"The team has been helping me out so much, setting me up to score," he said. "I'm also playing with more confidence."
In addition, he is playing with a little pain. During Palmyra's last regular-season game, a 3-0 win over Pemberton on Oct. 25, he was accidentally hit in the mouth by the opposing goalie. Four of his teeth were pushed back and Guglielmucci needed dental surgery.
"I went up for a head ball and scored and the goalie tried to punch the ball away and hit my face," Guglielmucci said. "It was accidental on his part."
That did not do anything to alleviate the pain. While playing against Clayton, Guglielmucci felt pain, but it was not enough to keep him out of the lineup.
"Scoring took away some of the pain," he said.
Triton's tale. Triton went a deceptive 7-10-2 in coach Bill McGrath's first season. The Mustangs, who qualified for the Group 4 tournament and lost to Cherokee, 1-0, in the first round, were competitive in most games. Triton's final three losses were by one goal. It was a veteran team with 14 seniors.
"We had a strong senior group," McGrath said. "Our four captains - Brad Wallace, Wes Holmgren, Nick Scafidi and Mario Sergi - did a great job."
Wallace, Scafidi, Holmgren and senior sweeper Mike Becktel were all-Olympic Conference Patriot Division choices, while Sergi and senior Derek Rambo were second-team selections.
Sergi displayed one of South Jersey's most dangerous throw-ins.
"From the 40-yard line, he was able to get the ball into the box," McGrath said. "It was a great weapon."
With so many seniors, it would appear that Triton would be rebuilding next season, but McGrath has 13 juniors in the program and the junior varsity went 10-3-3, so there may not be a dropoff.
Coaches Tournament final. Fourth-seeded Cherry Hill East will meet No.3 Moorestown in the South Jersey Coaches Tournament championship game at Sterling on Sunday at 2 p.m. Moorestown is ranked No. 1 in South Jersey by The Inquirer, East No. 2.
Both teams had to beat higher seeds to advance. East defeated top-seeded Cumberland, 3-1, and Moorestown beat Shawnee, 1-0, in overtime. In the tournament, East has also beaten Ocean City, 2-1, and Vineland, 2-1. Moorestown has defeated Haddon Township, 5-1, and Cinnaminson, 2-0.
Both teams have proven finishers. Moorestown midfielder David Carvalho has 21 goals, including the game-winner against Shawnee. Junior forward Randy Shapiro leads East with 12 goals, despite missing extensive time with a quadriceps injury.
Expect a low-scoring game, with the first team to put the ball in the back of the net the likely winner.
Fire with fire. Few players have absorbed as much punishment as Cumberland's Dave Mattus. The senior striker has gotten back at teams by doing what he does best - putting the ball in the back of the net. After yesterday's Group 3 semifinal game against Lacey Township, Mattus has 42 goals this season and 111 in high school.
Each game, he is an open target for overzealous defenders.
"You never get used to all the physical contact," he said. "It gets worse every game. I've heard some teams talk about taking me out. It's been difficult."
Almost as difficult as stopping Mattus.
Second-half team. One of the hottest teams in the second half of the season was Paul VI, which finished 11-7-2 overall following Friday's quarterfinal shoot-out loss to top-seeded Christian Brothers Academy in the South Jersey Parochial A tournament.
The Eagles were 7-1-1 in their last nine games. The teams played to a scoreless tie, but CBA won, 4-3, on penalty kicks.
"It's an unfortunate way to have your season end, losing on penalty kicks," Paul VI coach Keith Walters said. "Last year we lost, 3-0, to St. Joseph's of Metuchen in the state tournament, so in that respect we took a step up." The Eagles were the eighth seed this season.
Paul VI goalie Mike Valenti, an Inquirer second-team all-South Jersey choice last year, came on strong in the second half of the season, which coincided with his team's improved play. Valenti recorded seven shutouts and allowed just two goals in the final nine games.
"He stepped up big time, but so did the whole team," Walters said.
The offense was provided by seniors Joe McKeever (15 goals) and Joe Martinelli (13). Junior Tom Blumenstein, who was moved from offense to outside fullback, anchored the defense.
Marc Narducci's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org