Co-Captain Dylan Mott ’15 inched closer toward breaking the school record of 47 career goals with a hat trick in Andover Boys Soccer’s victory against Tilton last Saturday. After adding another goal against Milton on Wednesday, Mott is five goals away from breaking the record.
Andover opened the first half against Tilton with intensity. The back line shut down Tilton attackers, while Andover’s offense aggressively pushed forward.
“We were connecting passes and looking really good and really fluid as a team,” said Peter Heckendorn ’17.
Mott opened the first half with two goals, and Alex Dziadosz ’16 followed up with a goal of his own. Mott then put away Andover’s fourth and final goal.
The team’s commanding lead came back to haunt Andover in the the last 20 minutes of the game.
“I think we got a little complacent. We thought the game was already in the bag. We stopped working hard and doing the things that got us in the lead in the first place,” added Heckendorn.
Tilton came back and scored three quick goals, catching Andover off guard. In the end, Andover defenders were able to fend off Tilton offense before being saved by the final whistle.
Mott’s three goals made the difference between a loss and a win for the team. “He is doing what he knows how to do: score goals. He’s just the best at it,” said center-back Andy Manos ’16.
Later in the week on Wednesday, Andover faced an undefeated Milton team and came out with a nail biting 1-1 tie thanks to another goal from Mott.
With a flick over his and his defender’s heads, Mott then weaved through two more defenders en route to the goal. Accelerating as he approached the Milton goalie, the leading goal scorer’s cheeky chip over the goalie’s head landed in the back of the net.
A strong defensive line complemented the offensive talent as Andover held off Milton’s three talented strikers with ease, only allowing the one goal to be scored.
“Manos and Culver Duquette [’15] did a phenomenal job of reading the play and adjusting to the offensive tactics of Milton,” said goalie Ryan Fischer ’16 on the team’s center backs.
Fischer directed the backline, anticipating crucial and dangerous plays. Co-Captain Josh Murphy ’15, Ben Del Vecchio ’15 and Ben Reinisch ’15 closed off the wingers and shut down the majority of Milton’s offense.
Although Andover’s defense took care of most of Milton’s attack, Fischer’s ability was put to the test as he faced powerful and accurate shots from Milton. Save after save kept Andover in the game.
The draw was in jeopardy on the last play of the game as a Milton striker dribbled straight at Fischer. Forced to come off his goal line, Fischer ran out, dove for the ball and blocked the shot. His fearless play kept the score at 1-1 and secured a tie for Andover.
Overall, Andover was pleased with its strong defensive performance and intensity against a competitive team like Milton.
“I think we are going to be a very hard team to beat in the weeks ahead. It all starts with confidence, and right now our team has that. That’s what makes us so good,” said Brandon Girard ’16.
Girard, who scored five goals in Andover’s first two games and is recovering from injury, will return to the field in Andover Boys Soccer’s game against Northfield Mount Hermon on Saturday.