After pacing by her defender on the right wing, Zoe Oasis ’17 deftly slotted the ball toward the far post of the goal. However, Groton’s goalkeeper outstretched her arms to make the save. Despite many chances on goal and majority possession, Andover Girls Soccer lost its first game of the season to Groton Academy by a margin of 2-0.
Co-Captain Cassie Chin ’17 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “All things considered, I think we showed a lot of integrity for the game. It was our first time playing together and we’re still figuring things out.”
In the first half, Andover dropped a goal due to a rebounded misplay. Late in the second half, Andover’s goalie was left to fend off a one-on-one with a Groton attacker and conceded another goal. Despite a shaky start in the first half, Andover excelled in the second half and performed especially well off of set-pieces.
Chin said, “We weren’t playing the ball on the ground enough and couldn’t find a good balance of patience and urgency in the first half. In the second half we played a lot more relaxed and we dominated their end of the field. We had a ton of chances off of corners and free kicks but couldn’t quite put it away.”
Last season, Andover attained a record of 10-3-5. The team secured an 11-game undefeated streak for the end of its season and won three shutouts in the postseason to win its third Class A Nepsac Championship in nine years.
This year the new team has had limited time to build team chemistry and gel together.
Krystiana Swain ’18 said, “We have many new players on the team that we’ll get to know and get comfortable with and vice versa over the course of the next few games. I personally think everyone looks great individually. I just think it’ll take a little more time for the new players to adapt to how we play as a team, and for the team to learn the kind of plays the new players like, and their strengths.”
Despite this performance, Andover is still confident in its offensive abilities.
Swain said, “As a team in general, we have just as deep of a bench as last year, but I think we especially have that on offense. We have a lot of speed and skills. This game, we had a ton of opportunities on offense. It’s just up to all of us individually to shake off the dust.”
Moving into the next few weeks, Andover will have to rely on all of its Seniors. Every Senior is a leader in their own right, and will be called upon to show tenacity in the face of adversity.
Emma Murphy ’17 said, “The outlook is good because our team play improved drastically from the first half to the second half. We can only get better from here and are all looking forward to the rest of a great season and another game on Saturday.”
This Saturday, Andover will travel to face the Rivers School, hungry for its first victory.
Editor’s Note: Cassie Chin is a Sports Editor for The Phillipian.