Six seniors from Christian Brothers Academy inked their commitments to play college soccer at the Division I level on Wednesday.
Aedan Boriotti (Rutgers University), Thomas Judge (James Madison University), Ryan Nigro (NJIT), Ryan O'Connor (Loyola University Maryland), Matt Thorsheim (Bucknell University) and Andrew Venezia (Lafayette College) donned their future school's colors during a ceremony in the CBA Quinn Library.
"For these young men and their parents, today is the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication both in the classroom and on the soccer field," Director of Athletics Vito Chiaravalloti said. "They've taken pride in being CBA student-athletes and have met all of the challenges and opportunities that come with that title head on. They leave us as scholars and state champions, prepared for the demands of the next level and beyond. We are so proud of all they have achieved and look forward to hearing about their future successes."
Five of the seniors- Boriotti, Judge, Nigro, O'Connor and Thorsheim- were catalysts in the Colts' run to winning both the Shore Conference Championship and the NJSIAA Non-Public State Championship. CBA, who lost just once all season, was ranked number 12 in the country by TopDrawerSoccer.com and number one in the state by NJ.com and multiple other publications.
Thorsheim, who was named a National Coaches All-American for the second straight year, notched 14 goals and adding 21 assists in 2016. The 21 assists matched his own program record from his junior season and led the Shore Conference. Thorsheim broke a 73-minute long scoreless tie with a strike to push Christian Brothers to a 1-0 win over Seton Hall Prep in the state championship.
With Boriotti in goal and Judge as a staunch defensive back, the 2016 Colts were one of the best defensive teams that CBA has ever had. They allowed just 13 goals across 25 total games and notched 13 shutouts with Boriotti in goal.
Nigro and O'Connor were both top offensive threats in the loaded CBA offense, acting as both scorers and distributors throughout the state championship campaign. Christian Brothers set a single season record for most goals with 87 on the year.
"This is a memorable day with years of academic work and athletic commitment culminating in this moment for our student-athletes," head coach Tom Mulligan said. "They have represented the character and spirit of the CBA soccer program. This group continued the tradition of excellence that originally attracted them to CBA. The entire CBA community shares in all of their accomplishments."
Venezia heads to Lafayette after four years of soccer at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for Cedar Stars Academy, playing both left and center back.
The Academy will hold an additional National Signing Day ceremony for all sports on Wednesday, April 12th, when the regular signing period is opened.
WHAT THE PLAYERS ARE SAYING
"CBA's academic curriculum will certainly help me balance academics and athletics in college. High school soccer, especially at CBA, runs a pretty extensive schedule. You are practicing or playing every day, so I will be ready to do that at Rutgers. The coaches at Rutgers will be really great to work with and I am excited to get there." - Aedan Boriotti
"My teammates at CBA helped me get better every day. The season we had this year made me want to have more experiences like that at JMU. I knew the first time I stepped on campus [at JMU] that I was going to fit in. I loved the school and it's a great environment to be in." - Thomas Judge
"Experiencing both CBA's academic workload and the soccer team made me learn how to balance both effective and thrive in both areas. This past season made me want to keep winning, so I hope college will bring the same luck. Loyola is a young team and is improving every year, so I want to be a part of the building success." - Ryan O'Connor
"The challenges at CBA, both academically and on the field, made me really want to get into a great school. It made me realize the commitment I need to make to be successful in both. I know students who went to NJIT and they have loved it. After meeting the soccer coach, I loved the way he spoke about the game and made me want to play for him." - Ryan Nigro
"CBA has prepared me for this very well. My brother also went through CBA and then to Bucknell, and he has told me that I will be prepared for the next step thanks to CBA. I am very excited to go to Bucknell. With my brother being there, I had been there so much and it just seemed like the perfect fit for me as well." - Matt Thorsheim
"CBA has taught me great worth ethic, which is something I can carry over to Lafayette both in the classroom and on the soccer team. The balance of academics and athletics at Lafayette, along with the community there, makes me really look forward to the next four years." - Andrew Venezia