Seton Hall Prep soccer began in 1974 under Coach Peter Butler and enjoying some stunning early success, winning the Parochial A, North Jersey, Championship in both 1975 and 1977. Unfortunately, in each of those seasons The Prep lost in the state finals. Leading the way in those first years was Steve Riley, a native of Bermuda, who scored 43 goals in 1977, the school record that still stands.

Marty Berman became the head coach in 1986 and that season saw the Pirates win their first state championship, the New Jersey Independent Schools Athletic Association title, beating Blair, Lawrenceville and Peddie, all on the road. The team then followed up that championship by upsetting nationally ranked Columbia in the season finale at Cameron Field in South Orange. The rest of the 1980s and 1990s produced some very solid teams - The Prep averaged 14 wins a year from 1989 to 1992- but no hardware. There were some great players, however, such as John Sampers, who went on to play for Davidson College in the NCAA Division I championship game; Doug Nevins (Villanova), and Mike Newman (Georgetown).

The Prep’s soccer fortunes took a major turn in 2001 when the new soccer field opened at the Kelly Athletic Complex. That year the Pirates finished 20-3-1, winning their first Iron Hills Conference title and earning the No. 5 ranking in The Star-Ledger Top 20 Poll. In addition, The Star-Ledger named Charlie Rowan (Villanova) the Player of the Year in New Jersey and Kyle Frankoski (Monmouth) Player of the Year for Essex County.

That 2001 season began a stunning run that has seen Seton Hall Prep soccer average 18 wins a year while establishing itself as a perennial member of The Star-Ledger Poll and one of the elite programs in the state. Over that span The Prep won five Iron Hills Conference titles in seven years before switching to the Suburban Essex Conference, arguably the most competitive soccer conference in the state. The Pirates captured the SEC championship in four of its first five years.

In 2005 Seton Hall Prep won the Non-Public A, North Jersey Championship behind the play of Sal Fusari (Rutgers), Jarrod Schlenker (Brown), Jon Okafor (Brown) and Eddie Meza (Duke), but lost in the state final. The 2007 edition went a step further, fashioning a 22-1 record while winning the Non-Public A State Title over CBA at The College of New Jersey. Led by CJ Crooks (who went on to play in England), George Caiella (Monmouth), Emerson Lawrence (Villanova), Corey Adams (Johns Hopkins), Sean Duggan (Johns Hopkins), Chris Nelson (Amherst) and Brian Maher (Catholic), the Pirates won The Star-Ledger Trophy - given to the No. 1 team in New Jersey - and finished ranked No. 8 in the nation by the NSCAA.

In 2009 Seton Hall Prep won the Non-Public A, State Championship again (again topping CBA in the state final). Led by Star-Ledger Player of the Year Brandon Adler (Providence), Matty Berman (Marist), Brandon Savino (Penn State), Hayden Harr (Villanova), Casey DeFluri (Villanova) and Mike LaRose (Loyola, Md.), the Pirates won their second Star-Ledger Trophy and finished ranked No. 6 in the nation by the NSCAA. That team also won the first of three straight Essex County Tournament soccer championships.

Soccer coaching records

SETON HALL Preparatory School

120 Northfield Ave, West Orange, NJ 07052     |     Main Phone:  973.325.PREP [7737]

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