2019-20 Men's Soccer Recap

2019-20 Men's Soccer Recap

Wilmington, NC - To say the 2019/2020 school year has been a test for our program is an understatement, but through hard work and working together we are excited for things to come. We started preseason by only being able to play one of our three scheduled games against our four year opposition. We opened the preseason with a 1-1 draw with Methodist University. A good way to come out of the gate. From there we entered the regular season play with a 5-1 victory over Paul D'Camp followed by back to back overtime losses. With relying so heavily on our freshman the season was very up and down the rest of the fall and I trust that will benefit us in the upcoming season. Some of the freshman who really came up big for us this past fall were Raul Venegas (9 goals, 3 assists), Jair Mondragon (7 goals, 1 assist), and Marcos Reyes (6 goals, 10 assists). While goals and assists are nice, soccer is not a stat heavy sport. Some freshman who really showed where it mattered were Tristan Torbett, Kobe Hepburn, and at the end of the season Justin Lashin. I was very pleased with the freshman that I have not listed and how they progressed as we entered the spring season.

To say the sophomores were key is not giving them enough credit. While some sophomores did not receive heavy minutes or impacted stats, they did impact on the entire program.  Which is far more important and I think each of them left the program in the best manner they possibly could. Some key players were Jake Wilcox, who is the youngest player to ever play for Cape Fear, Francisco Tavara, Chase Lucas, Tyler Keser, and Captain T.J. Anttila. The sophomores who received high minutes and made an impact on the field were Wells Bridgforth, Charles Barkman, Connor Rolph, and Captains Taylor Trimble and Travis Cotton. Some notables from this past fall were three of our boys making All Region Third Team. Freshman Kobe Hepburn may have only scored 2 goals and had 1 assist, but his first collegiate goal was key to keep us in a game in the final minutes. Kobe played primarily right back, but as we struggled with injury on the left side, he would switch to the left when needed. It should be no surprise to anyone that Taylor Trimble and Travis Cotton both made all region. Taylor was the rock we needed in the back controlling the team and making sure everything went as close to plan as possible. It just goes to show that when it comes to votes stats don't always matter as Taylor ended his career at Cape Fear with 0 goals, and 0 assists, but made a far larger impact where it was needed. That's the type of player that will be hard to replace. Travis Cotton may have started and ended his fall season on bad notes with injuries, but the experience, leadership, and enthusiasm he brought to the program was irreplaceable. Travis finished the season with 11 goals and 4 assists in 11 starts placing him at 7th in the region in points, but the most for anyone who played less than 13 games.

While we didn't make the playoffs in my first time on board at Cape Fear, I am beyond pleased with what we did off the field. There is still work to be done, but we had 10 players on the All Academic List! The following players received a 3.0 or higher for the 2019 Fall Semester: Charles Barkman, Wells Bridgforth, Justin Lashin, Chase Lucas, Cameron Murray, Miguel Rubio, Francisco Tavara, Tristan Torbett, Taylor Trimble, and Connor Gushman. Along with being on good academic standing we were also able to make an impact in the community by volunteering our time early Saturday mornings after the season was over with our local community outreach soccer program. It was a pleasure watching some of our boys interact with the local future soccer stars.

While we had NCAA D1, D2, D3, and NAIA schools lined up for the spring semester, unfortunately we were only able to get one game in against NAIA Columbia International University.  Columbia International University is the previous home of the newest addition to our coaching staff Hastin McGill who came on board the end of November. While we didn't end things the way we hoped I must say I'm very pleased in every one of our young men for what they brought to the program this school year. I want to personally thank everyone who supported us. To the current Freshman, make sure you are setting a high standard for the incoming freshman, higher than you were held to and help make our program better than it was when you entered.

Please continue to support our boys as they stay healthy, focused on their academics, and are preparing for their futures. Good luck to the boys who are moving on to play at other schools, continue their academics, or entering the work force. It was my pleasure to work with you in your time at Cape Fear. I know you will go on to do great things.

Courtesy of Coach C.W. Ponton