In its first live-action of the year, Andover Boys Soccer tied Noble & Greenough 1-1 in a scrimmage at home on Wednesday. Co-Captain Peder Bakken ’16 scored the team’s lone goal on a penalty kick.
Andover started off strong and controlled the beginning of the match with a fast tempo.
Myles Romm ’16 said, “We saw a lot of positive things today. We came out really energetic in the beginning… We saw positive encouragement on both sides of the field, and we played fast.”
Throughout the game, Andover showed promising signs of working together on both sides of the pitch.
Left back Darian Bhathena ’16 said, “Our offensive coordination was very good at the beginning of the game, and when we kept good spacing we were moving the ball very effectively.”
Striker Henry Meyerrose ’17 added, “Our first 11 had a good defensive shape, which we were really trying to focus on in this game. We moved the ball around well and held position well.”
Nonetheless, the team struggled to maintain its level of play in the latter stages of the game as its communication broke down.
Romm said, “What we need to work on is our communication. We were kind of struggling toward the end of the game when we got tired talking to each other.”
Bhathena added, “Our defensive shape is always something we’re working on, and closer to the ends of the periods we were getting tired and losing that shape.”
The team will also miss the presence of Andover’s all-time leading scorer Dylan Mott ’15. As a result, it will need to work on taking advantage of chances in front of goal.
The tie reflected a continuation of a trend from last season, in which Andover failed to capitalize in key moments and compiled draws and losses instead of wins.
“Last season we had a strong team, but we had a lot of ties, so one of our goals for making the playoffs is to not tie so much,” said Bhathena. “But we’re really just focusing on one thing at a time. Our longest term goal right now is to make the playoffs. Once we get there, we’ll focus on going far.”
Peter Heckendorn ’17 added, “We don’t want to lose at home. We have a history of being really strong on [Smoyer Field], and we want to maintain that. And of course one of our biggest goals is to beat Exeter.”
Romm concluded, “I hope we can go far based on our skill, because we have a chance to really do something special.”
Andover’s first regular season game is away at St. Paul’s on Saturday.