Boys Lacrosse, Sports, Spring Sports

Andover Clinches Thriller in Fifth Overtime Victory

With just a few seconds left on the overtime clock in Andover Boys Lacrosse’s last game of the season against Phillips Exeter Academy on Saturday, Foster LeBoeuf ’15 bolted past his defenders and slung the ball into the far right corner of the net, vaulting Andover to a 12-11 win, which was its 13th straight victory. Assisted by Larson Tolo ’18, LeBoeuf’s winning goal marked the team’s sixth win in overtime this season and sealed its season record at 15-1.

Captain Tim Bulens ’15 said, “It couldn’t have been a more fitting way to go out. The team has had six overtime wins this year, and our motto has been, ‘We don’t lose in OT.’ An overtime win was undoubtedly the best way to cap off such a great season.”

Andover has not lost in overtime this year.

Tolo added, “It felt amazing to come out with that win. It came down to the wire and, thanks to our amazing coaching and devoted players, we were able to come out on top.” The team has had a season full of overtime wins, which speaks to its grit and desire to win.

Bulens said, “[Winning in overtime] shows that we play our game no matter the circumstances. Whether we are up by five or down by ten, we play every second of every game like it is still 0-0, and that is why we are so successful.”

Post-Graduate Max Anthony ’15 said, “The overtime victories definitely exemplify our team’s mental toughness. We never put our heads down or get discouraged when we find ourselves in a hole. The team has a strong fighting spirit and a lot of heart, which is why we did not lose in overtime games.”

Trailing 5-4 at the end of the first half against Exeter, the team looked to improve its shooting accuracy and passing technique.

Jack Beare ’15, Ryder Garnsey ’15 and Mike Panepinto ’15 each scored goals in the third quarter to tie the game 7-7. With four minutes and 17 seconds left on the regulation time clock in the fourth quarter, the team found itself trailing 11-8. It was a similar situation to one the team faced last week – albeit less dire – when Andover was down three goals with under two minutes to play.

Mike Panepinto '15 has been one of Andover's top goal-scorers this year. (J. Wolfe/The Phillipian).

Mike Panepinto ’15 has been one of Andover’s top goal-scorers this year. (J. Wolfe/The Phillipian).

Andover, however, maintained its composure and continued to put pressure on the Exeter defense. With one goal from Panepinto and two goals from Garnsey, Andover tied the scoreboard 11-11, forcing the game into overtime.

Head Coach Stephen Moreland said, “Our boys are resilient and extremely tough mentally. They never quit, and as long as there is time left on the clock, they are always playing to win the game.”

Garnsey said, “Ending the season with an overtime win against Exeter was a storybook ending. I think the ability to stay calm under pressure throughout the game was important, and obviously our guys did a great job in the highest of pressure situations. We played in overtime multiple times throughout the year, but being able to win our last game of the year in overtime, especially in such a big rivalry game against Exeter, was huge. ”

Andover/Exeter games always carry an extra importance to the players. The win was especially sweet for Andover’s 11 Seniors as they closed out their Andover careers.

Anthony added, “To play the last game against your rival is already exhilarating enough, but to then go into an overtime game with them only adds to the excitement. It was also a pretty ironic way to end the year considering we started our season with an overtime victory, and that’s the way we ended it.”

Moreland said, “I suppose an overtime victory against Exeter was a fitting way to end a season that had so many one goal games. I was really happy for the boys to get the win. Win or lose, it would have been a terrific season. But, the OT victory against Exeter was an exclamation point on a remarkable year.”

May 28, 2015