Thirteen minutes into the second half of its Wednesday game against BB&N, Ashley Tucker ’18 scored Andover Girls Field Hockey’s only goal off an assist from Anna Bargman ’21. The team beat BB&N 1-0 on Wednesday and secured a 9-0 victory against Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) on Friday. The team’s record now stands at 12-0.
After BB&N handed Andover one of its three losses last season, the team came into the game expecting a strong opponent, according to Jackie McCarthy ’19.
“There was definitely a huge disparity in the ways we came out to play for these games. In Wednesday’s game we did not have that same energy and definitely suffered as a result of that. With a final score of 1-0, it was definitely a very suspenseful game. BB&N beat us 4-1 last year, so I think that added to our nerves going into it today,” said McCarthy.
Andover also struggled to keep up with BB&N’s defensive speed and anticipation that forced several turnovers, according to Elizabeth Holubiak ’18 and Lily Rademacher ’21.
“Speed is one of BB&N’s greatest strengths. They were fast to the ball to take away time and space, which made moving the ball a lot harder for us,” said Holubiak.
Rademacher said, “We didn’t anticipate the speed of the players on BB&N… That kept us in the middle of the field and kept play kind of back and forth. There were a lot of interceptions and turnovers, which kept everyone on edge and impacted our team energy.”
Andover’s ability to remain calm and continue to play hard, however, allowed the team to secure its narrow one-goal victory against BB&N, according to Holubiak.
Holubiak said, “BB&N is also a very physical team, so after running to the ball, they would push us and try to throw us off our game. I think we showed a great deal of perseverance and composure, which helped us both defensively and offensively.”
Andover had a strong start to its game on Friday against NMH, scoring five goals by the end of the first half.
McCarthy said, “On Friday night’s game, the team had incredible energy starting in warm ups and up to the final second. By halftime, the score was 5-0, and we ended up finishing the game at 9-0. We connected very well with through balls and utilized transfer passes very well, which definitely helped.”
Andover’s nine goals on Friday were scored by five team members, including two goals by newcomer Rademacher. According to Rademacher, Andover’s lopsided victory came as a result of the team’s thoughtful offensive play and its ability to maintain possession of the ball.
Rademacher said, “Without the pressure of a ticking clock and the need to score, we were able to stay calm and have really strong, smart plays, and that helped us score even more. [Friday’s game] was a lot of mental, analytical play, and we were able to play more thoughtfully because we held the ball for longer.”
Andover will travel to play against Deerfield on Sunday.