After two scoreless halves against St. Paul’s, Charlotte Welch ’18 knocked the ball into the net, scoring the game-winning goal with five minutes left in overtime and securing a 1-0 victory for Andover Field Hockey. The team also played Middlesex on Wednesday in its annual ‘Play for Pink’ game for breast cancer awareness. Andover won 3-0 to maintain its undefeated record of 10-0.
Against St. Paul’s, Andover’s determination and aggression on both ends of the field helped drive the team to victory, according to Captain Elizabeth Welch ’18.
“St. Paul’s came out super tenacious and strong, and we were challenged throughout the whole game to overcome their attributes by playing our game and never letting up,” said Welch.
“We were focused on scoring ourselves – you can’t have a defensive mindset. The girls played aggressively and strong from our back line out,” wrote Head Coach Kate Dolan in an email to The Phillipian.
“We did our best to play the ball in their end [and] get shots and corners. Good communication and poise in our half of the field were also key factors,” wrote Coach Dolan.
Andover’s defense also played a crucial role in the victory, preventing St. Paul’s offense from effectively moving the ball, according to Welch.
“The key to our [defensive] success was stepping up to block their long hits. By dictating the pace of the game whenever we could, we were able to stop their fast breaks and offensive momentum,” Welch added.
Goalkeeper Alexa Matses ’18 added six saves to shutout St. Paul’s offense.
“I focused on what I had to do for my team. Staying positive and focused is a large part of it, zoning in on one play at a time,” said Matses.
In its game against Middlesex, Andover initially struggled to maintain the same high level of energy, according to Linda Bibeau ’20. In the second half, however, the team scored two of its three goals to seal the win and preserve its winning streak.
“In the second [half] we came out with a lot more enthusiasm and energy, allowing us to control the flow of the game and see the passing lanes better,” said Bibeau.
Andover looks to remain undefeated when it plays Northfield Mount Hermon this Friday.