Merritt Island Mustangs Soccer Teams Looking To Bring Home Class 3A Soccer Titles
By Alan Zlotorzynski // February 16, 2017
"...the best team will go out on the pitch, execute and win the game"
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – To have one team reach the state finals in any sport is quite an accomplishment in the 67-county state of Florida, but to have two teams reach title games in the same sport is nothing short of amazing.
That’s what Merritt Island boys and girls’ soccer programs have accomplished, as both squads will look to bring home Class 3A Florida High School Athletic Association State championships.
Merritt Island Mustangs (Girls) Soccer
Head coach Scott Carswell’s team will face Stanton College Preparatory School (17-5) from Jacksonville on Friday morning at 10 a.m. at Spec Martin Memorial Stadium on the campus of Stetson University in Deland, Florida.
The Mustangs are a defensive juggernaut. Merritt Island enters the contest riding a string of five straight shutouts and haven’t surrendered a goal on the pitch since January 20.
In fact, the 20-0-1 Mustangs have allowed just four goals all season, while scoring 123. Coach Carswell, who is 291-97 in his 18-year coaching career (238-42 at MI) has a team that could dominate the state for at least the next two years.
While Merritt Island will lose seven seniors, 12 of his players are freshman and sophomores and three juniors will also return.
In an interview, Coach Carswell said he credits his entire team with the Mustangs success this season.
Statistically, junior Aimee Vance led the team with 21 goals this season while sophomore Lexy Denaburg led the team with 24 helpers.
Sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Tomberlin had 45 saves this season surrendering just four goals in 21 games. For the record, that’s 0.190 goals per contest.
Defensively, the Mustangs have freshman Catherine Paroline, sophomores Sydney Clark, Jordan Michaels and Madeline Miller, as well as junior Stephanie Glass and seniors Breanne Dodier and Macie Monborne listed on the roster.
ABOVE AUDIO: Scott Carswell, Merritt Island girls soccer coach speaks with Space Coast Daily’s Alan Zlotorzynski about the upcoming title game tomorrow.
Miller (24 games), Paroline (22 games), Glass (21 games), and Michaels (20 games) have played the most games this season at the position but as coach Carswell reminded me, everyone plays and contributes.
Since the 2005-06 season, the Mustangs have been to the state tournament 10 times. They won the Class 4A title back in 2010 with 3-2 over Bartram Trail (St. Johns).
The following year they lost in the title game and in each of the past three seasons, have been ousted by American Heritage (Plantation).
The Mustangs defeated American Heritage (Plantation), 2-0 to get back to the state title game last week in the semi-finals.
Merritt Island Mustangs (Boys) Soccer
The boys team is looking for their third state title in eight years under head coach Scooty Carey.
They will face Seabreeze (Daytona Beach) on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. also at Spec Martin Memorial Stadium on the campus of Stetson University in Deland, Florida.
The Mustangs won the 4A title in 2009 and the 3A championship in 2014. Coach Carey takes an impressive squad to Deland. He has players that finished in the top 10 in goals in soccer rich Brevard County this season.
Sophomore Jose Portillo and senior Cameron Michaels and junior Derek Notardonato combined to score 61 goals this past season. Michaels also led Brevard county with 18 assists during the year.
Senior goalkeeper Brady Fritz allowed 16 goals in 22 games making 70 stops along the way.
Coach Cary’s team also plays stingy soccer. The Mustangs allowed as many goals as they have wins this season, 22.
On defense, the Mustangs will likely start, senior Cody Pruitt, juniors Dylon Gueits and Jose Camacho and sophomore Daniel Gerondidakis.
Coach Carey is no stranger to winning where he has career mark record of 350-83, which carries an astounding .800 winning percentage.
If anyone knows how to prepare his team for a big game, it’s Scooty Carey.
When asked how his team is prepping Carey told Space Coast Daily, “The physical work is done, we are just mentally preparing to play.”
“There is nothing you can teach them now, it’s one game, they know what needs to be done and the best team will go out on the pitch, execute and win the game”
With every game played at 7:00 p.m. during the season and Saturday’s championship match time slated for 10:00 a.m., Coach Carey isn’t leaving travel to chance. They will be traveling up early Friday to cheer on the girls squad and staying until their contest on Saturday.
Both teams had an opportunity to bring home titles back in 2014, only the boys were victorious that time around.
However, with a combined program record of 42-1-1 this year and only 26 goals allowed all year, it’s hard to imagine that this time around, Merritt Island won’t be celebrating dual Class 3A FHSAA State Championships
*NOTE: Stay tuned to Space Coast Daily as we will keep you updated and recap West Shore boys varsity soccer’s quest to bring Brevard County a Class 2A title. We will also keep you posted on the Mustangs as well.