MONMOUTH — Monmouth Academy boys’ soccer coach Joe Fletcher has no problem watching junior striker Avery Pomerleau try to break his own son’s school record for goals in a single season.

Pomerleau, who scored his 34th goal of the season Saturday in the 2-1 victory over North Yarmouth Academy in the Class C South semifinals, is two goals from breaking Kyle Fletcher’s mark, set in 2012, also as a junior.

“They have a lot in common,” Joe Fletcher said. “They both have played a lot of soccer, skilled soccer, and both have that burning desire to score. It’s evident. He’s at 34 goals this year and Avery is hard on himself and is very determined. I see a lot of similarities between Kyle and Avery.”

Kyle also holds the career record for goals with 91, and owns the record for assists with 45.

Another reason why the elder Fletcher wants to see Pomerleau break the single-season mark is because he has carried the load offensively for the Mustangs this season, scoring nearly 60 percent of the team’s goals.

Pomerleau isn’t looking at the record, though. Not yet, at least.

He just wants to help the team get by its Mountain Valley Conference rival Lisbon Greyhounds in the Class C South regional championship game on Wednesday.

“My goal is to put it into the net for the team, mostly because our goal is the state championship,” Pomerleau said. “We are one game away, the scoring record is second in my mind, not the main goal. The main goal is get the state championship for Monmouth.”

The Mustangs have won two state championships, back-to-back Class D titles in 1999 and 2000.

Pomerleau has played a lot of soccer in 2016. By his estimation, Saturday’s game was his 45th of the year between high school and his club team, Central Maine United. He said spending that much time on the pitch has helped him grow as a player.

“He got an evaluation by a top pro scout,” Mike Pomerleau, Avery’s father and Monmouth’s assistant coach, said. “He told him this is where you need to be if you want to go Division III, Division II and Division I. (He told him), ‘You need to get better with the ball, quicker, faster and stronger.’

“When he looked at that review, if he wants to play Division I or II, he needs to get quicker and stronger. At high school, he may be one of the better players, but when you get to the next level, it’s never enough, you need to keep pushing.”

Fletcher said Avery has a good understanding of what he’s going to do before the ball gets onto his foot. The team also does a lot of conditioning work.

Mike, who graduated from Lewiston High School in 1987, knows well what it takes to get to that proverbial “next level.” After playing soccer and hockey at Lewiston, he played for the North Iowa Huskies of the United States Hockey League, the nation’s top junior hockey league, from 1987-89.

Mike tells his son he needs to play at 100 percent at all times.

Like his father, Avery is multi-sport standout, also playing hockey and baseball. Soccer became his passion in his middle school years, and playing varsity soccer his freshman year helped his confidence.

“When he got into high school, he figured out, ‘Hey I can play at this level,'” Mike Pomerleau said. “He knew the age (of the players), they were a little bit bigger, stronger, quicker. He always had the speed and the ball skills, he just needed to work. Work his teammates into it and work his game around it.”

When Avery joined the Mustangs, Fletcher told him success is not all about natural talent.

“When I first met Avery, we talked and talked about having a gritty attitude,” Fletcher said. “He does have that. He has the attitude, I want to score and I am going to score. He really hard on himself when he doesn’t, when he’s not successful. But he has had a lot of success.”

He does wear his heart on his sleeve sometimes, and it’s typically his teammates — and especially his father — who will calm him down.

“He always keeps me grounded when I get hot-headed sometimes,” Avery Pomerleau said. “Even at an young age, he brought me to practice for every sport. He has helped me to have that competitive attitude to win every game and compete as hard as you can every time.”

Mike gets on him the most, he said, because he knows what his son is capable of.

Avery now hopes his skills, grit and determination can help his team to win two more games this season.

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