Fall Athlete of the Term: Captain Mike DiFronzo ’10

As a two-year captain for Andover Boys Soccer, Mike DiFronzo ’11 is not only the undeniable leader of his team, but he is also the undeniable choice for The Phillipian’s Fall Athlete of the Term. DiFronzo led Andover Soccer to a playoff spot with a record of 12-2-3 this fall. Andover defeated Loomis in the quarterfinals, however, fell to NMH in the semifinals. “My favorite moment this season was beating Loomis in the quarterfinal match on Smoyer Field,” DiFronzo said. Loomis has been one of our biggest rivals during my Andover career, so it felt sweet to knock them out of the tournament in my last year playing. It was also my last game on Smoyer Field, so I’m glad my last memory of playing on it will be of a win.” Never seen as a flashy player, DiFronzo consistently plays with toughness and tenacity in the center midfield. “Mike is a very skilled player, controlling the game with his speed, aggressiveness, and awareness,” two year teammate Jack McGeachie ’13 said. “One of Mike’s most impressive skills is his ability to consistently win headers and fifty-fifties throughout the game.” DiFronzo asserted himself on both ends of the field this year, playing spectacular defense while also scoring five goals and assisting five more. Two of Difronzo’s most spectacular goals of the year include a beautiful goal off of a header against Loomis, as well as a hard strike from the top of the box for a goal against Tabor. “It’s really not about the stats for me,” DiFronzo said. “Our best games of the season were never because of individual performances, but because the team put everything together: energy, defense, communication, effort, and a strong attack.” A four year starter on Andover Soccer, DiFronzo’s skills have improved tremendously over the past four seasons, leading to a great year this year. With his knowledge of the game and for the center midfield position, DiFronzo has developed himself into one of Andover’s biggest impact players. With a fundamentally sound skill-set, DiFronzo seldom turns over the ball, and when he does, always fights to get it back. Arguably one of DiFronzo’s best qualities is his prominent leadership. DiFronzo has been the vocal leader of Andover Soccer for the past two years, and consistently leads by example, putting forth his best effort in every game and every practice and from Team Prep Camp through the playoffs. “Coming in as a freshman last year, Mike taught me a lot about how to play in the center of the midfield,” McGeachie said. “As a small 9th grader, he showed me that size didn’t matter if you worked hard and pushed yourself. Mike has become a great role model for me, as well as a close friend.” DiFronzo will always be remembered as a truly amazing player for Andover Soccer. “I want to be remembered as the guy who put his work boots on every time he touched the field, practice or game,” DiFronzo said. “The guy who is willing to get stuck in on any opponent and the guy who never gives up. I hope I am remembered especially for my passion and determination and for my love of the team.”