Irvin Delfin (center) and Will Blocker combined for 55 goals this season.
2023 soccer team has winningest season
By Michael Butler
The Tallassee varsity boys soccer team set the record for wins in a single season with a 15-4 record. Building off a four-game winning streak to end the 2022 season, the Tigers opened with seven straight victories this year.
The team missed reaching the post-season by one game, but coach Matthew Tarpley expects things to continue on upswing.
"We took another big step forward this season but are not content," Tarpley said. "We will continue to work and come back with a vengeance next spring looking to make a push into the playoffs."
In addition to the 79 percent win percentage, the team showed a torrent pace offensively scoring 125 goals. On the flip side, Tallassee allowed just 22 goals all season.
"The varsity boys scored an average of 6.6 goals per game this season, which is unheard of," Tarpley added. "They were 10-2 at home, 4-2 on the road and 1-0 on neutral site fields. We had some amazing wins and some heartbreaking losses, but all in all it was a great season.
Sophomore Irvin Delfin set a new record for goals in a season with 30 surpassing Will Blocker's 28 last year. Blocker, a senior, added 25 more this year. He will play at Southern Union next season. Fellow senior Jonathan Wright scored 24 goals in 2023. Freshman Yuren Rodriguez had 20.
The varsity girls in their first season went 4-13.
Tallassee's varsity girls made their debut in 2023
"What a year," Tarpley exclaimed. "That's about three more wins than I expected to be honest. I am extremely proud of these girls and the effort and hard work that they put in."
Tania Alvarez, a freshman, and
Jhala Anderson, a sophomore, were the top two scorers for the girls. Alvarez had nine goals. Anderson had eight.
"Statistically and in reality, these girls got better every time they stepped on the field. We improved our performance against every team we played when we saw them the second time - every one. That is amazing and shows growth and progress. They played physical and hard every minute they were on the field and I have never been prouder of a team in my life."
Tarpley also complimented the play of the junior varsity team.
"The JV returned with a vengeance," he said. "With a team stacked full of seventh and eighth graders, the JV boys played the toughest schedule on campus. They played Auburn, Stanhope, Wetumpka, and Pike Road and made great progress this spring."
The season may be over at the school level but according to Tarpley, many will be playing club soccer in the summer and fall.
"This is a great sign for our program. There is a ton of excitement around our soccer program and we are looking to continue to capitalize on that excitement. We are already looking forward to tryouts in September.
"The crowd and atmosphere we have created at J.E. "Hot" O'Brien Stadium is unmatched. Having the drumline show up for a couple of games took things to another level. The future looks bright for Tallassee soccer."
*Photos by Kyle Thornton