In its first scrimmage of the season, Andover Field Hockey turned in a strong defensive performance with a 2-0 win at home against Rivers. Hannah Cregg ’16 tallied a goal in the first half, while Brooke Keough ’19 added to the score line in the second half.
Andover’s victory over Rivers, last season’s NEPSAC Class C Champion, exhibited promising signs for the team’s upcoming season. Despite losing nine Seniors last year, the team was able to play cohesively on offense from the start of the game.
New Upper Casey Yarborough ’17 said, “I think we’re definitely getting better with movements and passing, and we’re bonding very well as a team. We need to work on talking more and communication but we’re all just having a lot of fun.”
Lauren Overly ’17 added, “We really connected with each other off the bat which is important because we are such a new team. We had a really good energy, and we scored within the first seven minutes of the game.”
Throughout the game, however, Andover could not take advantage of open areas to advance the ball up the field.
Overly said, “After the Rivers game, we realized that we weren’t utilizing the open space on the field to move the ball, and so that’s definitely something we’ve been working on.”
Following the win, Andover lost 4-1 against St. Mark’s in its final scrimmage before the regular season. Meghan Ward ’19 scored the team’s only goal of the game.
Against St. Mark’s, the team struggled to create opportunities on offense due to unbalanced spacing.
“Our spacing between the mid, attacking and defensive lines was off, so we struggled to successfully move the ball onto our attacking end,” said Overly. “We also need to be more purposeful with our touches on the ball. We kept on passing into crowded space and into the defense, probably in part because of our poor spacing.”
St. Mark’s, which was last season’s NEPSAC Class B Champion, gave Andover a good opportunity to recognize its weaknesses before the start of the season.
Overly continued, “Playing St. Mark’s was a humbling experience, because we experienced what it was like to play an amazing team.”
With two scrimmages against defending champions under its belt, Andover will look to repeat its phenomenal success from last year when it finished the season with an undefeated 15-0-1 record.
Yarborough concluded, “We always want to improve every game and stay close as a team and play as a unit and continue improving.”
Andover Field Hockey kicks off its regular season this Saturday at home against Thayer.