With 266 combined goals, Gordon, Mueller share one

Records were meant to be broken, not ignored. Despite being on the door step of a major milestone, Myrtle Beach High senior Tristan Gordon has been about as low-key as a soccer standout can be.

“I haven’t focused much on the record,” said Gordon, who is on target to set the all-time girls’ goal-scoring record for Horry County Schools, “but more on enjoying my senior year and the playoffs.”

The diminutive, speedy striker swings a strong foot for the No. 3-ranked Lady Seahawks, finding the back of the net 29 times this season to bring her career mark to 132. She is only two goals from tying the record, three from breaking it.

Adding to the drama is the fact that her coach, Blair Monroe Mueller, owns the long-standing record. When she was setting the mark at her alma mater, North Myrtle Beach, in the spring of 2005, Gordon was just starting to kick around the soccer ball.

“That was a long time ago,” said Mueller, who went on to set Coastal Carolina’s all-time goal record before going into coaching. “I was fast, but I don’t think I was ever as fast as Tristan is. The way she plays the game and her soccer knowledge, it’s been fun to watch her for four years.”

The feeling is mutual for Gordon, who said she is honored to be in the same company with her coach. “It’s pretty cool because I’ve always looked up to her because of all her accomplishments as a soccer player.”

For all of Gordon’s talents, Monroe said she is perhaps most impressed with her unselfishness. Rather than rolling up goals against lesser competition, Gordon spends many of those games cheering for her teammates from the sidelines, or practicing her passes to players who rarely get to score. She has 42 career assists.

“In a game the other night she had the opportunity to take a free kick and she said ‘No, let somebody else take it.’ If she was someone looking for goals, she would have taken it, but she really wants her teammates to get their chances,” Mueller said.

“She’s really humble. A lot of times she will score a goal and you have to say ‘Smile, Tristan, it’s OK to be happy. You did something good.’ It’s more about wins than goals for her. I think she will be happy just to have a successful senior year.”

For Gordon, that means one thing – a state championship. She has helped the Lady Seahawks advance as far as the Lower State Finals during her career, and she hopes to save the best showing for last – with or without the record.

“I think we have always had good teams at Myrtle Beach but this year our team seems to be especially talented,” Gordon said. “I think if we play well together as a team it’s definitely doable.”

Gordon hopes to put all the talk of individual records aside so the focus can turn to a deep playoff run. Ironically, she could set the record at home Thursday night against her coach’s alma mater, North Myrtle Beach. If not, the Lady Seahawks host Socastee on Monday.

Photo by Janet Morgan/myhorrynews

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