After graduating 10 seniors last year, nine of which started for multiple years, Boonville Pirates soccer coach Tim Brown really didn’t know what to expect of his team this fall.
As it turned out, Brown had to be happy with the results as the Pirates closed out the season at 13-6-1 overall and 9-3 in the NCMC while losing to state-ranked Southern Boone 1-0 in the championship in the district tournament.
“I thought we managed to have a very decent season,” Brown said. “With a strong core of players and a couple high-caliber goal scorers, we kept our head about water, and we should be even better next year. Our goals this year were to have a winning season, challenge for district, and challenge for conference: we had another winning season (our second in a row); we challenge for conference (second place and we had a couple of chances to at least tie for first); and we took second in district to (again) the No. 2 team in the state SBC (if we were in just about any other district in the state, we would have had much better chances of winning a district title).”
By finishing second in both the conference and district, the Pirates also had five players pick up post-season honors for the 2015 season.
Juniors Joshua Udinyiwe (defender), Philip Udinyiwe (midfielder) and Alec Adair (forward) were first-team selections in the NCMC while Riley Lang (goalie) and Brady Gholson (midfielder), also juniors, were selected to the second team.
All five players were also recently selected to the Class 2 District 9 All-District team.
Adair, a three-year starter for the Pirates, led or tied for the team-high  in every statistical category this fall with 38 goals (1st), 17 assists (tied for first), 93 points (1st) and six game-winning goals (1st). In the NCMC, Adair had 20 goals and 13 assists.
Brown said Adair is an amazing striker of the ball (possibly the best long range shot he has ever coached). “Alec has very good speed, especially in one versus one situations on the wing,” Brown said.
Philip Udinyiwe, another three-year starter, closed out the season with 26 goals (2nd) along with 17 assists (tied for 1st) and four game-winning goals (2nd). He also finished the season with 69 points (2nd) and had three goals and four assists in the NCMC.
Brown said Udinyiwe is an incredible settler and dribbler but also has good speed and is a good header of the ball.
While playing opposite of Philip Udinyiwe, Gholson also came on strong this season for the Pirates with 1 goal, 11 assists and one game-winning goal for a total of 13 points. Gholson also had eight assists in the conference this season.
Brown said Gholson, who has play midfielder all three years, is tough as nails. “Brady is a good tackler and header of the ball, despite the fact that most midfielders are larger than he is,” Brown said.
As for Joshua Udinyiwe, he played center back for the Pirates after starting as a wing back his freshman and sophomore season. Brown said Udinyiwe, who finished the season with one goal and two points, is very vocal and energetic and has good tactical awareness.
Riley Lang also played an important role this season for the Pirates. While appearing in 18 of the team’s 20 games at the goal position, Lang finished the season with a record of 11-6-1 with five shutouts. He also gave up 28 goals for a goals against average of 1.55.
“Riley was a first-year starter at goalkeeper,” Brown said. “He is tall and athletic but also has good reaction time and learned the position very quickly.”