Meyers steps up to lead in postseason
When Noah Meyers first stepped on to the Northwestern High School soccer field, the first thing that Tiger coach Nate Hunsicker noticed was his quickness.
He sensed that everything else would fall into place for him as a player and that his quickness would eventually be something that the team could use in key spots later in his high school career.
Even as he was watching Meyers make key contributions to the team from his midfield position as an underclassman, Hunsicker was envisioning him filling an even more vital role in his senior season.
Hunsicker was right.
Meyers scored 24 goals this year in leading the Tigers to Colonial League and District 11 titles, as well as their third straight PIAA State Championship game appearance.
His individual success and the role it played in the Tigers’ team success earned him the 2017 Times News Boys Soccer Player of the Year award.
It was in his junior season when Hunsicker really started to notice how good of a soccer player Meyers was becoming. That improvement carried over to this year.
“Last year as a junior, he was a really streaky scorer for us,” remembered Hunsicker. “He would go two or three games with a goal for us and have really beautiful finishes in those games, but then he would go a game or two where he wasn’t making those same plays. By late in the year though, the consistency was there and you could just see how much better he had gotten on the field.”
Meyers and his coach were of the same opinion about his development and when things really started to click for him in his junior season.
Late in that season, Meyers felt that both he and the team just started to become stronger, and he was able to feed off the other players to make himself more successful.
“It was late in my junior year and we really started to play well as a team,” said Meyers. “All of a sudden, it just felt like not only was the team better, but I was playing better and my confidence was really high. Before that, there would be times when I would look like the best player on the field and then wouldn’t be able to do anything for a few games.”
In Meyers’ sophomore season, Northwestern was the District 11 2A champion. The Tigers then captured the District 11 3A championship in each of the past two seasons.
“Our whole team just got better when the postseason came around. I don’t know what it was, but we always played our best soccer in the playoffs, and to make those runs deep in the playoffs and play for a state championship, was great,” said Meyers. “I know this season, I was playing really well late in the season, and it just carried over into the playoffs.”
Meyers was playing his best soccer late in the year, which carried over into the playoffs, when he scored four goals in the two games leading up to the championship game this season.
“When I look back, I’m going to remember those quarterfinal and semifinal games when I scored a brace [two goals in a game] in both of those games,” said Meyers when asked about his greatest memories of high school soccer.
Meyers started playing soccer in first grade, and it has always been his first and only real love when it comes to sports.
Unlike a lot of high school athletes, Meyers didn’t dabble in other sports. Instead, he focused on being the best soccer player that he could be.
It’s ironic that with his passion for the sport, Meyers chose to attend Kutztown University, a school that doesn’t have a soccer program. Instead, Meyers will focus on graduating with a degree in sports management.
For his coach, having Meyers’ soccer career end doesn’t negate what he considers to be the best parts of Noah Meyers. While Hunsicker is excited about what he was able to do for the team and accomplish on the field, he’s going to remember Meyers for things that will ultimately be more important in life than soccer.
“Noah is a great kid first and foremost. He’s a great teammate, an extremely hard worker and a very coachable young man, so to me those things outweigh everything that he brings to the soccer field,” said Hunsicker. “He’s a pretty quiet kid and pretty soft-spoken. His type of leadership on the team was definitely more of a ‘follow my actions’ role than a ‘follow my commands’ role.
“He kind of just showed up for work and did what he had to do to make himself and everyone else better.”