Receiving a quick pass, Nick Isenhower ’18 swam past a defender, effortlessly slamming the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. This impressive goal was one of 16 as Andover rolled over St. John’s Prep 16-4 at home last Saturday in front of a rowdy Family Weekend crowd. The win brought Andover’s season record to 3-7.
Andover’s success began with its defense, which stifled St. John’s offense and sparked its own attack. The team effectively utilized a heavy press defense to disable St. John’s perimeter shooting. Additionally, Andover’s consistent counterattacks and forced turnovers allowed its offense to create multiple attacking opportunities.
Thomas Choi ’16 said, “We did an extremely good job on capitalizing on [St. John’s] mistakes and handled them very well under pressure. They never really set up on offense and got frustrated fairly easily.”
Ben Janoschek ’16 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “In the first parts of the game, we dominated both in hole offense and defense, as well as not allowing St. John’s to do really anything with the ball through [our] press defense on the perimeter. After that, we did a good job controlling the pace of the game, creating turnovers and counterattacking. This allowed our younger players to go get some goals, which was fun to watch.”
Due to the massive lead over St. John’s, every Andover player was able to play in the game, allowing the team’s younger players to develop while also reflecting Andover’s immense improvement throughout the season.
Dan Tran ’17 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “We played as a cohesive unit and everything that we’ve [been working] on clicked that game.”
The win was a bright spot in a season that has been filled with losses and challenges. Starter Jonathan Xue ’17 suffered a broken finger early this year. The injury has sidelined him for the season. Additionally, the team was relatively inexperienced, fielding several novice players and lacking depth in its roster. As shown in Saturday’s dominant win, however, Andover is able to adapt to and conquer these setbacks.
Captain Nick Faulkner ’16 said, “I thought we played really well as a team. We have had a few very serious injuries on our team this year, so I think it’s a testament to our team’s ability to overcome challenges that we have been able to play through them.”
Andover looks to continue improving for the rest of the year, starting with a match against Deerfield next Saturday.
Andover faced Deerfield earlier in the season and suffered a narrow 9-6 loss. The team was missing two of its biggest impact players, starter Dylan Norris ’16 and Faulkner, due to college visits. This Saturday, however, Faulkner and Norris will be playing, and the entire team is looking forward to a competitive match against Deerfield.
Janoschek said, “All pressure is off and we can just have fun and win our final two games against teams that we really want to beat, so we can end a frustrating season on a high note.”
Andover will travel to Deerfield on Saturday in hopes of building upon its recent success.