When the matches reached increased importance, United Township senior midfielder Drew Merideth raised him game.|
"I worked harder," Merideth said. "I wanted to get the results in whatever way possible. It ended up being 10 goals."
Merideth led the Illinois Quad-Cities with 29 goals this season, but he separated himself from the pack with a dominating 10-goal postseason run. That carried Merideth to being named the 2012-13 Boys' Soccer Player of the Year from The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus.
"I stepped up my play a little bit and our team stepped up a lot," said Merideth, who helped UT win its first sectional title in 13 years and a share of the Western Big 6 Conference title. "I was in the right spots in the right time and had a lot of support from my teammates. I ended up being able to come up big and do what I needed to do for the team."
With a historic season behind him, Merideth reflected on a run that included countless championships and memories.
You guys all said the goal was reaching the state tournament. Even though that didn't happen, are you still happy with what UT accomplished?
"It's awesome knowing we had a good season and a good record and good memories. I'll never forget what happened. There were some good memories there."
What was your favorite match of the year?
"We had a lot of good ones. I enjoyed the regional final against Geneseo (a 4-2 double-overtime win) when Ryan (his younger brother) and I had those goals to bring us back. Even though we ended up going a man down, we still fought back hard. The team got through it, and it led to a sectional title, too.
What was your favorite goal of the year?
"Probably my free kick in the sectional final (against Maple Park Kaneland) to win in double-overtime."
How much fun was this season?
"Ten out of 10. I loved it. It made me realize that I want to go farther and play in college. I know I'll remember it forever."
What was it like to play this season with your brother Ryan and some of your best friends?
"I couldn't have asked for a better team. We all clicked since the beginning of the year. We had a goal in mind, and we all worked toward the goal. Being able to get wins with all those guys was priceless."
What's the next step in your soccer career?
"I would like to play D1. I don't know for sure yet. We'll see what happens."
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