Andover Girls Hockey hit a rough patch in consecutive hard-fought contests against Deerfield and Phillips Exeter Academy. Leading up to this week, Andover had been undefeated, with 11 wins and four ties.
After posting a comeback 2-2 tie against Deerfield on Saturday, Andover lost to arch-rival Exeter on Wednesday by a margin of 1-0. The tie and loss brought the team’s record to 11-1-5.
Andover’s offense, while typically potent, didn’t measure up against Deerfield. The team scrambled at the start of the game and struggled to find the back of the net, giving Deerfield an early advantage. Andover was down 2-1 until the end of the second period, when Elizabeth Welch ’18 scored Andover’s tying goal.
Forward Meghan Ward ’19 said, “We came out slow against Deerfield, and allowed them to score early on in the game. Both goals they scored were off mental breakdowns by our team. However, we immediately recovered. Our offense had lots of shots and did a nice job forechecking.”
Although Andover kept its opponents on their toes, it was clear that the team’s performance was far below the usual standard.
Head Coach Martha Fenton ’83 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “The game against Deerfield was definitely not our best showing. Deerfield was very aggressive in our defensive zone, and they forced us to make some uncharacteristic mistakes.”
Welch said, “We need to work on establishing pressure in the offensive zone and playing composed in the neutral zone, especially with our regroups. In overtime, we could’ve taken more risks to generate scoring opportunities.” On Wednesday, despite dominating all facets of the game and outshooting Exeter in the contest, Andover suffered its first loss off the season.
Bri Fadden ’17 said, “Overall it was a tough loss. We had lots of shots on net, but were unfortunately unable to convert our scoring opportunities into goals. Although we started off slow in the first period, as the game went on we gained more momentum.”
Goalie Alexa Matses ’18 said, “We tried to pick it up but we only gave it our all in the last few minutes and it just wasn’t enough to win the game. We just need to have more intensity and willingness to work as one unit.” Andover looks to redeem itself against New Hampton at home on Saturday.