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Dill aims for final flourish

Matteo Dill hopes to add a state title to what has already been an outstanding season for him at Vermont-based St Johnsbury Academy.

No 2 seeds St Johnsbury go up against top-ranked South Burlington High School in today's Division I Boys' Championship final at Burlington.

The two schools played to a 1-1 draw after extra double time in the previous meeting between them at St Johnsbury in September and go into today's final with identical 14-1-1 records.

“I am very excited to play them and go head to head in the final and hopefully come out with a win,” Dill told The Royal Gazette. “It's going to be a hard-fought game.”

South Burlington advanced to the final after beating fourth-seeded Burlington in Tuesday's other semi-final.

St Johnsbury made history by reaching the final after beating Champlain Valley 2-0 on Tuesday on their home turf, with Dill getting his name on the scoresheet.

Senior defender Ben Hammer gave the hosts the lead in the 32nd minute with a header from a corner. Dill then added an insurance goal thirteen minutes from the end of regulation time after tapping in a cross from close range.

“We made history by making the final, beating teams we have never beaten before and having the best record the school has had in football,” Dill, who recently received an Academic Excellence Award, said. “We ended [the regular season] as second seed just a half a point off the top seed [South Burlington], who we are playing in the final.”

The son of former North Village forward Sean Dill and grandson of former Warwick United and Southampton Rangers coach Rick Richardson has had the Midas touch in front of the uprights this term.

“Having over 16 goals to my name is way more than I had last year with only scoring four goals, so this has been the best season of my life thus far at the Academy,” Dill said.

Dill is among a trio of Bermudians in St Johnsbury's roster that also includes Sajan Harvey and Malik Joell.

“They do very well, Sajan especially, doing defence last season and then being brought up to the midfield scoring and assisting many goals,” Dill said. “He has been a great help on the flanks as well as Malik.”

Final flourish: Matteo Dill scores a goal for St Johnsbury Academy that put them on their way to the Vermont Division One title game (Photograph by Michael Beniash)

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Published November 04, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated November 04, 2017 at 12:31 am)

Dill aims for final flourish

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