Merritt Island High’s horses have stampeded through the soccer field this year, outscoring opponents 37-0 through six games heading into the fifth week of the season.
Multiple options on offense have the ball rolling in the right direction — the net — for the undefeated (6-0) Mustangs.
Unselfish play from seniors Jake Bennett, Michael Seng, Scott Behrhorst, Ian Carey and junior Jackson Barnes has provided Merritt Island with a diverse offensive attack, executing from every angle. Each player has scored five or more goals this season.
“We’re a pretty well-rounded team and proficient in a lot of areas. Some of our strengths are defending midfield and our attack is well-balanced, it’s not just one guy scoring,” Merritt Island coach Scooty Carey said.
Three of the Mustangs’ wins were by a score of 8-0, including one first-half blowout. However, following the school’s undefeated football team exit from the playoffs last Friday night in Lake Wales, Carey won’t be satisfied without finishing the season as strong as they’ve started it.
“I expect us to go deep (into the postseason), and if we don’t go deep, I’ll be disappointed,” Carey said. “Our main competition is going to be Palm Bay, because they are in our district. Palm Bay is a well-organized team and well coached.”
The Mustangs will face fellow district contender Palm Bay on Thursday, after taking care of district opponents Satellite, Rockledge and Titusville earlier this season.
The rest of Class 3A, District 12’s competition includes Eau Gallie and Bayside scheduled during the second week of December.
After that, Merritt Island will wait to meet top local competition, Viera and Melbourne, following the holiday season.
“(Viera coach) Corey Collins may be young, but he isn’t young to soccer, and Melbourne is always prepared,” Carey said. “There are half a dozen players on Melbourne and seven or eight guys (on Merritt Island) that play on the same club team.”
However, the 17th-year coach doesn’t want his Mustangs taking any opponents this season lightly and stresses “mental preparation” as key to success combined with his talented players on the field.
“They’re playing well and you know what happens, you get complacent and look past some teams,” Carey said.
Other top Brevard County players
Evan Enders, of Holy Trinity Phil McKegg, of MCC Jamie Carlson, of Melbourne Micah Smoak, of Melbourne Michael Brennan, of Palm Bay Tim Waite, of Palm Bay Austin Downie, of Satellite Nick Peri, of Satellite Drew Geyer, of Titusville Isiah Lopez, of Titusville Robert Madden, of West Shore