With just three minutes left on the overtime clock against Noble & Greenough (Nobles) in Andover Boys Lacrosse’s season opener this past Saturday, Ryder Garnsey ’15 whipped, dodged and spun around his defenders to find an open space in front of the net. He gave Andover a 10-9 lead that would hold until the end of overtime. Garnsey’s goal helped earn Andover its first win of the season.
Andover was unable to capitalize on this upward momentum, however, and fell to Belmont Hill 8-7 on Wednesday.
“Between our OT victory over Roxbury Latin in last Wednesday’s preseason game and our OT victory against Nobles in Saturday’s season opener, our team has proved that we will never quit and that we always believe that we can win,” Head Coach Stephen Moreland said.
Within the first few minutes of the game against Nobles, an assist from Jake Tomsik ’17 set up Jack Beare ’15 to score the first goal of the day, making it 1-0 Andover and boosting the team’s confidence. Throughout the game, Cyrus Scott ’15 also made several saves while the offense passed the ball around the Nobles defense for great shot opportunities.
Captain Tim Bulens ’15 said, “The team had a solid first half – the defense played really well as a unit, and the offense showed far more patience than we did in our scrimmage against Roxbury Latin. Scott also helped by making several crucial saves throughout the game.”
Garnsey added, “We played alright in the first half of the game. We had some good looks offensively and our defense was getting stops, so we had confidence that we would be able to continue what we did well in the second half and bring a win back.”
Going into the second half of the game, Andover had a slight 7-5 lead over Nobles. Andover, however, let up a bit, and Nobles responded with newfound energy, tying the scoreboard 9-9 at the end of the second half.
Larson Tolo ’18, a newcomer to the team, said, “We had corrected the things that we had to work on like awareness and compactness, allowing us to contain a very talented offense. However, we got a little bit sloppy towards the end of the fourth quarter, letting the opposition tie the game up.”
The team looked to regroup and re-strategize in overtime.
Bulens said, “After Max Anthony [’15] won the face-off, [Moreland] called a timeout so that we could establish a game plan from there. Our offense has a ton of talent, so our main goal was to not force any looks that were not there. Ultimately, it came down to Garnsey putting away a great shot and finishing the game with an even better celebration.”
On Wednesday, riding high from its win over Nobles, Andover fought hard but ultimately fell to Belmont Hill 8-7.
Trailing 4-0 in the first half after a sluggish start, Tomsik scored the first Andover goal of the day to make it 4-1.
Tolo said, “As a team, we did not play to our full potential in the first half. We didn’t capitalize on many offensive opportunities, and we played a very disorganized team defense.”
With newfound momentum, the team entered the second half of the game ready to finish on a high note.
“With our great coaching, team leadership and talent we were able to turn things around in the second half. We played very strong defense, capitalized on our opposition’s mistakes and generated quality looks on offense, but it wasn’t enough to pull away with the win,” Tolo continued.
Down by two goals in the last three minutes of the game, Andover scored one more goal to make the score 8-7. After committing a penalty with one minute left, however, the team turned over the ball on the man down.
Moreland said, “I am happy with our start, but we still have a lot to do. We need to tighten up all aspects of our game. Our goal is to work hard in practice to get better every day.”
The team hopes to improve its game and secure its second win of the season in its matchup against New Hampton this Saturday.