Consistent Shoaf key cog on CHS defense
Adam Shoaf doesn’t have a goal this season and he might have one or two assists, but he’s one of Carson High’s most valuable soccer players.
Shoaf, along with fellow senior Zach Smith, anchors Carson’s stingy defense. He is a big reason why Carson is 10-3-3 heading into Tuesday’s home playoff game against North Valleys (7-8-1) at 6 p.m.
Carson has allowed 19 goals in 16 contests this year, and has allowed more than two goals once this year (3-3 tie against Wooster). Shoaf is the Senators’ Mr. Consistency, and he embodies defense and his role on the back line.
“I feel I play pretty tough back there,” Shoaf said. “I don’t get pushed off the ball that often. I’m always talking when I’m out there, trying to keep people calm even if things aren’t going well.
“Very seldom will I carry the ball in (to the offensive zone). Zach does that a lot.”
His play has drawn praise from coach Mehdi Samii.
“Day in and day out he’s our most consistent player,” Samii said. “He’s a true leader on this team. He’s a symbol of what a student-athlete should be. He is the most consistent kid I’ve ever had, including my son, Michael.”
Playing defense in soccer can be equated to being an offensive lineman in football. You only seem to get noticed when something bad happens. Good play is taken too much for granted.
“It’s very frustrating,” Shoaf said. “You get yelled at when something goes wrong. When something goes wrong up top and we don’t score, it’s not their fault. It’s frustrating. Coach (Mehdi Samii) tries to tell us that we’ve done well. The key to us winning games is defense.
“We rely on our defense. We have a good defense. Zach, Angel Gomez and now Milton (Rodriguez), it’s been a team effort.”
The defense, because of ineligibility and discipline issues, has had several faces on the back line. Rodriguez was pressed into service as a defender when Carlos Alvarado was dismissed from the team. Guillermo Hernandez has also been playing on the back line.
“He was a little rough to start, but that’s not his normal position,” Shoaf said. “He played great against Douglas. He’s stepping it up for us.”
Shoaf said that under Samii, the Senators stress defense a lot more. Shoaf said former coach Eric Masters liked quick attacks. Both styles have worked, as Carson has had a lot of success the past three years, including a state berth last season.
“Mehdi is all about defense and he hopes we score a goal,” Shoaf said. “Eric was a good coach. He did things differently than Mehdi. I remember my sophomore year, we barely used subs. Last year in the playoffs, Mehdi subbed freely which was good because we always had fresh legs on the field.”
And, Samii has used that same philosophy this season with good results.