30 NJ Players to Watch: Mike Taranto
MSG Varsity counts down the top 30 New Jersey athletes to watch, in no particular order, for the upcoming school year. Today, we highlight No. 25, Ramapo boys soccer star Mike Taranto.
Despite a horrific knee injury during Ramapo’s Group 3 semifinal victory over Scotch Plains last season, we fully expect Mike Taranto to be one of the top boys soccer players to watch come fall.
Only two minutes into Ramapo’s semifinal win, Taranto’s season was cut short when he suffered a torn ACL and damage to the MCL in his left knee. He would actually return as a sub in that game for one throw in, which subsequently led to the games only goal, but that would be the last action he would see before his team marched on to the title.
Before that, however, Taranto was one of the most unstoppable forces in the state and one of the more creative offensive players Ramapo has ever seen.
As a junior, Taranto scored 14 goals and registered 23 assists while Ramapo enjoyed a 22-1 season and the fifth state title in school history. Taranto was instrumental in many of Ramapo's big goals that helped build the Raiders record and confidence en route that eventual state title win.
Head coach Evan Baumgarten has been at the helm for all five of those state championships and despite the departure of seniors Brandon Alvarado and Matt Deziel, a strong junior class led by Taranto looks to deliver state title number six when Ramapo returns to action in 2012.
Contact John Quirk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @QuirkMedia