After reclaiming the Hudson County soccer title a year ago after a five year drought, the St. Peter’s Prep boys soccer team is raising its expectations this year.
The Marauders believe they have a team that has the goods to not only keep the county crown, but one that has thepotential to make a run at its first ever North A sectional title.
Perhaps the biggest reason for Prep’s vast ambitions is the return of Paul Kondratowicz.
Kondratowicz — a rising senior who garnered Third Team All-State honors last fall — is the reigning HCIAL Player of the Year.
With his final year at Prep approaching, the star striker has his eyes set on more this fall.
“(From a team perspective,) the number one goal is to defend our county title. We have a lot of guys back and a few academy kids who will rejoin us,” Kondratowicz said. “Individually, my goal is to make the First Team when All-State selections are made.”
In 2015, his first season on the Marauders varsity squad, Kondratowicz had a modestly successful season that saw him pump in 12 goals and assist on three others.
But it was last year that saw the forward broke out, as he tallied 25 goals and assisted on three more to reach the state leaderboard. Perhaps no finish was more important than his first-half winner in the Hudson County final that gave the Marauders a 1-0 victory over North Bergen.
Kondratowicz scored in 18 different games last year. His high mark came against Non-Public, North B champion Hudson Catholic, when he banged in four goals.
“All-around, Paul is one of the most skilled players we’ve had in a while at St. Peter’s,” Prep coach Josh Jantas said. “He has certainly taken a leadership role into the offseason, and I think that will be critical to any success we have this season.”
Now being a known target on the New Jersey soccer scene, Jantas envisions Kondratowicz adjusting his role a bit this year.
“No doubt, he’ll be one of the most marked…