The Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer team was facing a small dilemma going into this season.
Jennings Rex and Donnie Smith, two key parts of the NCAA tournament run in 2011, both graduated. The team needed a player to not only replace those goals, but to complement Giussi Gentile.
Enter sophomore forward Kyle Parker.
The Marvin Ridge High School grad leads the team with eight goals and nineteen points. The nineteen points (T-4th) and eight goals (4th) puts him in the top five of both categories in Conference USA with two games remaining, virtually guaranteeing him all-conference first team honors at the end of the season.
Parker, who has started all but one game this season while appearing in them all, has been a big part of a three-game winning streak for the team. He had a pair of goals in a 3-1 win over then-#14 Clemson, then added two more in a 6-0 drubbing of FAU last night. In fact, he’s found the net in four of the last six matches.
It will be interesting to see Parker’s emergence over his next two years here. But if these last few games have proven anything, he’s becoming a consistent scorer, something the team will need as they continue their push toward a spot in the C-USA tournament, the NCAA tournament, and perhaps a national championship.