Boys soccer: Carranza caps St. Charles East career with 35 goals
Sebastian Carranza simply took it to another level this fall.
After already producing outstanding seasons, the St. Charles East senior forward went out and scored 35 goals and delivered 14 assists in his final one to lead his team to conference and regional titles along with a sectional semifinal victory during an 18-win season.
Carranza, who finished his career with the second most goals (72) all-time in a St. Charles East uniform, has been named the Captain of the 2021 Daily Herald Fox Valley All-Area Boys Soccer team.
"I think every year here he took a step forward and became more mature both physically and technically," Saints coach Vince DiNuzzo said. "As a coach, you love having someone like that in your program that has that experience and can calm the nerves of everyone else. He has all the talent and the intangibles that are harder to teach kids. It's his leadership and he's a good kid. He's a coach's dream. He's hardworking, humble, a super good kid you want to be around."
Opponents didn't necessarily enjoy spending time around him this fall as he made things extremely difficult on them. One such double victim was Geneva, who the Saints beat twice this season. Carranza led the way with two goals in a 3-0 victory during the regular season and had the game-tying goal that helped spark a 3-2 win in the sectional.
"He's definitely a dominant player," Vikings coach Jason Bhatta said. "Both games we hoped we could make someone besides him beat us, but his strength and technical ability put him at another level to continue to create and score for his team. He's been a problem for us all four years of his high school career and he's grown each year to become the force that he was this year."
After an awesome spring season in which he scored 20 goals and contributed 13 assists, Carranza kept at his craft and is self-assured that the player he's become is more complete and an even bigger problem for the opposition today.
"I do think I'm a little more complete as a player," Carranza said. "I've finished more chances this year. I know there were some that I wouldn't have finished last year. I've played overall better -- holding the ball and taking on players more and facilitating the ball a little bit more."
Battling head-to-head with Carranza at practice only made the striker and the Saints better.
"He's a handful to deal with when you're playing against him in practice," Saints senior defender Connor King said. "He's super focused. Practices have always been that way. Before the season, we met as captains to go over things and we wanted practices to be super intense and going 100% always for a full game experience."
While it's hard for Carranza to believe that his playing days are complete in high school, he's optimistic he'll find a home at the next level. Regardless of what the future holds, the Carranza era will go down in St. Charles as one of the most impressive in Illinois history.
His older sisters Chantal and Allondra had all-state careers at St. Charles East before he did so he spent countless hours at Norris Stadium as a team manager for his sisters before performing his own magic. His parents, Juan and Denice, are also former players and Juan also has coached him.
"I've watched a lot of soccer and that's helped me understand the game," he said. "And my dad was a striker so he's taught me a lot about how strikers should think and what they should do and that how sometimes you have to be selfish as a striker because it's going to help the team."
Believe it or not, he almost helped the football team and passed on such an amazing high school soccer career.
"During eighth grade I was playing football and was kind of torn between soccer or football," he said. "I ended up choosing soccer and obviously I don't regret it."
He certainly knows how to score.
"Sebastian is one of a kind," King said. "He's awesome to play with even though we play on different parts of the field. He's got a different mentality than others. It's a cutthroat mentality that when he gets in the box he just wants to score. He had 35 goals on the season which is pretty crazy."
Naperville North coach Jim Konrad recognized Carranza's ability to see things at a different level than his peers.
"He reads the flow of the game perfectly and always puts himself in the spot to do the most damage to the opponent," he said. "His technical ability is off the charts as well so when he gets a chance it almost always results in someone pulling it out of the back of the net."
Thirty-five times this year alone -- one short of the school record.
THE ALL-AREA TEAM
Ashton Ajroja, Dundee-Crown, sr., MF/F
Luca Avendano, St. Charles East, sr., MF
*Sebastian Carranza, St. Charles East, sr., F
Tom Coughlin, Crystal Lake South, sr., D
Michael DePasquale, St. Charles North, sr., D
Adrian Diaz, Larkin, so., MF
Christian Diaz, Geneva, sr., F
Ryan Doherty, South Elgin, sr., MF
Carlos Garcia, West Aurora, sr., GK
Porsche Hayes, Huntley, sr., F
Connor King, St. Charles East, sr., D
Ethan Kornas, Huntley, sr., GK
Nick Lopez, Elgin, sr., D
Matt Lopez-Martinez, West Aurora, jr.,
Juan Martinez, Hampshire, so., F
Juan David Pacheco, Dundee-Crown, sr., MF
Alan Sanchez, Elgin, sr., D
Tomasz Slawek, Crystal Lake South, sr., MF
Nate Sowers, Marmion, sr., D
Hayden Vostal, Geneva, so., GK
* -- Denotes Captain
Juan Alva, Hampshire, sr., Lucas Bass, Kaneland, sr., Mason Blenner, St. Charles East, sr., Ty Brieger, St. Edward, sr., Mason Brockmeyer, St. Charles East, jr., Sean Cox, Bartlett, sr., Andrew Davison, Kaneland, jr., Michal Dejworek, Crystal Lake South, sr., Walter DelaPaz, St. Charles North, so., Isaac Espinosa, Elgin, sr., Trent Giansanti, Geneva, so., Casey Graham, St. Charles North sr., Zach Heitkemper, Huntley, jr., Jose Hernandez, Elgin, jr., Michael Incandela, Aurora Central, sr., Ryan Kahley, Batavia, sr., Harley Karner, Marmion, jr., Sam Kedzior, Cary Grove, sr., Gerardo Marquez, Hampshire, sr., Rocco Marzulo, South Elgin, sr., Frankie Mazziotta, Burlington Central, sr., Braeden McPheron, Geneva, sr., Eduardo Nava, Elgin, so., Barry O'Neill, Marmion, jr., Micah Overley, Huntley, jr., Chance Pickett, Huntley, sr., Thomas Rodriguez, Huntley, sr., Jonah Rominski, Aurora Christian, sr., Josh Ruiz, St. Charles East, sr., Deven Tinajero, Crystal Lake South, sr., Shotaro Seto, Jacobs, sr., Nathan Siers, Westminster Christian, jr., Aaron Taboada, Streamwood, so., Robert Wilson, St. Edward, sr., Ruben Zarate, Jacobs, sr.