Dallas Soccer DFW

FM Marcus ends skid to Coppell

Published 3/9/2007 7:27:08 AM by Dallas Morning News from Dallas, Texas

FLOWER MOUND – Members of the Flower Mound Marcus boys soccer team record wins while wearing stone faces. Rarely does the team celebrate excessively. Marcus' 2-1 victory Feb. 23, however, wasn't the average win. Marcus ended a seven-match losing streak, dating to 2003, to Coppell. Coppell ended Marcus' season in three of those wins.

"To finally overturn that was huge," said senior Miles Kruzich, one of Marcus' tri-captains.

Everything has gone Marcus' way this season. Marcus (19-0, 10-0 in District 6-5A) is No. 1 in SportsDay's 5A area rankings and No. 3 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas rankings.

Senior tri-captain Sam Fannin said playing for Marcus this year is "almost like playing on a club team." Marcus has outscored its 19 opponents, 78-11.

"If we give up a goal, we're doing everything we can to get that goal back in less than two minutes," Fannin said.

Marcus, which defeated Flower Mound, 1-0, Tuesday, is on its way to its 16th consecutive postseason berth, a source of great pride for coach John Gall.

"It's a huge achievement for the program," Gall said. "It just goes to show the commitment the players in the program have."

Gall, in his sixth season, said this year's team may be the best he has coached. The team has recorded 10 shutouts – five in district play – and has six players with at least five goals. Junior striker Sam Garza leads the team with 18 goals. Garza and seniors Jon McMullen and Andres Angulo are among the assists leaders. Ryan Englemann headlines a trio of senior goalkeepers. Fannin, Kruzich and fellow tri-captain Glen Marshall are senior leaders.

"When I first started coaching here, we had maybe 10 high-quality players in the program," Gall said. "Now, there are talented players on the varsity and the two JV teams. We have three captains. I could have picked eight captains this year."

Marcus returns nine starters, including last year's District 8-5A co-offensive MVP Jon McMullen and utility player of the year Sean Meller. Gall was named coach of the year.

Fannin said the team's success stems from its long history of playing together. Most of the seniors have been with each other since seventh grade. Fannin said that as middle-school students, they used to talk about winning a state title in their senior year.

This could be the year. And the players aren't afraid to say so. If anything, they're setting their goals high to add on to the program's already-revered tradition.

"We feel like nothing can stop us but ourselves," Fannin said. "We're making sure we do everything we have to in order to stay unbeaten."

Kruzich added, "Everything's been going right for us. All in all, this has been the most committed year for everybody."

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