Seton Hall Prep's junior forward Eddie Krupski (9), who is the Parisi Fairfield/Sideline Chatter Athlete of the Week, stands alongside West Essex's Ehab Mahmoud (25) during early-season SEC match. Krupski shakes hand of a Pirate teammate Nicholas Lapczynski (29), maneuvers the ball against West Essex's Mahmoud and is stretched by SHP trainer Mario Gencarelli on SHP's Tevlin Field. (Photos by P.J. Candido/SHP)
SHP’s Krupski Proves Adept
At Netting Important Goals
By Steve Tober
While he ascends as one of the up-and-coming, young forwards on the New Jersey high school soccer scene Seton Hall Prep’s Eddie Krupski continues to simply try to be in the right spot at the right time in order to help his team score an important goal.
No one converts every opportunity, but the skillful and strong Krupski certainly has displayed a penchant for netting important goals.
In a recent come-from-behind 3-2 overtime win against Columbia at Underhill Field in Maplewood the 6-foot-3, 190-pound SHP junior forward scored two goals within a 23-second span to erase a 2-0 deficit, tying the game 2-2 with 1:30 left to force the extra session against the persistent Cougars.
Karan Chauhan then tallied the game-winning goal for SHP just 46 seconds into the overtime session and the Pirates had completed an amazing comeback to register an impressive Super Essex Conference-American Division victory.
“Everything happened so fast,” said Krupski. “I was just glad to be able to score those goals and help my team tie the game without much time to spare.
“Anything I can do to help us win is fine with me, and that’s my focus anytime the ball comes my way.”
For his efforts, which includes a team-leading five goals for the 4-1 Pirates, Krupski is the Parisi Fairfield/Sideline Chatter Athlete of the Week.
Krupski, who is a key returnee up top for SHP, is a powerful and opportunistic junior who was a top reserve much of last year for the Pirates’ 20-0-1 Non-Public A state championship team. He is already attracting Division I interest and his size is also a positive attribute for colleges eyeing him to be a potentially imposing presence up top.
He has started this fall with gusto scoring eight goals in his team’s first seven matches including tallying the first goal in the first three victories of the new season: 3-0 over both West Essex and Voorhees and 7-0 over Verona.
Then, in the memorable, Thursday, Sept. 14, comeback victory at Columbia, Krupski scored with 1:30 remaining off an assist from sophomore forward Lucas Mendes to cut the lead in half, 2-1, before he then came through with his second goal, the crucial game-tying tally with 1:07 remaining with and assist from senior forward Luke Warjanka.
In Tuesday's 6-0 win at Cedar Grove he scored twice in a 6-0 Pirates victory. And, in Friday night's (Sept. 23) 2-0 triumph at division rival Livingston he had one of SHP's two second half goals.
"Eddie might be one one of the premier strikers in the state and certainly in the junior class," said veteran SHP coach Marty Berman."He's been no surprise to us coming off a strong sophomore season when he was our third-leading scorer with 8 goals and 6 assists coming off the bench.
"He has a chance to be a big-time college player and some of the schools looking at hime now like him as a great 'target' player with an innate ability to finish; and you can't teach that.
"He also has some great toughness which he showed against Columbia when he had been kicked in the back of the leg, cramped up, and had to leave the game from about the 20:00 mark to the 4:00 mark, but he begged for us to put him back out there and with some great work from our trainer (Mario Gencarelli) to stretch him out we were able to send him back out there and everyone saw what he was able to do with those two huge goals.
"Plus, he's a great kid with a good disposition and a pleasure to coach!"
Krupski continues to step up his game at just the right time for what is predominantly an inexperienced SHP team and one that bid adieu to nine starters and 20 seniors last June.
But, the well-stocked Pirates program continues to shine with players stepping up from roles on the jayvee or freshmen teams to now join two returning starters from last year’s Essex County Tournament championship squad which went on to capture the program’s fourth overall Non-Public A state title along with a No. 1 ranking in the state.
“There are big shoes to fill, not doubt about it because last year’s seniors were fantastic,” said Krupski. “But, we have players on this year’s team who are more than capable of stepping in and getting the job done.
“There is definitely talent once again on this team and I just try to join with our senior leaders (and lone returning starters) Joaquin Niehenke and Alex Oladapo to try and help set the tone for the younger guys.”
SHP (6-1 overall, 3-0 in the SEC-American) lost its first game of the season to one of the East Coast’s top prep school teams, Woodstock (Conn.) Academy, falling 3-2, in the Mainline High School Jamboree played on Sunday, Sept. 18, at the U.S. Training Center in Downington, Pa.
Woodstock Academy has six post graduates on the roster, but the Pirates were right there with the New England school, tying the match, 2-2, when Niehenke converted a penalty kick with 28:48 left in the second half before the Connecticut powerhouse took the lead for good eight minutes later.
“We have another hard-working team that comes ready to compete each day,” continued Krupski. “And, we love the challenge of going up against the great schedule we face.”
Krupski, who plays his travel soccer for the strong PDA U-17 team out of Somerset, doesn’t turn 17 until April 3 and his immense potential is drawing interest from Big 10, Big East, Atlantic Coast Conference and Ivy League schools.
“I am keeping all my options open at this point and I will take my visits when the time for that comes, but right now I’m just concentrating on our Seton Hall Prep season,” said Krupski, whose favorite subjects in school are Math and History. “I’m enjoying being at The Prep and I love the brotherhood here which is the place for me to be during my high school years.”
SHP’s SEC-American Division action heats up with two big road matches at Livingston (6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 23) and West Orange (4 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 28) before returning home to face Millburn (4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 30).
Another big SEC home game vs. Montclair, originally slated for Sept. 26, has been rescheduled for Thursday, Oct. 6, also at the Pirates’ Brendan P. Tevlin Memorial Field inside the Kelly Athletic Complex on Prospect Avenue.
Follow Steve Tober on Twitter @Chattermeister
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Seton Hall Prep's Eddie Krupski, one of the top scoring forwards in the SEC, is the latest Parisi Fairfield/Sideline Chatter Athlete of the Week.
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