Montclair Kimberley graduate Sean Cadigan knows something about his new college soccer club.

Cadigan did not have to go far distance wise and in other respects in choosing St. Peter's University in Jersey City.

As it turns out, the Peacocks are coached by Julian Richens, who was Cadigan's club coach in his junior year.

"He was one of the main reasons I chose to play for St. Peter's," Cadigan said. "He basically said that the school would be a very good option for me athletically and academically, and we went from there."

The two-time All Super Essex Conference American Division first-team midfielder started working out with his new team at the beginning of August and said that he noticed that Richens is a somewhat different coach in college.

"I knew what type of coach he was going into college, which helps, but in my opinion he's a little different as a college coach than a club coach," Cadigan said. "It's not so much that he's different, it's more that the college season means much more."

In addition to knowing the coach, Cadigan said that it was a combination of potential playing time and academics that helped him decide on St. Peter's over the likes of St. John's and Monmouth universities.

"I picked St. Peter's because it was a good opportunity for me to have a good chance of playing as a freshman," he said. "It was a good fit academically and its location."

Cadigan follows his father, Leigh Cadigan, in the world of college athletics. His father ran track and cross-country in the nineties at Rutgers University.

Richens said that Cadigan can excel on the NCAA Division I level.

"Sean has the capability to dictate a game from a deep-lying position with the tempo he plays at, and his range of passing makes him a very effective central midfielder," the coach said. "He works hard; he’s ambitious and very driven. I’m looking forward to seeing him in a Peacocks shirt.”

MKA’s Sean Cadigan (6), a two-time All Super Essex Conference American Division first-team midfielder, will be playing for St. Peter's University in Jersey City this fall. (EDWARD KENSIK/STAFF)
MKA’s Sean Cadigan (6), a two-time All Super Essex Conference American Division first-team midfielder, will be playing for St. Peter's University in Jersey City this fall. (EDWARD KENSIK/STAFF)

Count MKA boys soccer head coach Robert Leather as one of Sean's supporters on the next level. During his years at MKA, Cadigan headed the midfield. He guided the Cougars to the Prep B title last fall as a senior. 

"Sean was one of the greatest leaders the program has ever seen," said Leather, who added that Cadigan was a big reason for MKA's 12-6-1 record last year. "The maturity he has physically and tactically will allow him to thrive at the next level. Sean's physical strength, quality and love of the game will see him thrive at St. Peter’s."

For Cadigan, the best memory of his years on the Montclair Kimberley team was the come-from-behind 3-2 win at Gill St. Bernards in double overtime in the Prep B final. 

"I felt like everything I did in that game worked the way I wanted it to," he said.

Montclair Kimberley came back to win the game in the second half. "Being 2-0 down at halftime in the final away from the home crowd is very difficult, so it was great for us to come together as a team and win that game," he said.

Unfortunately for Cadigan and MKA, they did not also get the state title they were looking for. Their semifinals game against Newark Academy in the Non Public North B state sectionals came down to penalty kicks, where the Cougars lost, 5-3.

"Losing in penalties in my last high school game was difficult to deal with," Cadigan said. "Our senior class was very tight this year, and we have been friends for four years, so it was difficult for us to lose our final game together."

As it turned out, the team that MKA defeated for the Prep B title, Gill St. Bernards, would end up winning the Non Public B North state sectional championship.

With his high school days behind him, Cadigan will now be looking to help St. Peter's on the college pitch when the Peacocks open the 2022 season at home against Virginia Military Institute on Thursday, Aug. 25.