For the 14 seniors, this was the goal.
A state championship. And on Friday night they did not let that goal slip away, blitzing Choctawhatchee 5-0 in the Class 3A State Championship at Eastern Florida State College.
“This is my senior year and this was my goal from the beginning of the year,” Ian Carey said. “We achieved our goal.”
All five of the goals were scored by seniors, led by Scott Behrhorst, who had two of them.
Carey got the Mustangs (22-1) on the board in the 13th minute on a 30-yard shot. Ten minutes later, Behrhorst scored his first goal on a nice cross from Parker Duncan.
Two minutes later, Jaden Rainbow found the back of the net on an assist from Behrhorst.
“The boys were focused, they knew what they had to do,” head coach Scooty Carey said. “They played good, composed soccer.”
Chocktawhatchee came out aggressive in the second half and had a couple of scoring chances, but goalkeeper Matt Fiorentino, who made eight saves in the second half, was up to the challenge.
“Toward the end, they were coming hard and I knew our defenders didn’t want to be scored on. And they weren’t,” Fiorentino said.
In the 62nd minute, Michael Seng scored his team-leading 33rd goal of the season. It was a perfect header on a cross from Jackson Barnes.
Behrhorst ended the scoring in the 77th minute on an assist from Seng.
And then the celebration began.
Merritt Island had locked up its second state title under Scooty Carey (also in 2009).
He was all smiles after the big win.
“Their play tonight proved that they are state champions,” Carey said after the final horn blew. “Extremely proud of this group. They weathered the storm, all of the practicing and commitment to the game. They deserve this.”