TEAM OF THE YEAR: Merritt Island Mustangs Win Second Straight Girls Soccer State Championship

By  //  May 8, 2018

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Mustangs have become a perennial state girls soccer power

2018 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME TEAM OF THE YEAR: DURING THE MUSTANG’S RUN to capturing their second state title, Merritt Island outscored their opponents 18-0 in the playoffs. During the season, Junior Aimee Vance led the team with 21 goals and sophomore Lexy Denaburg racked 17-goals and a team-high 21-assists. In goal, sophomore Jordan Tomberlin allowed just four into the net all season.

THE 2018 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 11. CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

BACK-TO-BACK CHAMPS

Numbers never lie. Brevard County girls’ high school soccer has quietly dominated the landscape of sports on the Space Coast during the past 30-years. Since 1987, five schools have combined to capture 15 state titles.

If you asked the great coaches of those Brevard County teams that won a state title what was the best way to compliment a championship season, inevitably Coach Haig at Satellite, Armstrong at MCC, Lord at Melbourne and Baines-Lundy at Viera would tell you – win another one the following year.

All of them did just that, they won back-to-back championships and this year, Scott Carswell and his Merritt Island Mustangs can add their name to that list of winners who have won two straight titles.
Under Carswell, the Mustangs have become a perennial state soccer power.

From 2005 through the 2015-16 season, Carswell’s teams reached the state finals four times and, even though they won the 2010 State Championship, Carswell’s thirst for more titles remained unquenched.
The 2016-17 Mustangs were a very young group.

Twelve of the players on the roster were either freshmen or sophomores, and only three seniors saw time in the 2017 state title game.

“CHAMPS AGAIN” read Space Coast Daily’s headline as the Merritt Island Mustangs Girls Soccer team and its head coach Scott Carswell hoisted the program’s third championship trophy. Under Carswell, the Mustangs have become a perennial state soccer power with two straight titles, and an outstanding shot at a “Threepeat” with 22 players returning next season.

Junior Aimee Vance led the team with 21 goals and sophomore Lexy Denaburg racked 17-goals and a team-high 21-assists. In goal, sophomore Jordan Tomberlin allowed just four into the net all season.

In all, 73 of the 130 goals were scored by underclassmen. However, every great team has senior leadership, and the 2016-17 Mustangs were no exception as Coach Carswell counted on two Madisons and a Keli for his.

Madison Moore, Madison Feeney and Kelli Lindquist combined to score 42 goals with Lindquist adding 15-assists. Last year’s team posted a 21-1 record and dominated opponents throughout the season. They scored 130 goals, allowed only 13 and finished the season winning 12 in a row.

During their run to capturing their second state title, the Mustangs outscored their opponents 18-0 in the playoffs.

There would be drama in the state title game, as the match ended with no score and would require penalty kicks to decide the winner.

After trading goals and following two great PK stops by Tomberlin, another sophomore, Jordan Michaels buried the Mustangs fourth penalty kick goal to give Merritt Island the title.

With 22 returning players and a great coach in Scott Carswell, above, don’t be surprised to see the Mustangs back on stage at the Cocoa Beach Country Club holding up three fingers next May.

DURING THE MUSTANG’S RUN to capturing their second state title, Merritt Island outscored their opponents 18-0 in the playoffs. During the season, Junior Aimee Vance led the team with 21 goals and sophomore Lexy Denaburg racked 17-goals and a team-high 21-assists. In goal, sophomore Jordan Tomberlin allowed just four into the net all season.

The 2017-18 season would see all but a few of the girls return a year older, better physically and as defending champs. This version of the Mustangs was even younger than the 2016-17 version, as just three players were seniors.

Merritt Island would start the season as they ended it, winning 12 in a row and pushing their two-year total to 24-straight wins.

They were led in goals by two seniors Aimee Vance who registered 27 markers and Julia Martin who netted 24. The duo of juniors Jordan Tomberlin and Samantha Page combined to allow just 16 goals all season, stopping 70 opponent’s shots.

With a potent scoring punch, a great defense and young but experienced talent everywhere, the Mustangs would roll to a 24-3 record and cruised past their first three playoff opponents by a combined score of 15-0.

NAIL-BITER

With a potent scoring punch, a great defense and young but experienced talent everywhere, the Mustangs would roll to a 24-3 record and cruised past their first three playoff opponents by a combined score of 15-0.

Things got tougher in the semi-finals and championship game. After a scoreless first half against American Heritage in the state semis, a pair of header goals from Madeline Miller and Lexy Denaburg proved to be the difference for a 2-1 Mustangs win and a chance to repeat.

Winning a second straight title appeared as if it would be easy to start the championship game. Goals by Samantha Parker and Aimee Vance put the Mustangs up 2-0 in the first half. However, Gulf Breeze didn’t go quietly and the Dolphins battled back to score the equalizer with only 2:15 to play in regulation.

After no one scored in two overtimes, the 3A State Championship would once again come down to penalty kicks. However, this has proven to be a good omen for Merritt Island as each of their previous titles were won this way and once again the Mustangs would prevail.

Lexy Denaburg, Madeline Miller and Sydney Clark knocked home their penalty kicks and as she did last year in the title game, goalkeeper Jordan Tomberlin stood strong allowing just one past her in the extra kick session.

WITH A POTENT SCORING PUNCH, a great defense and young but experienced talent everywhere, the Mustangs would roll to a 24-3 record and cruised past their first three playoff opponents by a combined score of 15-0.

THREEPEAT?

“Champs Again” read Space Coast Daily’s headline as the Mustangs and head coach Scott Carswell hoisted the program’s third championship girls’ soccer trophy. If you’re wondering, the Mustangs lose just three players to graduation. They will no doubt be favored to three-peat.

As great as Melbourne, Satellite, Viera and MCC were when they captured the other 12 championships the county owns, none of them won three in a row and only the Scorpions had a shot to do it returning to the finals in 2004 but losing 1-0 to St. Thomas Aquinas on penalty kicks, 5-4.

With 22 returning players and a great coach in Scott Carswell, don’t be surprised to see these young ladies back on stage at the Cocoa Beach Country Club holding up three fingers next May.

1972 Merritt Island Mustangs Football Team is Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Legacy InducteeRelated Story:
1972 Merritt Island Mustangs Football Team is Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Legacy Inductee

THE 2018 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 11. CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2018 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com

CLICK HERE TO SEE MEMBERS OF THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME

THE 2018 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 11.

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