All signs point to another accolade-filled season for the Wallkill Valley High School boys’ soccer program in 2022. The Rangers tallied double digit wins (11) last year and they are set to host Vernon on September 10.
Rayan Pourshariati (senior, midfield), Kenny Kubrin (senior, forward), Dante Torres (junior, midfield), Soumill Puthezhath (junior, midfield) and Kevin Stencel (sophomore, defender) are among the key returning players to the varsity lineup.
Aidan Stovin (senior, midfield), Travis Crowell (senior, defender), Alijaan Anjum (junior, forward), Darren Rockwell (junior, defender), Delight Oti (junior, forward), Ryan McCallum (junior, defender), Seamus Cummings (junior, defender), William Hasbrouck (junior, goal keeper), Noah Derenzo (sophomore, defender), Aaron Eichler (freshman, midfielder), Dennis Aungst (freshman, midfield), Ivan Reyes (freshman, midfield), Kooper Nicolai (freshman, midfield) and Samuel Eichler (freshman, midfield) are looking to be of positive influence on the varsity roster for the Rangers.
“This year’s team is composed of five returners, nine members of last year’s JV team, and five new freshmen — it’s an entirely new group,” Wallkill Valley head coach Sean Neal said. “It is crucial that the returners help acclimate the new guys to the varsity level.
“All five of the returners gained valuable experience as members of last year’s team and I am looking at them to continue the culture that we have built. Kenny and Rayan, more specifically as seniors who are now entering their third year on varsity, know what it takes to win and I am looking at them to pass on their experience and knowledge to the group.”
The Rangers advanced to the NJSIAA North 1 Group 1 Sectional Tournament quarterfinal round last fall.
“Last season our record was 11-8-1,” Neal said. “We finished third in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference [NJAC] Freedom Division, advanced to the second round of the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament and advanced to the second round of the NJSIAA North 1 Group 1 State tournament. “We beat Hawthorne 1-0 in the first round and fell to eventual Group 1 State Champions Waldwick in the second round. It was the first time we have advanced in the NJSIAA State playoffs in nearly 20 years.”
Neal added, “Our goals this year are quite simple, we want to get better every game, learn from our mistakes and grow as a team. We want to remain competitive while improving both individually and as a team. It’s a process that will take time and I want the boys to enjoy every second of it.”
Wallkill Valley plays in the NJAC Freedom Division once again this year.
“After graduating 12 members of last year’s varsity team, we are definitely in a rebuilding year on paper,” Neal said. “However, to me, that is no excuse. I want to remain competitive in the Division while rebuilding. My varsity assistant coach is my brother Ryan Neal and my JV coach is Sarah Ablahani. They both help contribute to our success tremendously. The NJAC Freedom Division is an extremely competitive division year in and out. Newton, Hackettstown, Jefferson, Vernon and North Warren are all very well-respected programs with great coaches who do a great job with their programs.”