The Independence High School soccer program has made tremendous gains over the past few seasons under head coach Tyler Gibson. Perhaps his biggest accomplishment was to observe how fast his star player has developed from a solid performer to becoming one of the best soccer players in Mecklenburg County and possibly in the state.
Than is certainly the best soccer player to ever wear a Patriots uniform. He has been on the team since his freshman season where he had limited playing time in 18 of the 22 games played scoring one goal with one assist.
In his sophomore season he progressed to a starting role and gained more minutes on the field. He scored 11 goals along with 8 assists for a total of 30 points. However, he was not satisfied and worked hard to improve his performance for the upcoming junior season.
Meanwhile, Coach Gibson noticed Than was not always making the most of his scoring opportunities. He basically was not finishing his chance to put the ball into the back of the net. So apparently, Than focused on slamming the ball hard into the back of the net.
It seems simple to the casual observer, however, the strong legged forward attacker in his junior season became a prolific scorer and a more complete player with much improved striking skills while using his stocky body frame to penetrate and position himself inside the box to turn into a scoring machine.
He began the season scoring early and achieved his first hat trick in the second game of the campaign against Harding. Then he followed with a magnificent 5 goal performance against Hopewell. He began to show consistency in every game going forward throughout the season and he put up unbelievable numbers by capitalizing on almost every opportunity to put the ball in the back of the net.
He ended the 2017 season with 31 goals to shatter Julian Peralta’s previous record for 15 years of 22 goals in a single season. Overall, the Patriots scored 70 goals, therefore, Than had accounted for 44% of the teams goals.
His effort and on the field exploits earned the 14-9 Patriots a playoff spot. Unfortunately, the team was eliminated in a good match against Hough in the second round. Cvan received all-state honors in his junior season which made him only the third Patriot player to achieve this recognition.
Cvan has accumulated 19 goals and 5 assists for 43 points in 19 games through October 22nd. The Myers Park game ended in a shoot out with Indy winning 8-7 after there were no goals scored in regulation.
The Patriots played in the first round of the 2018 NCHSAA Men’s Soccer Championship 4A Tournament and his impact was loud and clear. He scored the first goal of the game to put the Patriots up 1-0. Glenn High School scored three minutes later to tie the game 1-1. However, in overtime Than would strike the game winner sending Independence into the second round to compete against the number 1 seed Northwest Guilford next Tuesday on the road.
The two goals give him 21 on the season and 52 goals combined in his last two seasons at Independence with another game to play or more. Cvan has truly had another outstanding season for the Patriots.