Asheville City returned to the pitch this Summer after 671 days away due to the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling the 2020 season. Fans, players, and more were eager for some exciting Asheville soccer, and the Blues executed just that.
The men’s team finished their inaugural season as a part of USL2 with a 6-6-2 record and finished fourth in their division. The Blues were just a point away from a spot in the playoffs. Finishing that close to a playoff spot in their first year in the league epitomizes the hard work of the team, and sets a baseline for next season’s performance.
Forward Jack Stainrod led the team with four goals on the season. Stainrod plays soccer at William Carey University in Mississippi. Ross Fitzpatrick led the team in assists with three on the season. This fall, Fitzpatrick will join head coach Mick Giordano as part of the UNC Asheville coaching staff.
Other goals on the season were a total team effort. Mario Arrocha, Zach Aversano, Micheal Wilkerson, Nathan Watt, Izaiah Vignali and Joseph LaCasto each contributed to the scoresheet for the men’s side. In the final game of the season, AC Academy standout Declan Mettee made his ACSC debut and scored the lone goal of the game. Mettee graduated from Asheville School this past spring.
Meanwhile in goal, Princeton University commit Will Watson finished the season with 19 saves and a 0.76 save percentage. Watson found himself on the USL2 save of the week contention multiple times throughout the season. At only 18, Watson begins his college career at an Ivy League institution this fall.
The women’s team finished 7-1 in regular season play in the WPSL league. The ladies in blue finished second in their division, right behind the eventual Carolinas Conference champions, the Charlotte Eagles. Their record earned them a spot in the conference playoffs.
Laura Greb led the women’s team with five goals this season. Other leaders in scoring include Chloe Mcleary-Small and Molly Dwyer with three each. Sarah Clark, Emma Dawson, Sarah Jacobs, Gillian Oyos, and Makena Silber all scored one goal this season. Goalkeeper Michaela Moran finished the season with a .80 save percentage.
Although the Blues only made it to the first round of playoffs, the season did not disappoint. For the first time in club history, Asheville City defeated longtime rivals the Charlotte Eagles 1-0 at home, just after falling to them in a tough 3-0 road match. The Blues faced the Eagles again in a playoff match that ended in a 2-0 loss. The Eagles went on to win the Conference Finals.
The women’s team also hosted two special nights at Greenwood Field. The first honored the Asheville Splash, the first women’s soccer team in Asheville. They played as part of the W-League and brought the game to the area. The match welcomed former players to the pitch to celebrate what they have accomplished in the community. Another important night was ACSC’s annual Pride Night. The night ended with a sold out crowd and a win for the ladies in blue.
Stay tuned here and on social media for off-season updates as we begin work for 2022!