With a hat-trick from Captain Kaitlin Hoang ’17, Andover Girls Hockey defeated Winchendon 5-0 in its first game of the season. The team finished last year’s season with an impressive record of 13-3-4 and looks to repeat its success this season.
Andover dominated the game by generating an abundance of shots and keeping the puck out of its own defensive third. In addition to Hoang’s hat-trick, Charlotte Welch ’18 and Bri Fadden ’17 found the back of the net, sealing off Andover’s shutout.
The first goal came early into the first period when Meghan Ward ’19 beat a defender and shot on net. Hoang finished the deflection in front of the net, putting Andover up 1-0. Andover continued its offensive pressure, creating numerous chances and out-possessing Winchendon for the remainder of the game.
Anna Maniaci ’19 said, “From the drop of the puck, we were immediately in their zone. Everyone on the bench kept a great atmosphere of support and encouragement throughout the whole game. Even though this is a new team and it was our first game together, we moved fluidly with each other and were able to execute plays successfully and efficiently. Overall, it was a strong first game.”
The Winchendon defense struggled to keep pace as Andover moved the puck throughout the offensive third.
“The offense cycled really well and as a result we were able to get a lot of shots on net,” said Hoang.
Consistent pressure from Andover’s offense led Winchendon to struggle to maintain possession, ultimately limiting its offensive production. A solid defensive showing by Andover aided in its lopsided victory.
“Our breakout passes, and ability to move the puck around the zone, were some of our major strong points on defense in today’s game,” said Maniaci.
With this promising start of the season, the team looks to continue improving.
Elizabeth Holubiak ’18 said, “The team has to work on stepping up sooner on defense as the other team is coming down on us. Also we need a bit more work on our special team plays.”
Coming off its successful season last year, Andover plans to progress its skill and develop as a program. With strong returning players, as well as a multitude of newcomers, Andover hopes to come together as a team throughout the season in order to build on its early success.
Andover will face Dexter Southfield on Friday in its home opener and travel to NMH on Saturday in hopes of continuing its early success.