CorrespondentCoach Bucky McCarley and his Myers Park soccer team expect to be a 4A state championship contender every season.Despite returning only three full-time starters this season, the Mustangs were right back in the title game this season, finishing as state runner-up for the third year in a row.The Mustangs (21-3), who also won their fifth straight Southwestern 4A conference championship, have now won 109 games in the past five seasons, including the 2008 state title.“Unlike in the past, we got punched in the mouth a few times this season,” said McCarley, whose team finished No. 2 in the state in the 4A coaches’ poll. “We had to learn the important lesson that what’s on the front of your jersey doesn’t win games. It’s who and what is inside that jersey that counts.“This team proved they were another championship-level team.”Charlotte Catholic (20-2-1, 11-1) also proved they were among the best teams in class 3A, making it all the way to the 3A West Regional final before falling to Hickory 1-0. The Cougars again won the ME-GA 7 conference title.Charlotte Latin (15-3-1, 6-1-1) won the CISAA conference championship but lost in the NCISAA 3A quarterfinals to Ravenscroft.South Mecklenburg (17-5-1, 10-2-2) also had a strong postseason run after finishing SW4A runner-up. The Sabres advanced to the state quarterfinals before falling to Myers Park.Ardrey Kell, Butler, Covenant Day, Charlotte Country Day, Covenant Day, Providence and Providence Day also made the playoffs in their respective classifications. Player of the Year: Hussein Ali, Myers Park – Ali has been a big part of Myers Park’s reign as one of the state’s best teams. But in his senior season, Ali knew he would be expected to be at his best.Ali netted 24 goals and dished out nine assists to earn all-state, all-region honors and SW4A Player of the Year in the process.Ali plans to continue his soccer career in college and has interest from Catawba, Queens University of Charlotte, Louisburg and Virginia Military Institute. Coach of the Year: Jim Mueller, Butler – Mueller is used to beating the odds.After being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s eight years ago, he has been fighting the disease on a daily basis.When he took over a struggling Butler boys’ soccer program that had won only six games in 2011 and finished second-to-last in the SW4A conference the past two years, he wasn’t intimidated.Mueller helped make his Bulldog team a factor again, guiding them to a winning 12-9-1 record (7-7 in the SW4A) and a berth in the playoffs. At one point this season, the Bulldogs were ranked No. 3 in the state 4A coaches’ poll.With Mueller’s winning foundation in place and players like Josh Sorensen and Michael Sam back to lead the way, the Bulldogs will have a good chance to be a playoff contenders again in 2013.
Tuesday, Dec. 04, 2012
Local schools make strong showing in soccer playoffs
Myers Park Hussein Ali, left, is the South Charlotte News boys' soccer Player of the Year. ROBERT LAHSER - firstname.lastname@example.org
Butler High's head soccer coach Jim Mueller is the South Charlotte News boys' soccer Coach of the Year. ROBERT LAHSER - email@example.com
All-South Charlotte News boys’ soccer Forward Reed Dowdy, Charlotte Latin, senior: All-state forward led Hawks with 14 goals. Alex Rojas, South Mecklenburg, junior: All-state forward was a big reason for Sabres’ run to 4A state quarterfinals. Kipp Carriker, Myer Park, junior: Emerged as key offensive piece for Mustangs with 18 goals, 8 assists. Josh Sorensen, Butler, junior: All-SW4A Bulldog did a bit of everything for offense with 10 goals and six assists. Midfield Mason Bass, Ardrey Kell, senior: All-SW4A midfielder also led Knights in scoring. Hussein Ali, Myers Park, senior: All-state midfielder proved he was one of top talents in state with 24 goals. Brendan McDonough, Charlotte Catholic, sophomore: All-state performer helped pace the Cougar offense with 18 goals, nine assists. Jack Miller, Charlotte Catholic, sophomore: Another all-state Cougar; helped Catholic reload quickly with another 20-win season. David Marvin, East Mecklenburg, senior: All-SW4A midfielder helped control Eagle offense with 12 assists. Defense Emmett Horton, Myers Park, senior: All-state defender a major factor in helping Mustangs to another state finals run. Josh Laney, South Mecklenburg, senior: Four-year varsity contributor capped career as all-state defender. Connor Kirby, Providence High, junior: All-state defender kept Panthers among SW4A’s best. James Mingoes, Charlotte Latin, senior: Siena commit was also an all-state defender for Hawks. Danny Khardehforus, Providence Day, senior: All-state pick (NCISAA 3A) did a little bit of everything for Chargers. Goalkeeper Nick Gardner, Charlotte Latin, junior: All-state goalkeeper had eight shutouts, allowed just 14 goals in 19 games.