeling the Breakers are far from finished.
“We are looking forward to continuing our success next year,” Rose Motusesky said.