Boys soccer

Munster seniors Coric, Smith a force up front

2011-10-12T22:15:00Z 2012-10-17T18:52:18Z Munster seniors Coric, Smith a force up frontBy Matt Douthett Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
October 12, 2011 10:15 pm  • 

MUNSTER | As a junior last season, Munster forward Sam Smith endured a painful injury, but the mental anguish of being unable to play was what hurt the most.

Smith broke his right foot being slide-tackled on the first day of practice last season, causing him to sit out all but the last game of the year.

"I really wanted to play the whole season, and junior year is probably the most important year of high school soccer," Smith said. "Just sitting on the sidelines was heartbreaking, because I couldn't really do anything."

Now, Smith is back to 100 percent and has become a mainstay in the Mustangs' offense this season. He's scored 11 goals and recorded 10 assists and has worked well with star forward Zarko Coric, who leads the team with 23 goals and 12 assists.

With Smith out last season, Coric admitted he felt extra pressure from opposing defenses who would constantly key on him. With Smith back this season, defenses can't key on Coric as much, and the Mustangs have become more balanced offensively.

"We changed up some formations, and Sam didn't really miss a beat not playing last year," Coric said. "Teams have to worry about him now, too. It takes pressure off me because they'd have to worry about him."

Munster coach Jim Prasopoulos realizes what having Smith back does for his team. Though Smith and Coric are two entirely different players, having them both on the field at the same time has proven beneficial for the 15-3-1 Mustangs. The two have also developed excellent chemistry as forwards.

"They bring a lot of good things to the game and to practice," Prasopoulos said. "Both of their contributions are very valuable to the team. When you look at your team altogether, you try to evaluate what the strengths are. They work well together on the field."

Including Coric and Smith, seven seniors make up Munster's starting lineup. With that type of experience on the soccer pitch, it's been very easy to play together.

"We've all played together since we were little kids," Smith said. "We all know how each other plays. We can get on each other and tell (each other) what they're doing wrong, and they don't take it as hard."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which school has the area's best girls cross country team?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News