It was a tough game, a frustrating one for a young team. Phillips Exeter Academy had traveled down to Milton Academy for its 2018 regular-season opener, and the last minutes of a 4-0 defeat were ticking away.
Tyler Swanbeck, a box-to-box midfielder, had dropped into center back, a move by head coach AJ Cosgrove designed to stop the bleeding. It wasn’t where the postgraduate, who had just won back-to-back Class C titles at Hebron Academy under the guidance of his father, Kurt, wanted to play.
So when a Milton player went down injured in the match’s waning moments, it would have been understandable if the 18-year-old from Hebron, Maine, watched from afar. Emotions run high, and a persistent, cold drizzle had dampened the afternoon even further. But instincts kicked in for Swanbeck, the 2017-18 United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-America Player of the Year.