By Colin Bado, TSB Staff
McKinney is a soccer town.
The redundancy of this quote has been ingrained into my head. Coaches, parents, players and soccer fans reiterate the importance of soccer in McKinney that has been labeled as “the second best place to live in America,” according to Money magazine. But despite MISD’s successful soccer programs, there remains a majority of populace who are unaware of the talent that is right under their noses. All six squads made the playoffs, and while McKinney North boys left in the first round, the remaining five illustrated why McKinney is the quintessential soccer town.
Throughout the soccer season, I’ve refused to sit in the press box, instead I’ve embraced the cold bleachers and bone-chilling winds in order engulf myself into the “soccer atmosphere.” Fan attendance has tripled since those dark nights of mid-January, and as the season concludes, I feel that the rest of McKinney should know and love the MISD soccer teams as much as I do.
Without further ado, the 2013 MISD soccer wrapup, including the TownSquareBuzz.com soccer awards.
MVP: Mikey Swim (McKinney High)
Co-Offensive Player of the year: Sewell Yost (McKinney Boyd) and Morgan Dizny (McKinney North)
Midfield Player of the year: Dillion Farrell (Boyd)
Defensive Player of the year: Sean Townsend (MHS)
Goalkeeper of the year: Rylan Whan/ Quique Vicens (MHS)
Coach of the year: Alan Pocock (MHS)
MVP: Belicia Mendiola (North)
Offensive Player of the year: Hadlie Tucker (North)
Co-Midfield Player of the year: Natalie Throberry (MHS) and Taylor Cobb (Boyd)
Defensive Player of the year: Mary Watson (North)
Goalkeeper of the year: Madelynn Shoeber (MHS)
Coach of the Year: Alex Pantorotto (MHS)
Boys: 2013 was a big year for coach Alan Pocock and the Lions. In his 22nd year of coaching, Pocock earned his 250th win and made it to the Regional Semifinal for the first time in 13 years. MHS (17-4-5) is always in playoff contention, but moving past the Regional Quarterfinals has proven to be difficult feat. All thanks to great coaching and brilliant leadership, the Lions peaked at the right time and built off of their momentum, moving well into the playoffs. Finishing second in District 10-5A, the Lions personified the definition of passion. Led by 10-5A co-MVPs Mikey Swim and Tom Naverette, according to the district coaches, McKinney will have a large hole to fill in 2014 with the loss of an instrumental senior class. The loss of fellow seniors Gerson Mendoza, Sean Townsend, and Matt West will make Pocock’s job even more difficult in 2014.
McKinney’s unconventional two-goalie system proved to be beneficial, allowing zero goals in regulation throughout the playoffs. Goalkeeper of the Years Rylan Whan and Quique Vicens played brilliantly in goal for the Lions. With the return of David Soto in 2014, the Lions will have a veteran forward up front.
Girls: The Lionettes fought through injuries and exceeded expectations throughout 2013. After finishing fourth in District 10-5A, the Lionettes (14-8-0) exceled into the Region Quarterfinal round, only to fall 1-0 in a heartbreaking loss to Sachse. For nearly two decades, Pantorotto has instilled his Argentinian expertise into the girls of MHS.
Led by goalkepper Madelyn Schoeber, the Lionette defense ranked amongst the best in area. Despite missing a number of games due to an ankle injury, senior captain Natalie Throneberry, who has signed with Abilene Christian, led the Lionettes on the pitch and on the stat sheet with eight goals and five assists.
Losing Throneberry and fellow captain Lizzie Navarette are tough losses, but the relatively young squad will remain competitive with Schoeber in the net, Lauren Neely, and Jada Holmes on the pitch. In the 2013 season, Lionette Sarah Morris made history, scoring goal number 900 for the Lionette program versus Amarillo Tascosa on Jan. 11.
Boys: The Broncos’ veteran squad led McKinney Boyd (19-6-2) to the Regional Final against Kingwood High School, only to fall 2-1 in a heartbreaking shootout. Head coach Casey Osborn was named co-Coach of the Year in District 10-5A by the coaches after finishing first in a talent filled district. Awarded Offensive Player of the Year by the 10-5A coaches, Sewell Yost led the attack up front while Ben Gupton, Raul Serrano, and Dillon Farrell orchestrated possession from the midfield. Farrell was named Co-Most Valuable Player of the Year in 10-5A, and his absence from squad in 2014 will be a large gap to fill. The majority of impact players during the 2013 were seniors. Osborn will have his work cut out for him in the offseason, finding new leadership and determining which younger players are willing to step up to the challenge. Sophomore goalkeeper Evan Davies will provide leadership from the defensive end, but the loss of Yost maybe detrimental.
Girls: After losing in the third round to A&M consolidated in 2012, head coach Michele Estes was anticipating a run at the state championship, but a hat trick from Sachse’s Cyera Hintzen in the Area Round of the playoffs left the Lady Broncos (14-4-5) stunned 3-2. Boyd finished second in District 10-5A only to 2012 state champions Plano West. Boyd’s strong suit was located in the defense and middle of the field. Sophomore Haley Jordan led the defense at the center-back position, and standout sophomore midfielder Taylor Cobb will be the foundation of the team in 2014. The Lady Broncos embrace the concept of “team” and share the wealth, allowing an array of players scoring opportunities. Sophomore Sydnie Dolzine will lead the attack up front and provide veteran talent in 2014. On the sideline, Boyd will have a new head coach after Monday’s announcement that Estes was out as head coach of the program.
Boys: Under the direction of coach Tommy Sills, the Bulldogs began their season with a rigorous pre-district schedule. What appeared to be a down year for the Bulldogs (10-10) turned out to be a smart decision by Sills. The tough competition enabled the Bulldogs to come away with the runner-up spot in District 17-4A. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs’ season came to an abrupt halt in the Bi-District round of the playoffs, falling to Frisco Wakeland 2-0. The loss of seniors Morgan Dizney and Bryce Clark will be difficult to replace. Dizney was voted the MVP of District 17-4A by the coaches and signed with the Univserity of Dayton. As North’s goalkeeper, Clark was named First Team All-District by the 17-4A coaches with 122 saves.
Girls: With a final record of 18-2-3, coach Lance Lovell’s Lady Bulldogs won district 17-4A and touted the best winning percentage amongst any soccer team in McKinney. Under Lovell’s guidance, the Lady Bulldogs ranked as one of the top offenses and defenses in the area. Replete with talent, the Lady Bulldogs were bound to make a run at the state championship, only to have their dreams shattered by Frisco Liberty in the Sectional round of the playoffs in a heart breaking shootout.
Forward Belicia Mendiola played a pertinent role in the Lady Bulldogs’ success scoring 32 goals with 11 assists. The relentless “1-2 punch” of Hadlie Tucker and Mendiola will be instrumental in the 2014 season. Losing senior captains Jackie Bucy (Northwestern signee) and Mikey Mendiola will not be easy as they coordinated the Lady Bulldogs form the midfield position. New center midfielders and leadership on the pitch will be a priority for the Lady Bulldogs in 2014. Defensively, Goalkeeper of the Year Clarissa Ledesma will be back for 2014, but Florida Institute of Technology signee Mary Watson will be a tough loss for the Lady Bulldogs.
Editor’s Note: Some District honors were referenced in the story, as some coaches have submitted those results to TSB. When all of them are collected, TSB will also publish a story announcing the district soccer awards, as voted on by coaches.