Daily Journal Sports File
There aren’t many girls’ soccer programs in San Mateo County with a future brighter than Crystal Springs Uplands School’s.
With only three seniors and no juniors on this year’s varsity squad, sure the Gryphons have hit a bump in the road here and there, but, with eight freshmen and three sophomores, CSUS’ light at the end of the tunnel is a reaching exploding star status.
And Megan Duncanson is a huge reason why.
“She’s absolutely the epitome of what a coach wants in a striker,” said CSUS head coach Mike Flynn, who’s seen a fair share of great scorers in his time on the Peninsula. “She’s got tremendous speed. It’s something you can’t teach when someone has that kind of speed. That, coupled with the fact that she just has a knack for the goal. She’s very relentless.”
Duncanson is the face of the latest wave of young talent to call Crystal Springs home. Always a hot bed for great offensive talent, Duncanson has taken the Gryphon planet by storm in 2014 — she’s the team’s second-leading scorer behind arguably one of the best CSUS players of all time in Natasha Thornton-Clark. And when Duncanson’s career is all said and done, there is no reason to believe, with her 37 points this season, that she won’t be part of that conversation as well.
“If she’s got the ball, she’s very difficult to knock off,” Flynn said. “She’s strong on the ball. And you put that with speed and a knack for scoring and fact that we kind of give her free rein — I always use the Wayne Gretzky phrase, ‘you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.’ You get an opportunity, take it. I’m not going to complain. And she’s bought into it. It’s coming to fruition for her.”
No week on the CSUS schedule exemplified what Duncanson is capable of than last’s when the freshman scored the first hat trick of her career in a 5-0 win over Eastside Prep. She then followed that with a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win over Mercy-Burlingame.
For her efforts, Duncanson is the Daily Journal Athlete of the Week.
Flynn said that in just 15 games this season, Duncanson has proven herself to be the kind of player he hated to play against during his playing days as a defender.
“I hated playing against a player like this because she’s just relentless. They’re going to make you pay,” Flynn said. “If they lose the ball and you have it, she’s going to knock you down, she’s going to let you know to get rid of the ball, don’t hold it for more than two seconds because I’m coming after it, I’m going to get it. And she quite often stripes the defender of the ball.”
It’s Duncanson’s approach to defense as her best offense that has been her “bread and butter,” according to Flynn. The numbers back his statement as Duncanson is second on the team with 5.2 steals per game. “It’s the old Brazilian way of playing — where the ball is your most prized possession. She’s want it back. You’re not taking that from me,” Flynn said.
CSUS may be young, but if there’s one thing Duncanson and the rest of the her squad has proven, it’s that they’re hunger for success is definite senior-esque.
“We’re looking forward to the future at Crystal Springs,” Flynn said. “The future is very, very bright for Crystal.”