(From the Sentinal News - Fall 2013)
However, that pain is nothing like how Corbisiero felt when the member of the Falcons’ soccer team lay on the pitch during a quarterfinals game in the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Tournament last fall. It turns out Corbisiero suffered a lacerated spleen and liver, which shelved him for the remainder of the season and deprived the junior from helping his team in its quest to win the GMC, state sectional and group championships.
“I ended up being taken off the field on a stretcher and spent two days in Robert Wood Johnson Hospital,” Corbisiero said. “I couldn’t play soccer for four months and had to sit on the sidelines and watch my team lose the state final [to Millburn, 3-2] in double overtime. I couldn’t do anything to help.”
Despite not being on the field during Monroe Township High School’s memorable run, he still considers the experience of being a member of a team that accomplished so many goals one of the highlights of his young life. That finals loss is what fuels the senior for what he hopes is a season to remember this fall.
His objectives, as well as the team’s goals, are to repeat as GMC and NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV champions, and finish what didn’t happen last year by capturing the overall Group IV title.
Corbisiero, a captain this season, has another goal — to be named to the All-State first team as a center back. It’s a lofty endeavor considering the fact that New Jersey possesses so many outstanding soccer players who go on to play in college. But Corbisiero believes it’s a realistic one.
It’s not hard to pick out Corbisiero on the soccer field. He is the one darting around near the goal and shouting out instructions to teammates with the sole objective of preventing the ball from entering his net.
“My job is to do whatever it takes to protect the goal,” Corbisiero said. “I try to keep everything in front of me and never lose a tackle or header because that could lead to a goal scored against us. And if that happens, then I haven’t done my job. One of my strengths is winning balls in the air, so I try to utilize that skill to defend our goal on corner and free kicks.”
Corbisiero feels fortunate to have learned how to play the game and, more important, how to win by his association with some special players last year.
“Last year’s team captains — Luigi Buffolino, Sean Doyle, and Dom Polidoro — were my best friends on and off the field,” he said. “They inspired everybody to train hard and fight [until] the final whistle blew. I hope, as a captain, to do the same for my teammates.”
“I’m especially thankful our head coach, [Steve] MacKenzie, identified me as somebody who could play defense,” he continued. “I want to reward his trust by holding the line in the backfield and doing whatever I can to help our team win.”
Corbisiero said the technique he has learned playing soccer comes from his experience as a member of the Jersey Knights Soccer Club out of Franklin Township. He has played at various levels over the past seven years and credits his coach, Pedro Lopes, for elevating his game.
Corbisiero believes he is at the point where he can succeed if he plays college soccer.
“That’s something I really want to do,” he said. “As of now, I am looking at several state schools in New Jersey, as well as some private ones. It’s too early to finalize my list now.”
Corbisiero believes soccer has played a major role in helping him become a more effective student.
“Sports teach you how to budget your time effectively,” he said. “Soccer has been my anchor, and I seem to do better in school when I am playing my best.”
With goals documented, Corbisiero has one more aspiration before he concludes his career at Monroe.
“I want to be a part of finishing what we started in ninth grade, and that’s win a state championship for Monroe so they can put up new signs around town that say, ‘Welcome to Monroe Township, Home of the 2013 Group IV Soccer State Champions.’ Now that would be a nice way to end my high school career.”