Athletes find motivation in the weirdest places.

For some, it’s the chance to carry a team to victories. For others, it’s a perceived slight on the part of the opposition. For Elijah Allen, he found his motivation right in his own home.

The Mount View senior finished his high school career with 79 goals — one more than his father had during his playing days at the former Georges Valley High School in Thomaston — and led the Mustangs to their first regional championship in 39 years. With the final 29 of those goals coming this season, Allen is the Central Maine  Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

Mount View senior Elijah Allen, facing, celebrates with teammates after the Mustangs defeated George Stevens Academy in the Class C North title game this fall in Hampden. Morning Sentinel photo by Rich Abrahamson

“He started looking at and and said he’d had 78, so I thought, ‘Well, I have to beat my dad,’” Allen said of his father, Chris, who was a state champion in 1992.

Though he’d already been a standout for two years previously with Mount View, Allen was still viewed as something of a curiosity in Maine high school soccer. The Mustangs lost only one regular season game combined in 2017-18, but each of those campaigns ended with first-round playoff exits.

This year needed to be different.

“It was kind of weird for me,” Allen said. “It was always that we played in our region here and I always felt known and respected. But we’d go play other teams and I don’t know if it was the same. Overall, I felt that a little bit.”

Allen played like it.

Constantly drawing double- and triple-marking schemes to slow him down, Allen did not. The striker/central midfielder plays the game at a pace unmatched anywhere.

“He’s relentless,” Mount View coach Jeremy Von Oesen said. “He’s just such a unique player.”

He’s unique not only for his skill set and his ability to brush off defenders through sheer power and will, but also in the track he took to high school soccer stardom.

Allen lives in Palermo, where he has been home-schooled since the fifth grade. He’d looked into playing at other schools, but he said Mount View was the only one that welcomed him openly without requiring he attend the school to play soccer.

He also doesn’t play soccer year-round, eschewing the usual travel and premier level winter/spring programs many standout players make part of their yearly athletic lives.

“When I was 13 or so, I played for Seacoast United, and before that I’d played for Pen Bay because I didn’t have a (middle school) team,” Allen said. “But I didn’t want it to become my whole life.

“I’ve always found — and my dad and I have talked about this a lot — that it’s best to hang up the cleats and move on when the season’s over. In the summer, it made me really work hard because I was so pumped up for soccer because it’s been so long. I think it’s good to take a break sometimes.”

Hardly characterized as a vocal leader, Allen prefers to set an example.

“The team sees how hard he works, and it definitely rubs off on them,” Von Oesen said.

“When I first came to Mount View, it wasn’t known as a soccer school,” Allen said. “I wanted to show the guys that any team can compete if you put the work in.”

Soccer may not be in Allen’s future plans.

While passion may dictate the way he plays when he’s on the field, he carries that same passion into other interests, too. He’s considering attending the University of Maine at Augusta next fall.

“I’m not totally concerned with playing soccer beyond high school,” Allen said. “I’d love to if somebody gave me the opportunity to play and I’ve considered it, but I’ve been focused on aviation. That’s my passion right now.”

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