Marvin Ridge soccer player Green named conference player of the year

Marvin Ridge senior Hayden Green was recently named the Southern Carolina Conference boys soccer Player of the Year.

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Marvin Ridge forward Hayden Green was recently named the Southern Carolina Conference boys soccer player of the year after a stellar senior season with the Mavericks.

Green scored 21 goals and had 17 assists to help lead Marvin Ridge to the semifinals of the Class 3A Boys’ State Soccer Tournament. Marvin Ridge finished the season with a 20-4-1 record after falling to Asheville A.C. Reynolds 0-0 (5-4 Shootout) in the semifinals. They were 13-1 while winning the SCC Championship.

Green is joined on the SCC All-Conference Team by teammates Matthew Ranshaw, Matthew Winesette and Dimitri Lavin. All three players are also seniors.

“Hayden had a really good year,” said Marvin Ridge head soccer coach Jason Zak. “Hayden is a great leader and he is just a great kid on and off the field.”

Green excels best as an attacking center midfielder but the senior was bumped up to forward after another Mavericks player went down with a season-ending injury.

Green finished his career at Marvin Ridge with 34 goals and 23 assists.

“I had to push him up, and he wanted to play up top,” Zak said. “He is like a point guard in basketball, you want him handling the ball. I wanted him attacking. Hayden is balanced and he is a creator. If he gets a goal, he gets a goal. If he gets an assist, he gets an assist. He is the type of kid that is looking to make things happen.”

Zak said the Mavericks’ senior class this past season was special. Winesette finished the season with 17 goals, including four in a win against Parkwood High School. Lavin had six goals and 10 assists last season while Ranshaw had two goals.

“It’s going to be hard to replace those guys,” Zak said. “We have graduated a lot of studs in the past and done just fine. We shouldn’t be a program that rebuilds, we should be a program that reloads. I have a good jayvee program. I think we will be strong next year.”

Marvin Ridge posted four shutouts while moving to the Class 3A semifinals. The Mavericks and A.C. Reynolds were tied 0-0 after regulation and overtime in the semifinals but A.C. Reynolds won the shootout 5-4 to advance to the championship game.

“We had a few injuries, and unfortunately we couldn’t make it back to the final game,” Zak said.

One of the top returning players Zak will be counting on next season is freshman keeper Matt Semcesen, who posted 11 shutouts this past season in goal.

“He is a stud,” Zak said. “You wouldn’t think he is a freshman because he didn’t play like a freshman.”

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at