CUMBERLAND — Numbers don’t lie.
But that doesn’t mean they’re not difficult to believe, especially when it comes to Mountain Ridge goalkeeper Chelsea Muir.
For the second year in a row, Muir and the Mountain Ridge defense proved almost impossible to solve. And for the second year in a row, Muir was voted the Miriam Sincell high school girls soccer Goalkeeper of the Year by area head coaches.
Muir will receive the award, named for the former two-time defensive Player of the Year (2000, 2001) who led Southern to back-to-back area titles, at the 65th annual Dapper Dan Awards Banquet on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Ali Ghan Shrine Club.
Muir is the only player to win the Goalkeeper of the Year Award, which was first presented last year. This year’s vote was an easy one, again, as Muir finished No. 1 among area goalies in save percentage and shutouts for the second straight year.
Muir made 80 saves and allowed only five goals for a .941 save percentage and had 12 shutouts in 15 games. She made 70 saves and allowed only three goals during the regular season, a .958 save percentage.
In the Appalachian Mountain Athletic Conference, she made 36 saves, allowed only two goals, had a .947 percentage and seven shutouts in eight games, all league bests.
“Chelsea’s been an outstanding goalie and improved her skills and range each season,’’ said Mountain Ridge coach Martha Mauzy. “Her determination to be successful really paid off for her. She made intelligent decisions on the field and because of her efforts we had another successful season.”
For an opponent, getting through the Mountain Ridge defense was one thing. Doing it and beating Muir for a goal was quite another. Almost impossible.
Defense does win championships, and Mountain Ridge, with an undefeated regular season (12-0-2) and a 10 straight shutouts, repeated as Area and AMAC champions (8-0-0).
The defense not only rolled up the string of 10 consecutive shutouts, but a 686-minute, 27-second scoreless streak. Muir and the Miners allowed two goals in a Sept. 10 game against Hampshire and did not allow another until a 7-1 win over Northern in the next-to-last game of the regular season, on Oct. 17.
“Chelsea was the best goalkeeper around and she has worked very hard at that position,’’ said Mauzy. “She started playing goalie as a sophomore, and had never played the position before. She was willing to try it, put in lots of hard work and ended up being an outstanding three-year starter at goalie.”
In Muir’s two award-winning seasons, the Miners piled up a 26-3-3 overall record and a 15-0-1 mark in the conference. They won the area and AMAC both seasons, and of the 32 games, 21 were shutouts by Muir and the defense.
“We, as a team, had confidence in Chelsea’s abilities so the defenders could go out and take a chance at stopping the opponents because they knew that Chelsea had their backs,’’ said Mauzy. “She played the angles extremely well and made some outstanding saves. She has done an outstanding job for us and it will be difficult to replace her.”
Also first-team All-Area and All-AMAC, Muir is a member of the National Honor Society with a 4.07 grade-point average. She is also a member of Mountain Ridge’s back-to-back state championship softball teams.
For Dapper Dan Banquet ticket information, call The Original Sports Shoppe at 301-722-5490.
Mike Mathews is a Cumberland Times-News sportswriter. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org