Co-Captain Will Raphael ’18 sprinted past his defender and passed the ball to Rolando Rabines ’19, who scored the winning goal for Andover in its game against Cushing on Wednesday. The team defeated Cushing 2-1 following a 1-1 tie against Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) on Saturday. The team’s record now stands at 4-3-2.
Going into the game against Cushing, the team was confident and hopeful for a strong victory against a lesser opponent, according to Luc Pan ’19.
Pan said, “We played well against Cushing. They were not the strongest opponent, so I think we could have beaten them by a lot more. However, it’s important that we got the win today. That will help our confidence a lot moving forward.”
The team began the game with a lot of energy, according to Kion Young ’20. Within the first ten minutes, Isaac Hershenson ’20 passed the ball to Raphael, which led to a breakaway. Raphael dribbled the ball past the goalie and scored an open net goal.
“From there, our energy started to fade away, and they scored a goal from a mistake we made before the half ended,” said Young.
The second goal was scored by Rabines with an assist from Raphael.
Young continued, “We went back on the field fired up again, and managed to score again off of a cross by Will and a finish by Rolando. Though we could’ve done better with keeping the ball on the ground and with our endurance, a win is a win and we will continue to work hard.”
Charlie Murphy ’19 also noted the team’s struggle to play well against Cushing.
“Although we won, we didn’t play well at all, an issue that we have had this season is that, while we are able to play well against good teams, we struggle to play well against bad teams,” said Murphy.
Cam Williams ’18 compared Cushing’s ability to more of a JV team, and said the team was expected to have netted a few more goals.
On Saturday, the team played well, maintaining a one-goal lead for the majority of the game. According to Pan, Andover’s mistakes in the last ten minutes allowed NMH to score, tying the game.
Andover’s only goal was scored by Rabines, who dribbled past a few defenders and cut in from the wing, sliding the ball into the bottom corner as he was falling down and off balance, according to Murphy. Even though the team did not secure a victory, the game was a marked a success in the eyes of the team.
Pan said, “I think that [for us] as a team these two games were really important. We lost to NMH last year in the playoffs, so it was good that we were able to hold them off for most of the game.”
“NMH has been a tough opponent for years, and even if we didn’t win, we are proud of our tie against them. NMH scored in the last ten minutes of the game off of a deflection and some miscommunication. Though their goal was simply unlucky for us, throughout the game we played very well but should strive to do even better against our next opponents,” added Young.
Williams added, “We left everything on the pitch that day we faced NMH. It was a well-fought battle and a true act of valor.”
In both games, Raphael and Rabines made an impact. This week, Rabines scored two goals while Raphael netted one more.
Young said, “On Saturday, Rolando was able to get an excellent goal despite being fouled, and his passing and ability to move the ball has also been close to perfect. On Wednesday, [he] and Raphael worked well together. Those two have been unstoppable in the middle and have been key players in our games.”
Over the course of the season, the team’s chemistry has improved and aided the team in the previous games. The team has also seen improvement as a unit, according to Pan.
The team will face Deerfield away on Sunday.