Emily Batchelor ’19 scored off a lifted shot by Post-Graduate Payton Donato ’17, securing a 3-1 win for Andover Field Hockey over Cushing last Saturday. In addition to Batchelor’s late second half goal, Andover posted two goals in the first half from Batchelor and Ananda Kao ’18. With one regular season game left in the season, Andover’s record stands at 12-3.
Andover did not anticipate the game to be as demanding as it was, and the team started out lacking the energy and focus it has shown in previous games. Batchelor said, “Going into the game, I think collectively as a team we felt we had the game under control and that we weren’t going to have to play the best we ever played. However [Cushing] came out strong and it took us a little time to collect ourselves and counter their energy level.”
Head Coach Kate Dolan said, “Saturday’s game was tough coming off a big win at Noble and Greenough and there was a palpable let down in our energy, communication, and aggressiveness.”
Despite struggling to initially gain control of the ball, Andover found its footing and put two goals in the back of the net within the first half. Meghan Ward ’19 said, “Once we were able to adjust to Cushing’s strong stick tackles and hard free hits, we were able to score two goals.”
Using its two-goal lead as momentum, Andover adjusted its play to match Cushing’s aggression. Batchelor said, “We didn’t get frantic when they came out strong; we gathered ourselves and played how we know we can.”
Andover hopes to maintain overall focus, energy, and support in its remaining games. Dolan said, “Playing with consistent focus and energy and maintaining consistent layers of communication. Sustaining a high level of effort, aggressiveness, confidence, and support. Expecting the best of one another and giving the best of ourselves every practice, every game.”
“The girls have come together to form a strong and cohesive team. On and off the field, they have developed positive connections and their camaraderie is exceptional. When they work together and are in sync, they elevate their game to a higher level. It’s all a matter of not settling for ‘good enough’ in any aspect of the game,” continued Dolan.
Andover will have its last game of regular season play against Phillips Exeter Academy on Saturday.
Editor’s Note: Ananda Kao is an Associate Sports Editor for The Phillipian.