MHS Boys Soccer Team Earns Accolades

MHS Boys Soccer Team Earns Accolades
Posted on 12/10/2018
The Montclair High School Boys Soccer team earned several top accolades from NJ Advance Media. The publication handed out its postseason awards and named the following: Phillip Cubeddu, Super Essex Conference Player of the Year; Toure Weaver, Super Essex Conference Coach of the Year; and the Montclair Boys Soccer Team, Super Essex Conference Team of the Year. Below are excerpts from the article.

Super Essex Conference Player of the Year
Phillip Cubeddu, Sr., Midfielder

Poise. That is the one word that immediately comes to mind when talking about Phillip Cubbedu. He emerged as an established player last season, but solidified himself as a star this year as he became the rock in the midfield for Montclair.

That process started in Montclair's season opener. He had a goal and an assist when the Mounties took down Seton Hall Prep in overtime, 2-1. That was just the beginning for Cubeddu, who had five goals and a team-high 13 assists this season.

Whatever Montclair asked him to do, he delivered on and with a steady dose of injuries that was quite a lot. "He understands the game so well," Montclair coach Toure Weaver said. "He reads where the defense. He can come back and get the ball in the pocket. He'll make diagonal runs behind the defensive line when he sees that the ball is on. Throughout the season, we've had him playing him at the 10. At times we needed him at the 8 position and even at the 6 as a defending midfielder. No matter where we put him in the park, he embraced the role."

Cubbedu quarterbacked the offense, controlled and moved the ball, settled into defensive roles and came through on set pieces in the big moments.

Super Essex Conference Team of the Year
Montclair is back on top of Essex County.  It took penalty kicks, but after 100 minutes of scoreless soccer against Seton Hall Prep, Montclair claimed its ninth Essex County Tournament title - its first since 2013 - when it won in Pks 5-4.

It was the first time Montclair didn't outright win this season and headed into the county championship with a perfect 18-0 record. Its undefeated start saw Ben Middlemiss and Montclair's backline - headed by Evan O'Brien, Mehdi Elfilali, Mason Davisson and Evan Best - post 11 clean sheets and only more than a goal once. It finished the year with 12 clean sheets.

In the North 1, Group 4 Tournament, Montclair shutout out Morristown and Passaic Tech in the first two rounds. In the semifinals, it took down Union City in PKs to reach the final where it was stunned by cinderella team Morris Knolls in double-overtime, 3-2.

Montclair found a gem this season in Will Moore. After starting the year coming off the bench, Moore emerged as a starter and led Montclair with nine goals. He helped lead a deep offense for Montclair along with Phillip Cubeddu (5 goals, 13 assists), Soren Tollis (4 goals, 1 assist) Chris Masur (2 goals, 9 assists) and Matthew Ceccio (4 goals, 2 assists).

Montclair finished the year with a 18-1-2 record and ranked No. 6 in the Top 50.

Coach of the Year
Toure Weaver The best way to overcome injuries is to be prepared. Montclair head coach Toure Weaver certainly was that. Before every game, Weaver wrote down potential situations that might arise in the game and how he and his team would respond and react.

In a season where there was a laundry list of injuries, Weaver was always able to steady the ship and used his next-man-up mentality to help Montclair finish its regular season with a 13-0 record - the first time the school has won every game. "In the games when something comes up, we do have an idea of how to handle those situations," Weaver said. "It's not all just on the fly. For the most part, we've done things in practice or have an idea in our head of what we're going to do."

Overcoming injuries is nothing new for Weaver. Last season was another one riddled with injuries and that experience helped prime him to help the Mounties put together one of their best seasons to date.    
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