John Abercrombie has developed on the field since starting for the Mountain Pointe boys soccer program, but his biggest change might be thanks to his time with the football program.

The Pride junior had the kickoff duties and took over the place kicking job near the end of the season for the football team that won its first state title.

The experience of playing at high level every time they took the field had an impact on Abercrombie that he hopes to bring to the soccer program.

“It’s the mentality of not wanting to lose,” he said. “We won every single game and we dominated. I feel like it’s the mentality you have to bring to every game and I want it to help our soccer program, too.”

The Pride came out of the winter break playing well after winning the Maroon Bracket at the Arizona Soccer Showcase. They went 6-0 and finished it off with a 3-2 win on penalty kicks over Copper Canyon after the match was tied at 1 after regulation.

“We still have a long way to go as we are struggling with consistency,” Pride coach Bryan Sabato said. “We played six games this week and I am not entirely sure we played a full 80 minutes, but on the flip side of it we are finding ways to win games we are not playing our best in.

“We are finding a way to get a good result and you have to happy about that.”

The Pride split its first four power ranking matches and return to regular season action on Tuesday at Westwood and then host Desert Vista on Thursday.

If Mountain Pointe (8-5) is going to get to the postseason it might come down to Abercrombie, who scored the lone goal against Copper Canyon, being more assertive.

“When John chooses to be, he is one of the most dynamic players on the field,” Sabato said of his junior midfielder. “It’s like everybody else as we are trying to get him to do it over 80 minutes and not little bits and pieces.

“When he is on he is dangerous.”

Abercrombie, who has eight goals on the season, believes he has matured and has a different approach to the game than previous years.

“It’s about maturity,” he said. “I know my freshman year I just wanted to come out and score goals. Now it is about the team. I want to go to the playoffs and go as far as we can this year.”

He knows what he is called upon to do might be different each match depending on whatever opportunities the opposition presents.

“I usually work out wide and make the passes,” he said. “I’ve been trying to score more. I’m going to do whatever the team gives us and helps out team the most.”

Sabato, who is in his 10th year at Mountain Pointe, believes Abercrombie is just scratching the surface of the player he truly become.

“He’s a different player from last year and he has the potential to be something special,” Sabato said. “It comes down to what he chooses to do with that potential.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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