Ten minutes into the second half, Hannah Cregg ’16 smacked the ball off of a corner from the top of the circle. Lauren Overly ’17, standing at the left post, tipped the ball into the back of the goal, scoring Andover’s only goal in its defensive battle against Loomis Chaffee on Friday night at Phelps Stadium.
Overly’s goal willed Andover to a 1-0 over Loomis. This was an important win for Andover, as it avenged last season’s loss to Loomis in the first round of the playoffs.
The team drew motivation from a large, rowdy crowd and remained energized despite the lack of offensive success in a defensive-oriented matchup. “Friday night was such a fun game. I think that was the best crowd I’ve ever had at Andover, so we really fed off that energy,” said Captain Kelly McCarthy ’16.
Loomis was the first Class-A team that Andover has played this season, and the defensive contributions of Andover’s midfield were integral to the victory. “I think we really wanted to prove to [Loomis] that we could beat them again, and that we are the better team, which the game showed,” said Overly. Despite the low score, Andover made many attacks. Charlotte Welch ’18, Meghan Ward ’19 and Beth Krikorian ’17 had many shots on goal and kept the pressure on Loomis’s talented defense.
“I knew that a one-goal lead could change quickly, so I wanted to work with the other forwards to keep pressure on their defense. We had a lot of good offensive chances, and the support from my teammates and the crowd gave me the confidence to keep shooting,” said Ward. Sarah Rigazio ’18 said, “[Loomis] was the best team we have played so far. Our midfielders had to play a lot of defense, which [Loomis] hadn’t been doing that much yet, but [Loomis] did a really good job.”
“Our team was working together better than it ever had before. I thought that we were really connecting on offense. Our defense was really good against Loomis, and I thought that we were extremely aggressive toward them, which was desperately needed in our rematch against a team that beat us the in the first round of playoffs last year,” said Cregg.
In order to prepare for their upcoming games, Andover is looking to improve its transferring of the ball and to smooth out its transitions. “We are going to continue to work on pushing the ball up the right side of the field,” said McCarthy. Andover will face Brooks on Friday at 4:30 p.m. in hopes of improving on its 3-0 record.