After a perfectly slotted pass from Morgan Kuin ’17, newcomer Maddy Silveira ’20 snuck the ball past the goalkeeper to find the back of the net with minutes left to play. Her first career goal helped Andover Girls Soccer put the game away and ultimately defeat Rivers by a margin of 2-0.
Coming off a disappointing season opener where the team fell to Groton, Andover was determined to come out strong against a talented Rivers team.
Rivers began the game with a scoring opportunity after slipping behind the Andover defense, but the shot was ultimately turned away by Co-Captain and goalkeeper Antonia Tammaro ’17.
A force to be reckoned with in the net, Tammaro was integral in holding Rivers scoreless throughout the entire game.
“Antonia has such a high soccer I.Q. and a good read on the game, which benefits not only the defense, but everyone on the field,” said defender Nikki Dlesk ’17.
In the closing minutes of the first half, Co-Captain Cassie Chin ’17 found Zoe Oasis ’17 for a strike to the back of the net.
With momentum building into the second half, Andover was able to control possession and move the ball efficiently. The team, however, struggled to put away scoring opportunities despite numerous well-placed corner kicks from Natalia Suarez ’17.
Tammaro said, “Natalia really stepped up for us. This is her first year playing in the midfield for us and she’s definitely shown that she can be a huge presence in that part of the field. She played some really nice through balls and connected really well with the forwards.”
The defensive presence from the back line was key in the second half, refusing to give up the lead Andover had taken.
Kaitlin Hoang ’17 said, “I think that the defense really came together as a unit against Rivers. Deyana and Antonia both did a really good job in helping to lead the team through the back, and we were able to stop a lot of River’s chances by working together to defend.”
Dlesk said, “We all communicated and listened to each other really well on defense. We knew we had to play quickly and close the space between any Rivers attackers.”
Andover hosted Middlesex on Wednesday, when the team fell 2-1 in a hard-fought battle until the last minute.
Andover scored early with a goal from Suarez, but its lead was erased by a Middlesex goal in the waning minutes of the first half.
The game was at a stalemate for most of the second half, neither team able to pull away. But the end of the game brought Middlesex a go-ahead goal. Middlesex held the lead until the final whistle.
Suarez said, “I think we created some good scoring opportunities. We had our chances, we just need to work on finishing, which will eventually come.”
Despite a 1-2 start to the season, Andover is confident in its abilities to bounce back and play like it did at the end of last season, when the team went undefeated for its final 11 regular season games and took home the Nepsac Class-A Championship.
“Last year we only started 3-3-3, but we finished really strong. We’re only three games in this year, and although things didn’t go our way against Middlesex, we just need to keep going at it in practice, fighting for every 50-50 ball, and creating those same scoring chances even if they don’t find the back of the net,” added Suarez.
Andover looks to bounce back when it travels to Loomis Chaffee this Saturday.
Editor’s Note: Cassie Chin is a Sports Editor and Morgan Kuin is an Arts & Leisure Editor for The Phillipian.