Myers Park soccer stops rival Providence in opener
The Myers Park Mustangs’ and the Providence Panthers’ soccer teams got an early glimpse of how good they would be this season.
Two of the best high school soccer teams in Charlotte squared off in a non-conference game at Myers Park, with the Mustangs winning 2-1.
The game featured a lot of good shots, good saves by both goalkeepers, and numerous scoring opportunities. Despite losing, the Panthers gave Myers Park everything they could handle.
But what kept Providence from winning was the inability to finish its chances, and that in part was due to an outstanding night from Mustangs’ junior goalkeeper Martin Godwin.
None of Godwin’s saves was bigger than a point-blank shot by the Panthers’ Joe Dalrymple with five minutes left in the match.
Godwin got one hand on the shot to deflect it over the crossbar, allowing Myers Park to keep its 2-1 advantage.
“He (Dalrymple) had a shot at the top of the six-yard box and it was coming straight for me,” said Godwin. “Honestly I didn’t think I was going to save it. I knew that this was the make-it-or-break- it moment and what could secure the game.”
A warm evening and a 30-minute lightning delay made the game more challenging for both teams.
How did Myers Park coach Bucky McCarley and the Mustangs deal with the adversity?
“We talk to the guys that you prepare, and then you prepare to adjust,” said McCarley. “Games are always going to present a unique environment. You have to decide your attitude about that game before the game starts, and then it’s unquestioned the rest of the way.”
The Mustangs took a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute. Cameron Peterson chased down a long ball from Mathew Guarda deep in the Providence end. Peterson was patient, beat the last Panthers’ defender and the goalkeeper while scoring from eight yards out.
After numerous missed chances early, Providence equalized late in the first half in the 38th minute. Damien Rhodes chipped in a beautiful goal from 15 yards out to tie at the game at 1-1.
The Mustangs’ junior forward Guarda scored what proved to be game-winning goal in the second half in 50th minute. Thomas Killeen put a perfect cross in the box that was beautifully finished by Guarda.
RECORDS: Providence (0-1) Myers Park (1-0)
THREE WHO MATTERED:
(Cameron Peterson – Myers Park) Helped build confidence for the Mustangs by scoring early in the first half to give Myers Park momentum and a 1-0 lead.
(Jackson Youngstrom - Providence) Freshman forward was dangerous all game and led the Panthers in shots with four.
(Martin Godwin – Myers Park) Mustangs’ goalkeeper faced a game-high 14 shots and finished with seven saves.
THEY SAID IT: “It felt amazing, my first game against a really good team. It was my first game and I had to give it my all and try my best.” Myers Park junior forward Matthew Guarda on scoring in his first-ever game with the Mustangs after spending the last two years in Chile.
The game featured a 30-minute lightning delay in the second half in the 55th minute.
Cameron Carter played well in goal for Providence, making seven saves while facing ten shots.
Providence will be in action next this Monday, hosting Independence at 6:00 p.m. Myers Park plays next at home on Thursday, August 29 hosting Olympic.
MP – 16th minute –\u0009(Goal- Cameron Peterson) (Assist – Matthew Guarda)
P – 38th minute – (Goal – Damien Rhodes) unassisted
MP – 50th minute – (Goal – (Matthew Guarda) (Assist – Thomas Killeen)
Hickory Christian 6, Asheville Christian 2: Hickory Christian beat Asheville Christian for the first time in the teams’ five matchups. Hickory Christian grabbed a 4-0 early lead, led by junior Garrison Mullis. Mullis had two goals and one assist in the game.
Carmel Christian 2, Charotte Country Day 1: Carmel Christian improved to 4-0, getting goals from Ross Blong and Carson Holbrooks. Country Day, which trailed 1-0 at halftime, got its goal from Ben Rose. Bucs’ goalie Connor McPhilliamy had seven saves.