Moultonborough Academy senior forward Tristan Price (10, holding the ball) is surrounded by head coach Eric Porusta and his teammates after scoring his 80th career goal and setting the school's all-time record in a win over Portsmouth Christian last week. Price eclipsed the mark set by Tom Maggio in 2006 after scoring four times in the victory. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
October 13, 2014MOULTONBOROUGH – With four goals in the first half, Moultonborough Academy senior forward Tristan Price made history last week. It was just the first step in what he hopes will be a season to remember however.
Price's four goals made him the proud new owner of the MA all-time goal scoring record, as he eclipsed the old mark set back in 2006 by Tom Maggio with 79. The offensive onslaught was more than enough to lead the Panthers past an overmatched Portsmouth Christian Academy side, 10-0, in Division IV action on Oct. 8.
"It's a big milestone," admitted Price, who is a four-year varsity player. "Since my freshman year I've looked forward to a chance to do this and slowly it became a reality."
With one big milestone behind him though, Price and the Panthers, which improved to 11-0 with the win and remained atop the D-IV standings, have their eyes firmly focused on another big prize.
"This has always been secondary," explained Price. "Winning the first state championship in school history is the main goal and now we can just worry about winning that title. As coach would say, it's a monkey off my back, and now it's time to focus."
MA third-year head coach Eric Porusta said he knew that reaching the scoring record would be in Price's sights since taking over the program in 2012.
"First and foremost he's a great player," said Porusta. "He just has a nose for it – he's driven to score and he's hard to shut off. He's definitely the kind of kid you want on your team. You don't want to have to play against him."
Price's teammates looked to get him the ball early and often against PCA, as he entered the contest with 76 career goals. His first tally didn't take long, as forward partner Andrew Porusta corralled a long ball from defender Aidan Conn and laid it off to Price for an easy goal just four minutes into the first half and a 1-0 lead.
Price would score two more goals in the next 10 minutes, one coming when he booted in his own corner kick, and the other coming on a feed from Conn to make it 3-0.
After Riley Swedberg and Conn scored goals (both on assists from Price), John McClay made it 6-0 for the home team in the 32nd minute. That set the stage for the record-breaker, as Price found the back of the net in the 35th minute of play to give his team a 7-0 lead. Play was halted to present the senior with the game ball and honor the accomplishment.
"We were trying to get it out of the way early... my goal was just not to miss any easy chances," said Price.
Playing with the high-scoring Andrew Porusta up front has made the pair a lethal combination for three years, and the win over PCA was no different as they combined for seven of the team's 10 goals.
"It's really fun playing up top with Andrew," said Price. "Plus with the defense that we have (just three goals allowed in the first 11 games), we're able to play free and easy up there. Great chemistry working with him."
Price's teammates were quick to congratulate him after scoring the record-breaking tally.
"His teammates were behind him," began coach Porusta. "He knows that without them, he wouldn't get the number of chances to score that he does. I think overall (Price) is glad to have (the record) but he also knows all the guys also want something else out of this year."
The win was just a continuance of the Panthers' dominance this season, as the 10 goals pushed the team to outscoring opponents this season by a whopping 75-3 margin entering the next game against another overmatched opponent in Nute. This week was slated to be an important one for MA, with games against top D-IV sides in Sunapee and Derryfield, the two finalists from last year's tournament.
"With the team we have this year, if we don't finish on top at the end of the regular season going into the playoffs then it's on us I think," admitted Porusta. "It's a nice feeling to be in that position but also a dangerous feeling keeping everyone focused and moving straight ahead."