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N.C. High School Soccer Playoffs

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Myers Park’s Anderes has a high talent ceiling

By Langston Wertz Jr.
lwertz@charlotteobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/22/22/57/11fOyZ.Em.138.jpeg|269
    David T. Foster, III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    Myers Park's Blair Anderes works to gain control as Porter Ridge's Megan McNeill closes in last month. Anderes has 28 goals and 12 assists this season.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/22/22/57/Mlb4P.Em.138.jpeg|231
    David T. Foster, III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    Porter Ridge goalkeeper Taylor Ray, left, punches the ball away as Myers Park's Abby Givens (10) and Blair Anderes (5) close in during their Southwestern 4A conference match on April 29. Myers Park won 5-0.

Myers Park High girls’ soccer coach Bucky McCarley doesn’t know how good junior forward Blair Anderes can be, and he thinks that’s the best thing about her.

“I usually tell college coaches that by a player’s junior year, you can tell where their ceiling is,” McCarley said. “Blair is a junior now and college coaches ask, ‘Where do you see her in two years, as a (rising) sophomore in college?’ I can truly say, I don’t know how good she can be. That’s a fantastic thing to have somebody this good and you have no idea how much better she can become.”

Anderes, who has offers from several SEC schools, has 28 goals and 12 assists this season. She’s one of three Mustangs with at least 20 goals, joining Abby Givens (23 goals, 14 assists) and Virginia McNeill (22 goals, nine assists). Friday night, Anderes and Myers Park (22-2) will play at Providence (21-1-1) in an N.C. 4A quarterfinal. Providence was ranked as high as No. 4 nationally before a 5-1 loss to Myers Park on April 23.

McCarley said he’s hoping for another big game from Anderes in a season already full of them.

“She’s got speed and athleticism,” McCarley said. “And it doesn’t matter how skilled you are as a forward, if you don’t have the speed and athleticism, you struggle. And Blair has this instinct to make a run at the right time. She gets on the wrong side of defenders and puts them in tough situations. They have a hard time responding to that.”

At the start of the 2013 season, Anderes was scheduled to back up a senior who had an offer from Clemson. But before the team’s first game against Hough – the 2012 N.C. 4A state champ – the senior was ruled ineligible. Anderes was thrust into the starting lineup, and became Myers Park’s No. 1 option.

“She had not been training with (the starters),” McCarley said, “but she stepped in and held her own. I knew then she was special. My two center backs from last year’s team – one is playing at Alabama and one at Washington & Lee – and she gave them headaches in practice. I figure if she’s doing that to center backs who are playing very high level college soccer, you knew she would be good.”

Anderes is a triplet. She was born two minutes behind Myers and one minute behind Haywood, her brothers. Last summer, she earned a spot on the Charlotte Soccer Academy’s Elite Club National League team, a rare honor for a high school player. McCarley said playing against such high level competition year-round has made Anderes even better. Area coaches agree.

“She’s very dangerous,” Hough coach David Smith said. “She’s the one player you don’t ever want to lose because she can make things happen quickly. She plays the game the right way, and she’s really a handful.”

Anderes, like her coach, isn’t sure how good she can become, but she likes where she is headed.

“My confidence has definitely gotten better,” she said. “I feel more experienced. I feel like I have more of a leadership role this year instead of trying to follow. I’m still looking up to seniors and even to sophomores, but I feel like I can really help others on this team get better.”

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