The Delbarton soccer team has lofty goals every season.
A triple crown — the NJAC-National, Morris County Tournament and NJSIAA Non-Public A titles — rarely seems out of reach. Senior defender Kevin Molnar called it the Green Wave’s “perfect plan.”
But there was a little something extra added to Delbarton’s to-do list this fall, and it, too, involved perfection.
The coaching staff drew 19 circles on a whiteboard in the team’s locker room, and after each shutout, someone put a check through it. The coaches also hung up printed circles with a slash through each one near the doorway of Delbarton’s fieldhouse. Before every home match, the players tapped the pages on their way out of the locker room to play.
By the end of the season, the circles had multiplied. Delbarton set a school and state record with 22 shutouts.
Delbarton is the All Daily Record Boys Soccer Team of the Year for the third consecutive season.
The Green Wave (22-1-1) originally aimed at the school record of 18 shutouts, watching countless replays of every attempt at goal to avoid future breakdowns. The mark fell in a 2-0 defeat of St. Peter’s Prep in the first round of Non-Public A North.
The Green Wave gave up only three goals, two to St. Anthony’s (Melville, N.Y.) in the second game of the season — Delbarton’s lone loss, 2-0, in its own invitational — and one to Roxbury in a 2-1 victory on Sept. 20. Otherwise, Green Wave junior goalkeeper Scott Forbes — plus subs Sean Morris and Billy Ross — were perfect, ending the season with 18 clean sheets, a state-record streak of 1,450 consecutive scoreless minutes which will continue next fall.
“To me, it was a big thing to get the shutout record,” said Molnar, a Mendham resident. “I’ll leave a memory there. For the whole team, we’ll have the joy of making the run through states together. It was definitely memorable. After each goal, we tried to celebrate with the fans so they’d remember it too.”
After the loss to St. Anthony’s, Delbarton head coach David Donovan called the team together for “an abbreviated re-retreat” in the fieldhouse. The Green Wave switched from the traditional 3-5-2 with the outside midfielders getting involved in the offense to a more defensive 4-3-3. Donovan said the move was designed “to have what we thought would be our strongest 11 on the field, and try to play them as long as we can.” Lefty junior Kian Zapata and senior Tommy Griffin shifted to outside back, with freshmen Charles Cadena and Steven Hadley in midfield.
Delbarton’s offense remained diverse, with 18 players registering at least one point. Senior Michael Moshier, all of 5-foot-5, led the way with 16 goals and seven assists. Senior midfielder Jared Stroud added 10 goals and 13 assists.
Moshier and Hadley scored as Delbarton won its first MCT title since 2008, totaling 13 goals without allowing one in the four matches. Stroud had three goals and four assists in the NJSIAA Tournament. Moshier and junior midfielder Andrew Ford scored as the Green Wave capped its second straight Non-Public A championship, a 2-0 shutout of Pingry. But sophomore defender Brian Finn’s goal-saving clearance early in the second half swung the momentum to Delbarton.
“We could count on (the defense) every game,” Moshier said. “We knew we had to get one in the back of the net. It took a lot of pressure off of us up top. … The defense was just fantastic, able to contain teams game in and game out. To get the triple crown means a lot, putting our stamp on the program.”