With just 11 seconds left in the first half of Andover Field Hockey’s Wednesday game against Lawrence Academy, Jackie McCarthy ’19 carried the ball onto the field and launched it into the circle for Ashley Tucker ’18, who hit the ball out of the air and into the back of the net, securing a 2-0 lead. Andover went on to win 5-0. Earlier in the week on Saturday, Andover also earned a 5-1 win in its home opener against Thayer. The team’s record now stands at 2-0.
The team came out with a slow start on Saturday against Thayer with the game tied 1-1 after the first half. However, after the half, the team settled into a rhythm and scored its following four goals in the span of just six minutes.
Captain Elizabeth Welch ’18 said, “I think the team came up with lots of energy and enthusiasm. We’re really starting to bond as a team on and off the field so I’m super excited for how that will transfer on the field with passing connections and [chemistry in general].”
Despite its impressive lead, the team struggled to stay calm during the second half of the game against Thayer, which was at times hectic, according to Head Coach Kate Dolan.
“We have to be more disciplined in our support of one another in layers – whether offensively or defensively – we need better layers of support, we need to get better at recovering back on defense and better with our positive, calm communication, especially when the games are most intense,” said Coach Dolan.
Over the course of the week, the team continued to work on its dynamic play on the field. In its game against Lawrence, the team successfully used layers and communication, according to Emily Batchelor ’19.
“In practice we’ve been working a lot on layers, so meaning someone carrying the ball and someone overlapping behind them. I think [on Wednesday] we did that really well,” said Batchelor, who scored the first goal in the team’s game against Lawrence.
“We had a few plays down the field where we executed it perfectly and we can just see what we do in practice coming play into a game. It really helped us move the ball down the field and generate offense,” continued Batchelor.
The team also dominated the field offensively when playing Lawrence, keeping the ball in its offensive end for a majority of the game and working together to score. In the second half, the defense did not allow a single shot on goal, preserving Andover’s impressive 5-0 lead throughout the entire second period.
“I think our defense did a really good job of blocking [Lawrence’s] hits, because this was a team who we knew going into the game was going to try to hit the ball far down the field. I think our defense really stepped up and stopped the balls and made good plays to get the ball back to the forwards and back into the circle,” added Batchelor.
Andover will go on to play Loomis Chaffee at home on Saturday.