DEPUE — “Even keeled.” “Good student.” “Perfect friend.” Those are some of the descriptions of DePue Junior Carlos Acosta.
But when he gets on the soccer pitch, his demeanor changes completely.
“In school he’s even keeled, but on the soccer field he’s a whole different player,” DePue coach Tim Stevens. “Our score keeper, under the ‘how it was scored’ column, like’s to put ‘beast move,’ because as a soccer player he’s an animal. He goes after the ball with high intensity and it really takes two, three people to stop him.”
Acosta was an easy choice as the BCR Player of the Year, scoring 31 goals and being the centerpiece of an improving Little Giants team. In fact, he was seriously considered for the honor last year when he also scored 31 goals. Acosta’s 83 career goals are easily the most in school history.
Even though he paced the team with his scoring, Acosta credits his success to his teammates. When asked to name a player or two who were key in his success, he proceeded to name every person on the team, beginning with the defense, then listing the midfield before praising his fellow forwards.
Acosta has been playing soccer as long as he can remember, growing up what he describes as a very small town in Mexico. It was his uncle who has been the biggest and most consistent influence in his soccer development.
“Ever since I started playing, the biggest influence on my soccer has been my uncle Jose Antonio Mejia,” Acosta said. “He has been here beside me the whole time. He taught me everything from kicking the ball to stopping it, to doing tricks; anything, he taught me how to do it.”
Homecoming stands out as one of Carlos’ high points of the season.
“The most memorable highlight for me would probably be against Monmouth – our homecoming game,” he said. “We had a tough time – we had four games that we hadn’t won before that. But our players were back in their regular positions. Our defense was playing really tight. Our midfielders were keeping the ball in possession and giving me perfect passes to put the ball in the net.”
Acosta had four goals in that game. He also cites the game against Earlville and the regional double overtime game against Princeton as highlights, even though both of them ended up as losses.
“His most memorable goal of the years is a no brainer,” said Stevens. “His goal in the regional game against Princeton with 20.8 seconds left in [the first] overtime was amazing. He’s driving down, seeing the clock, hearing everyone yell at him and he was still able to net it. That’s a lot of pressure!”
A good student, carrying a 3.7 GPA, Acosta hopes to go on to play at college and study criminal justice. But he has one more season at DePue to show how far he can carry the Little Giants.
Next year he hopes that the Little Giants can capture a regional title and that he can score more than he has the last two years. Those goals are within reach. Even though DePue will see five seniors graduate, the nucleus of the team is still intact. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Acosta could push for 120 career goals and help the Little Giants sneak past opponents for a title. If that happens, there’s a good chance his name will headline this article again next fall.