PEEBLES — To protect the goal in soccer, you not only have to find goalies that can stop shots, but defenders that can make getting shots off for frontline players problematic.
As a fullback on a defense that allowed just 1.76 goals per contest last fall, Peebles’ Cory Myers has plenty of experience improving defenses.
He’ll hope to continue to make the same impact for Shawnee State starting in the fall of 2020, when Myers will suit up for the Bears’ men’s soccer program.
The opportunity to play a role in improving a defensive backline in much the same manner that he did at Peebles — and even have the chance to play at the collegiate level — is thrilling to the senior from Adams County.
“It means a lot to me,” Myers said. “I’ve played soccer for so long and it was always a dream for me to continue my career. I felt like playing soccer at a collegiate level was a big push for me to go to college. Shawnee State is the perfect place for me to play, and I couldn’t be happier to play anywhere else.”
A two-year starter on the backline for the Indians, Myers’ ability as a defender helped greatly improve the defense that Peebles put out on the field.
During Myers’ first three seasons at Peebles, the Indians gave up over 2.5 goals a contest in every season.
As a senior, Myers, in his second season as a full starter on the backline, improved Peebles’ defensive unit dramatically as the Indians gave up 1.76 goals — nearly eight-tenths of a goal per game less than the two seasons prior to that and nearly 1.8 goals per game less than in his freshman year.
“I had the most fun playing at fullback,” Myers said. “From stopping crosses to pushing the ball up the field with my teammates, I felt like I was meant to play fullback and I had the most fun playing there.”
As a result of Myers’ efforts, Peebles put together one of its best seasons in school history as a soccer program, with the Indians finishing 11-5-1 and making it to the Division III Southeast District semifinal round.
It was the best showing for any Peebles soccer program since the Indians’ historic 2012 campaign, when they went 18-1-1 and advanced to the Division III regional semifinals.
“Playing at Peebles was a great experience,” Myers said. “We had tons of fun as a team and always laughing with one another. We had many changes in our coaching staff, but I felt like every new coaching staff that we had through the years let us grow as a team. This past year was my favorite in all of the years that I’ve been playing soccer. Becoming sectional champions was such an experience. I just wish that we could’ve kept it going.”
Over the next four years, Myers hopes to contribute to Shawnee State’s success on the defensive end.
However, he’s simply excited for the opportunity to continue his college education — all while getting the opportunity to play the sport that he loves.
“I hope that I get to continue to play fullback,” Myers said. “However, I would be happy to play anywhere that (Ron) Goodson decides to play me. Academically, I want to graduate with my bachelor’s degree alongside playing soccer for four years.”
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