Boys soccer: Mustangs ready to repeat as champs
Friendswood coach Stephen Peter didn't know what to expect from his Mustangs heading into 2011, but now, he thinks they're ready to defend the District 43-4A title.
"We graduated 16 seniors and several starters from last year's team, and we thought our defense might be a question mark," Peter said. "But, we haven't allowed more than two goals in a game, so we've played well on that end. Offensively, we still need to get our numbers up while attacking and not depend so much on our forwards.
"But even though we haven't finished on some of our chances near the net, we've played well. And, we're looking forward to getting into the district schedule."
The Mustangs, after an 8-4 start, open league action at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4, at new district member Galveston Ball.
"Ball played well in (District) 24-5A last season and challenged for a playoff berth, and they have seven starters coming back," Peter said. "It should be an interesting way to begin district.
"Manvel lost 10 seniors after being the district runner-up two years in a row, but even though they'll be young, we expect them to be a challenge, and Dawson looked solid in a scrimmage after making the playoffs last season, so there are some good teams in 43-4A."
Friendswood also competes with Texas City, Santa Fe and La Marque in 43-4A, and the first district home outing is with Dawson at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8.
Returning starters are seniors Chris Johnson (defender) and Corbin Kaspar (midfielder), and juniors Brian Mulcahey (forward) and Jose Montalvo (midfielder).
"With only a few regulars returning, we didn't know what to expect in January, but we've seen some positive things happening out there," Peter said. "There are some new faces, but they've played well."
Filling the openings are senior Thomas Howard (midfielder), juniors Michael Rich (goalkeeper), Aaron Campbell (defender), Rudy DeHoyes (defender) and Micah Baize (midfielder), and sophomore Ryan Alvarez (forward).
There's plenty of depth with seniors Juan Regino (forward), Brandon Stockman (defender), Alex Wright (midfielder), Tyler O'Farrell (defender) and Alex Hart (goalkeeper), juniors Zach Bergstrom (defender), Conrad Beck (midfielder) and Alexander Hines (defender), and sophomore Zach Brunson.
The Mustangs fell to Vista Ridge 1-0, Austin Lake Travis 1-0 and Brenham 2-0 before blanking Ozen 5-0 at the Brenham Showcase last week.
"We like that event because it's always tough competition from our area and around the state," Peter said. "It helps us get ready for district and shows us what we need to work on, like getting more players involved in our attack."
The Mustangs won the Kingwood Park Classic and reached the finals of the Friendswood-Pearland Invitational in other tournaments this year.
Friendswood defeated Goose Creek Memorial 9-0 and fell to Lee 2-0 in last year's playoffs after capturing a second straight district championship, and 11th overall since 1997.
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