Post-Graduate (PG) goalkeeper Matt Schoen ’16 has been an integral part of Andover Boys Hockey’s success this season in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) league. Dictating the flow of the game from behind the defensive line, Schoen has contributed 336 saves in just four weeks, accumulating a stellar save percentage of .908.
Head Coach Paul Tortorella wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “He is the league leader in saves and yet has played three less games than the next guy. He keeps us in games and [always gives] us a chance to win.”
Jeff Lee ’16 said, “Matt’s been a great contributor for the team. It’s hard for a goalie to come into a new school and get his first start after being with the team for less than 48 hours, but he came out strong and has been consistent for the first part of the season. He’s been around the game for a while and always gives defensive tips in between periods to help us keep up with our opponents.”
Much of Schoen’s success as a goalkeeper stems from his 15 years of experience competing in his hometown of Tolland, CT.
Schoen said, “I skated for the first time when I was four. I have a brother who is seven years older than me, so I was kind of born into it. I started playing goalie when I was nine, and it’s been great ever since.”
A natural leader both on and off the ice, Schoen possesses an infectious energy, constantly motivating his teammates to play their hardest and stay positive no matter what. Throughout each game, he utilizes his unique position as goalie to help his teammates pinpoint their weaknesses.
Schoen said, “Being in the crease, you get to see all the ice and get to see the game from a different angle from everyone else, so in the locker room after periods I just tell the guys what I’m seeing and what I think we can correct. I just try to help as many people as possible, and I would say staying positive is the biggest thing for us.
Captain Payton Jancsy ’16 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “In the locker room, he is a tremendous leader. He stays level-headed no matter the score. In short, he is a brick wall.”
While goalkeeper is a physically demanding position, it also requires mental concentration and skill – an area where Schoen shines.
Schoen said, “I would say my mentality on the ice is to just stop the puck. If you simplify the game, it really becomes easier, so if I try to do too many things at once I get ahead of myself and make mistakes.”
Coach Tortorella said, “[Matt’s] best quality is his ability to focus on the game. His only concern is the game itself. He is never distracted by anything surrounding the game.”
Unfortunately, Schoen’s hot start to the season was hampered by a hamstring injury this past week. His rapid recovery will be crucial, as he has proved himself to be indispensable to Andover’s success.
Jack Cusack ’18 said, “Matt has brought a lot to the team for a first year guy. He’s a great leader on and off the ice. He has also, in my mind, been the MVP of our team so far this season. He has stood on his head and kept us in every game. We have been outshot multiple times, and he has done a great job of stepping up.”
Jancsy said, “Matt has been playing outstanding. He has kept us in every game, and that is all you can ask for. Every night, he comes ready to play and gives us the chance to win.”
Coach Tortorella said, “You can’t, and shouldn’t, ask more than that from a goalie. That’s his job. He knows what his job is. And he does his job.”