Half of the spectator section facing the Varsity Soccer field at Phillips Exeter Academy was silent as Dylan Mott ’15 shouted and jumped wildly with pride. This was in stark contrast to the other half of the bleachers—the Andover section—which was in utter pandemonium as Mott celebrated his third goal of the game, a chip shot over the goalkeeper.
Mott’s goal put Andover on top of Exeter 3-1 during the 2013 Andover/Exeter contests. Mott had scored all three of Andover’s goals at that point in the game, and it was only the 19th minute. Mott would go on to score a fourth goal and assist Nick DiStefano ’14 for a five-point performance as Andover routed Exeter 6-2.
Now a Co-Captain and a four-year Varsity player, Mott has 34 career goals in 58 games. Two games into his final season, he’s just nine goals away from breaking the all-time Andover record of 43 career goals, set by Garnet Hathaway in 2010.
Mott has grown up and lived in New York City for most of his life. He started playing soccer at age five with his older brother and mother. His father, Brad Mott, was an all-American forward at New York University during the 1981 season.
“Soccer was always something I was good at growing up, and as I got older I figured, ‘Why not stick with what you know?’” said Mott.
Though he grew up as a center-back, he was quickly switched to playing forward in middle school, as his goal scoring prowess was difficult to ignore. In his first season as a young forward, Mott scored so many times that the coaches of other teams complained, and Mott was subsequently forced back toward the midfield to make games fair.
When he arrived at Andover in the fall of 2011, the first thing that struck Mott — who was just 13 years old at the time — was the collective physical size of the team.
“It was intimidating; there were [Post-Graduates] who were 19 with full beards and barrel chests, and here I was trying to compete with them. I was used to being the biggest kid on the field with other kids my age, and now that was flipped,” said Mott.
He would go on to make the team as a forward and win the Most Improved Player of the Year Award in his Junior campaign.
Mott’s combination of speed and power has made him one of the best players in Massachusetts. In his third season, Mott scored 17 goals and recorded 12 assists on his way to the all-state team.
Despite his success, Mott is still one of the smaller players on the team at just 5’10” and 170 pounds.
“One thing my teammates love to say is that even though I’m not that big, I never get bodied off the ball, and I hold my own,” said Mott.
In the winter and spring, Mott also plays for the New England Revolution’s U18 team, a youth affiliate of the New England-based Major League Soccer (MLS) club. Two players from his Revolution team were promoted to the MLS last year.
“If I work hard at it, I think I’ve got a shot,” says Mott. “I’ve always wanted to be in the video game FIFA, and being in the MLS will get me there.”
This past summer, Mott committed to play soccer at the Columbia University. He was weighing offers from some of the best soccer schools in the country, including Notre Dame, but chose to stay close to home. Mott said, “I’m just going back home. Being away from home at Andover was kind of tough for everybody, and Columbia is right back in the city.”
This year, with Mott leading the team, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind as to what the goal of the team is: “Be the best and win a championship,” said Mott. The farthest the team has advanced during his Andover career was to the finals his Junior year.
“Dylan is just at that level where he is good enough to single-handedly make our team a serious contender,” said midfielder and teammate Nick Swenson ’15.
Mott says proudly, “One thing that coach has always told us and I think that is a motto we now live by is 2+2=5. Our team as a whole is always going to be greater than the sum of our parts.”
In two games this season, Mott has gotten off to a fast start, scoring once in each of the games, inching closer to the scoring record. With two statement wins over St. Paul’s and Brooks, outscoring the two opponents by a 9-2 margin, Andover is 2-0, and the team appears to be a playoff contender with a chance to for Mott to conclude his final season with a championship.