Meyer twins impact both ends of pitch
Hinsdale, 9/3/12 Hinsdale Central's Christian Meyer centers the ball during their match against Downers Grove North at Hinsdale Central September 3, 2012. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 26, 2012 6:40AM
CHICAGO — With the soccer state tournament in full bloom, every game is a potential heartbreak.
The fifth seed of the loaded Class 3A Argo sectional, Hinsdale Central survived the gauntlet that caught two top seeds — defending state champion Morton and Pepsi Showdown winner Lyons — in the regional rounds.
Fortunately for the Red Devils, their struggles came early this season during an 0-2-2 start. Ever since, they have been on a roll, going undefeated in the brutally tough West Suburban Silver in winning 18 of their final 20 games.
They survived St. Ignatius 3-2 in double-overtime to win the regional and advance to sectional semifinal against conference rival Oak Park-River Forest, which stunned Morton in their regional final.
Two centerpieces of their success have the same name, identical twin brothers Christian and Mitchell Meyer.
Christian Meyer is a junior forward who leads the team with 10 goals and 12 assists. His ascendancy as the team’s playmaker has been crucial to their success.
“After we struggled, coach (Michael) Wiggins made some changes in the formations,” Christian Meyer said.
“In the past, I haven’t really played as an attacking player, and the position was kind of new, so I had growing pains. It took me a few games to get my first goal.”
Meyer scored two goals in the team’s watershed game, a 3-2 victory over Lyons that propelled them to elite status.
They have been riding that wave ever since. Christian Meyer’s brother Mitchell Meyer has also been crucial to the rapid improvement. Mitchell Meyer shares the keeper responsibilities with Farley Pranger. (Their older brother William Meyer was a senior on last year’s team.)
In the Red Devils’ 1-0 victory over Public League city champion Kelly Oct. 17, Christian Meyer scored the game-winner and Mitchell Meyer preserved the victory with a spectacular deflection in the 78th minute.
“He’s a solid goalkeeper,” Christian Meyer said of his brother. “He’s made a bunch of really good saves in the second half. Goalkeeping is a big part of our game.”
The brothers played with the Oak Brook-based Eclipse Select program last summer, and Christian Meyer credited that experience with his improvement.
“I’m pretty good to the end line,” he said. “I’m on the ball and I make pretty good decisions.”
For Mitchell Meyer, his role is one of observer who gets thrown into the middle of games.
“It’s a little different,” Mitchell Meyer said, “coming in the middle, but I’ve gotten used to it. Before the game, I get a pretty good warm-up in, so I feel confident when I go in.”
Twins are naturally grouped together, and the two brothers play off their own strengths with Christian’s scoring prowess balanced against his brother Mitchell’s intuitive, quick-reflexes in the goal.
The brothers are not big, just under 5-10, but their success underlines the great appeal of soccer that skill trumps size.
“Neither of us is the most physically intimating,” Mitchell Meyer said, “but we watch a lot of video, and I think we know the game pretty well.
“We worked hard over the summer, working the turf field, just practicing to get better. There’s more to our game than just the physical.”