Century mark

BELLEVILLE – It took just seven minutes for Andrew Miller to become the first player in Belleville Mennonite history to score 100 career goals.

He led his team past Grace Prep with a 7-1 win on Tuesday in a boys soccer game.

It didn’t take long for Miller to strike for the record-setting goal. He slid past a defender and scored in the right corner of the net past drawn out Grace Prep goalie Jeremy Thompson.

“It was crazy important to get it out of the way,” Miller said. “I’ve been trying to get No. 100 since the start of the season when I had 92. I got it and it was a burden off my shoulders. It was awesome.”

Miller added three more goals, giving him four on the day and 103 in his career.

“His work ethic and his capability to finish goals is something that we haven’t ever experienced here at BMS before,” Belleville Mennonite coach Brian Renno said. “How he composes himself with the ball at his feet when he’s inside the 18 is something that we’ve never had before. The credit goes to some of his teammates for setting him up at his feet.”

Belleville Mennonite goalkeeper Sammy Kauffman dove and snared an early Grace Prep shot from inside the box to retain the 1-0 lead.

“Sammy did a great job of anticipating and making great decisions off his line,” Renno said. “When he’s making good decisions it results in what we had today, giving up only one goal.”

Two minutes later, Austin Byler struck for Belleville Mennonite, giving the Thunder a 2-0 lead in the 21st minute when he got past a Grace Prep defender and dribbled in and deposited the ball behind Thompson.

Byler then found Miller, who put his shot in the right corner of the net again with 22:31 left in the half to give the Thunder a three-goal first half advantage. He added his third on the day in the 42nd minute when Noah Anders found him for the score.

After Anders scored, Grace Prep got on the board when Peter Tittman hit a line drive past a jumping Kauffman to make it 5-1. Miller answered when he checked back in with his most impressive goal of the day.

He took a pass from Sam Morgan and kicked the ball over the defenders head and strolled in for his four goal of the afternoon.

“That was definitely the best (goal of the day),” Miller said. “I took a really bad first touch and saw the kid was coming on my right shoulder. I knew I was faster than him. I saw the kid and got it over his shoulder and once I got past him, I knew he was going to score.”

Miller added an assist on Noah Anders’ goal to end the afternoon with five points.

The Belleville Mennonite goalkeeper, Sammy Kauffman, stopped five shots on the day, providing the defense to go with Miller’s offense.

Kauffman reflected on his teammate and friend’s accomplishment.

“It means a lot to the team,” Kauffman said. “There are six seniors on the team. We’ve been playing together since sixth grade. To play up through together like that, for one of our friends to get an accomplishment like that, it’s really a big deal. It’s really impressive.”

Belleville Mennonite improved to 3-3-1 on the season and will return to action on Thursday when it travels to Forbes Road.