Blowing Away the Competition

ACP’s varsity men’s soccer team is one of the best in the state of Arizona.

Blowing Away the Competition

For the first time in ACP history, the Knights boast a top-rated varsity men’s soccer team. This year’s team has been dominant to date, with a nearly perfect 11-0-2 record, outscoring their opponents 74-9 in their 13 games to this point. The Knights have gotten contributions up and down the roster, which have led to a special season to this point.

Season Overview

Coming off an undefeated season that saw the Knights advance to the 2nd round of the state tournament, the team has continued their winning ways, going undefeated with 2 regular season games left. The first game of the season was an early indicator of the season the Knights would have. Against ASU Prep, the Knights dominated. Junior Seamus McCarthy scored 5 of his 9 goals of the season in this game alone, leading the Knights to a resounding 10-0 home win. In their first 3 games of the season, two of which were on the road, the Knights dominated their opponents, winning all 3 games by a combined score of 28-0. The season began with a 7-game winning streak, many of which could be considered blowouts, with the closest games being a 4-2 win at Tempe Prep and a 3-1 win at Casteel. The only hiccups for the Knights following their hot start came in tournament play, where the Knights, who play in conference 3A, tied with both

the Conference 4A Cactus Shadows Falcons and Conference 6A Desert Ridge Jaguars 1-1. Once they returned to section play, the Knights returned to their winning ways, defeating American Leadership Academy and Santan Foothills 2-0 and 11-0 respectively. The Knights would then faced one of their toughest tests of the season, taking on 6-2 Horizon Honors. The game was close, but the Knights were able to pull out the nail-biting victory 4-3. With one game to go, the Knights look to be in prime position to contend for a state championship. They are ranked as the 23rd best soccer team in the entire state, and #2 in conference 3A.

Why has the team been so successful? There are many reasons, with one of the main reasons being their defense. In total, the Knights defense has allowed only 9 goals in 13 games, thanks to a strong defensive┬áback line. Senior captain Jesse Ramirez commented on the success of his team that it is due to having a strong defense that can allow for a “very creative offense.” Another big reason for the Knights success is their coach, Alberto Millan. Jesse and fellow captain Miles McCunniff stated that the coaches have been instrumental in their success in “not only improving our soccer abilities but also improving ourselves as players off the field.”

Breakout Stars

A season this special doesn’t happen without unexpected contributions. The Knights have gotten this and then some in the form of sophomore Kadin Rabo, who has come from nowhere to become the Knights’ leading goal-scorer. In his 10 games played this season, Kadin has been beyond impressive, scoring 20 goals (2 goals/game) while also racking up 12 assists (1.2 A/G). Kadin is one of many younger players, on both the varsity and JV teams, who can keep up the success of ACP Soccer in the years to come.

What’s Next?

The Knights wrap up their season tonight, Thursday, January 25, against Santa Cruz Valley. Following this game, the Knights will begin play in the State Tournament where they will look to bring home the first State Championship in the history of ACP Soccer.