Overachieving Chargers see end to season

Posted Monday, Apr. 15, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The most successful season in a strong history of Central boys soccer came to a close last Friday night in the Region I semifinals.

Central lost, 4-0 at Pennington Field to Coppell, the eventual regional champion and top-ranked team in the state.

Central ends the season at 15-5-6 in the school’s ninth year of a varsity program.

This Chargers team was an unlikely regional semifinalist after not making the playoffs last year, a first in the tradition-building program.

The loss came after a seven-game winning streak which helped propel them into the second place spot in an ultra-tough district.

The appearance in the semifinals came after a nail-biting 2-1 shootout win over El Paso Americas earlier in the week in Odessa.

Because the teams representing the regional semifinalists were all from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, the UIL moved the semifinals and finals from Midland to Pennington Field in Bedford.

“(Coppell) did a good job of stretching out our defense and finding the guy on the back post,” Keller Central coach Dave Maher told the Star-Telegram. “We tried to deny them space and pressure, but they have such good movement within their system it was very tough to contain them and manage their speed.

“This is a group of seniors who recommitted themselves to the program, they stepped up in leadership, they played so hard for each other all through the season and then really got hot right at the start of the playoffs,” Maher said of his team. “To go four rounds deep in the playoffs with this group is really special to me. Obviously it’s not the way we wanted to go out, but all credit to Coppell. They have a classy program and talent all over the field.”

The loss was a disappointing end to the most successful boys soccer season in Keller Central’s nine-year history at the varsity level.

The Chargers (15-5-6) rode a seven-game winning streak into Friday’s match and allowed just two combined goals in their three previous playoff games.

Maher’s team was packed with players who consistently achieved as otherwise unknowns coming into the season. Maher considered his team to be the dark-horses in the race, but still managed to surprise many teams.

Often, Maher said his players played hard for each other, building the sense of team.

During the season, players such as Colin Nunely, Kameron Maney, Sebastien Delgado and Lane Garcia began to make names for themselves and helped build the success Central experienced in the playoff run.

During the seven-game win streak, a strong defense became the hallmark of the Chargers, giving up only a goal or less in each of the games.

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