Melton fulfills goal of succeeding in Lions’ program
by Andrew Stark
Anna Melton always wanted to leave her mark on the Covenant Day girls soccer program. Growing up, she would watch games and marvel at the skill and athleticism of the Lions players that came before her.
Much to her surprise, it turns out that Melton had the best individual season any Lion has ever had. Along the way, she became the first unanimous winner of the Metrolina Athletic Conference Player of the Year award. The 41 goals she scored this season set a school single-season record and earned her the team’s lone private-school all-state selection.
Now Melton has earned another accolade on the heels of her record-breaking senior campaign: She’s Carolina Weekly Newspaper Group’s 2012 Matthews-Mint Hill Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
Although Melton doesn’t see herself grouped with the Lions’ all-time greats, her statistics suggest she’s one of the best-ever players for a program that’s won eight consecutive conference titles and three state championships.
“I can’t really think of myself that way yet,” she said. “I guess it does mean a lot because you work really hard, and when you are practicing alone you hope your work pays off. When it does, it is very special and satisfying.
“It means a lot to me when other coaches would come up after the game and say that I did a great job or was a good player. And to be nominated by them as the conference player of the year is an honor but not anything I think about.”
Melton said she’s always put the team’s success above her individual accomplishments. And as the 2012 season wore on and the Lions kept getting better, it became clear to Melton that this Covenant Day team was just as good as previous ones, despite being small in numbers.
“Coach (Jeff) Foltz always told us that we were better than we thought we were,” Melton said. “You hear that, and it is surprising knowing that we have had so many really good teams here.
“In a way, we proved that we are amongst the better teams to play here because we were able to win the MAC and we won our first playoff game (as an N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A team). So after a while, we started believing that we were that good.”
Foltz said he believes Melton could have played at a Division I school, but she didn’t pursue a scholarship in soccer or the other sport in which she excelled, basketball. Melton, who sports a 5.2 GPA, will attend the University of North Carolina to study biology, but she won’t be on any of the Tar Heels’ famed teams.
However, Melton said she might consider playing club soccer or intramurals.
“I am leaving the door open to see what happens,” she said. “But I’m definitely going to play some. I can’t just stop playing altogether. Not yet.”