Phillips Exeter boys' soccer captain Brian Hart scored the 45th goal of his career Wednesday against Tilton, breaking the school record which was set just four years ago by Eric Slingerland from Beverly, Mass.
The senior forward added two more in the game as he notched a hat trick in a 3-0 victory for the Big Red.
Remarkably, Hart accomplished this feat in only two seasons of play after the Cumberland, Maine, native transferred to Phillips Exeter from Brewster Academy heading into his junior year.
“Brian is a fantastic player and has been a real pleasure to coach,” said Phillips Exeter head coach A.J. Cosgrove.
“It has been an absolute honor to play alongside Brian these past two seasons,” said teammate Nick Weigel. “When I came to Exeter freshman year, I got to play with Eric Slingerland and never thought I'd see anyone come close to breaking the records he set.”
Hart helped lead his team to a 12-1 record this season and is also a standout in hockey where he is also a captain and was the third-leading scorer in New England last year netting 29 goals to go along with 32 assists for 61 total points.
“With the fear of kids thinking they should specialize on one particular thing, he’s really a throwback,” said Cosgrove.
Slingerland was a Boston Globe All-Scholastic in 2010 and now attends Harvard where he plays both soccer and lacrosse. He also previously held the Phillips Exeter record for goals in a season with 21, but Hart broke that with 22 last year and again bested that mark with 25 goals this season.
“We feel fortunate to have a kid as unselfish as Brian,” said Cosgrove. “He is the most prolific scorer in the New England Prep leagues this year.”
Hart is hoping to follow Slingerland’s footsteps and play for the Crimson. Until then he will continue to captain his team as they look to make a deep run into the New England playoffs.
“As a captain, Brian has been a great leader both on and off the field and is one of the nicest guys I have ever met,” said Weigel. “Athletes like Brian are extremely rare and I speak for everyone involved with Exeter soccer in saying that we all feel extremely grateful to have witnessed and played with such a special talent.”
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