Andover Boys Lacrosse scored its first goal of the game within ten seconds after winning its first face-off on Wednesday. The team would go on to defeat Middlesex 7-5, beginning its season with a record of one win and zero losses.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to start the season, and [the play] set the tone for the rest of the game,” wrote Will Kantaros ’18 in an email to The Phillipian.
Despite a strong first play, the team did not maintain this moment for the rest of the first half, according to Jon Krikorian ’21.
“We started off a little sloppy in the first half, and we were not playing to our full potential. We were lacking from all positions. We all could’ve done better, as we didn’t have many scoring opportunities,” said Krikorian, “We came out in the second half like fire. In the start of the third quarter, we put up a few goals, which set the tone for the rest of the half. In the fourth quarter, our team just chilled. We ran the offense continuously and took advantage of scoring opportunities.”
The team benefited from traveling to San Diego, Calif., for a pre-season training trip over Spring Break, where it was able to grow its chemistry by position, according to Krikorian.
Krikorian said, “Being placed into a room with kids in your position that you don’t necessarily know encouraged you to become closer with them. [The room assignments] were beneficial because we started to play more as a unit. For example, putting all the attackers, middie lines, and defense in rooms together built camaraderie and increased team chemistry. Now, we are trying to put all the pieces together. We are trying to finalize the best team we can be.”
In addition to gaining exposure to more competition, the team bonded altogether over other activities throughout the trip.
Krikorian continued, “We had a lot of fun together in San Diego. A lot of guys would get up in the morning and hang out at the beach together to go… swimming and play around. We did everything together as a team; we ate all of our meals together, and we went to the zoo, which served as a good bonding experience. We gained really great friends and teammates on the trip, so it was definitely a beneficial experience.”
Facing off against Middlesex’s strong lacrosse program forced the players to push themselves and work together, according to Holt Bitler ’21.
“The challenge of playing a nationally recognized team pushes us to have a great game that much more. Trying to beat such a talented team fostered great relationships among teammates,” Bitler added.
The team will look to take advantage of improving technical aspects of its game against Hotchkiss at home on Saturday.
Kantaros said, “We obviously have a lot to clean up, especially the fundamentals, but we certainly showed some flashes of what we’re capable of today, and, hopefully, we can carry that on for whole games in the future.”