Sprinting off a corner, Charlotte Welch ’18 drilled a shot past the extended leg of the goalkeeper and into the back of the net against Thayer Academy in Andover Field Hockey’s (PAFH) season opener on Saturday. Charlotte Welch’s goal was the first on the scoreboard for PAFH in its 2-0 win and the first goal of her field hockey career.
Just minutes after tallying her first score, Charlotte Welch swiftly added a second goal, bringing the score to 2-0 and sealing the team’s first win of the season.
“For both goals, the team really created space for me, and there was basically an open net,” said Charlotte Welch.
Sarah Rigazio ’18 said, “We really dominated both halves of the game. In the first half, we had our opportunities but just weren’t finishing. In the second half, we managed to find the back of the net.”
Head Coach Kate Dolan added, “We controlled much of the game in performance and territory. We could have been better with our communication, positioning and finishing – [these are] things we will always strive to improve on throughout the season.”
On Tuesday, Andover defeated Lawrence Academy 5-0 to continue its successful start to the season and advance to a 2-0 record.
The team relied on a quick start to solidify its superior position, with Meghan Ward ’19 and Jacqueline Diffley ’16 each contributing goals in the first ten minutes.
Meggan Rodriguez ’17 and Olivia Keefe ’17 also added first goals of their own later in the first half. Lauren Overly ’17 scored in the second half to solidify a 5-0 victory.
Elizabeth Welch ’18 said, “We did an awesome job the first half passing the ball quickly and switching fields. We are going to work on keeping intensity and poise throughout the whole game – not just the first half.”
This year, PAFH has a deep roster, contrasting from previous years in which it relied on a couple of elite athletes.
Defender and Captain Kelly McCarthy ’16 said, “The team dynamic on the field is the best I have seen in four years. Instead of having a few star players, we have 21 players who contribute to the depth and consistency of this team. We definitely have a lot of work to do, but I trust every single girl on the team with the ball.”
Coach Dolan will look for the team to continue to play as a collective unit as the season progresses.
“We are looking forward to watching the girls’ progression and development as they work to become a cohesive and relentless team,” she said.
PAFH will take on Loomis Chaffee under the lights on Friday night at 7 p.m.