Andover’s injured starters sat behind the bench and watched their teammates get outshot 74-10 in a devastating 7-0 loss against Phillips Exeter Academy on Saturday.
After the Exeter defeat and a 6-2 loss to St. Sebastian’s on Wednesday, Andover now holds a 6-8-1 record.
Andover’s defense struggled against rival Exeter, having lost Captain Payton Jancsy ’16 during the game. Without their captain’s leadership, the defense collapsed, surrendering 74 shots.
Post-Graduate (PG) goalie Matt Schoen ’16 said, “It was hard not having our top guys out there. Losing Jancsy… is tough because he’s a source of stability on the ice… Exeter is a physical team so our wings were getting hit on the boards every time they touched the puck. I give a lot of credit to our team for not giving up.”
Schoen, who leads New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Division I in saves, salvaged the game with 67 saves and a 0.905 save percentage.
PG Forward Billy Stahley ’16 said, “Matt played a great game and kept us in it when we had trouble with our defensive coverage. Unfortunately we weren’t able to feed off of his energy in the crease and get something going.”
Injuries struck on the offensive side too, suffering from the loss of critical forwards Jonny Edelson ’17 and Kyle Welch ’18. With such substantial losses to the forward lines, Andover’s offense struggled to find its footing.
Hoping to redeem its shutout loss, Andover opened aggressively against St. Sebastian’s later in the week, with Kevin Kastholm ’17 scoring two goals within the first 11 minutes of the game.
Kastholm said, “I think we were just working hard, getting the puck out, making basic plays and we ended up getting two quick, which was good.”
The game went downhill from there. St. Sebastian’s responded with a goal less than 30 seconds later, and Andover never recovered.
“Right after that, I think we sort of strayed away from our game plan, and that allowed them to get a few breaks. We worked hard, but things had just started going their way. They got a few bounces and a few penalties,” continued Kastholm.
The second and third periods proved to be disastrous for Andover. St. Sebastian’s scored five unanswered goals gave the game its final score.
Already beat-up, Andover looked increasingly fatigued as the game wound down, and Tyler Levine ’16 left with an injury towards the end of the game. Extremely short on players, the team battled with three forward lines instead of its usual four.
Going forward, the team has its work cut out for it in practice.
“Defensive zone coverage is an important element of the game whether we’re injured or not. These last few practices have been primarily focused on defensive zone coverage and I think we’re getting a lot better [at] understanding and clarifying each of our individual assignments which allows us to work more effectively,” said Stahley.
Andover will look to recoup its losses and return to winning ways this Saturday against Noble and Greenough.