From outside the 18-yard box, Isobel Glass ’21 ripped a powerful ball, hitting the crossbar and bouncing it into the net to score the only goal of Andover Girls Soccer’s 1-0 season-opening win against Groton on Wednesday.
The team’s strong possession throughout the game created many opportunities, according to Glass and Co-Captain Allison Zhu ’19.
“In our game today everyone played really well as a unit, and we kept really good possession of the ball. We were fast on our counter attacks, which I think helped us keep a lead and keep up good plays throughout the game,” said Glass.
Zhu said, “We successfully executed a wide variety of passes to create chances and shots. At halftime, one of our coaches advised us to make our passes less predictable, and we did just so. Great one-twos and crosses created brilliant chances in the final third of the field.”
According to Emma Fogg ’21, one of the team’s newest members, the team’s aggressive play in the midfield, as well as its solid defense, helped it achieve their victory.
Fogg said, “The team won lots of headers and 50–50 balls, which is important, especially in the midfield. We pressed when we needed to and squeezed together defensively. I also thought we played through balls very well and really pushed to have numbers in the box when on the attack.”
Rachel Chang ’20 remarked on the leadership of defender Madison Bourassa ’20.
Chang said, “I think Madison Bourassa is always an extremely reliable player in the center back. I’ve played with her for two years now on GVS, and she just works so hard and makes her voice heard in the back. Being an inexperienced outside back this season, I was really nervous in my first game. She helped me so much in adjusting to dropping, holding, stepping, and defending in general. I always look to her for leadership on the field.”
Fogg added, “When our defensive unit had a bit of a breakdown and Madison Bourassa recovered very quickly by catching up to the striker, that ultimately helped stop a Groton goal.”
Chang also displayed a strong performance throughout the game, according to Glass.
“Rachel Chang was player of the game, playing incredibly in the defense, winning every ball and making great plays, and overall had an outstanding game,” said Glass.
Looking toward the rest of the season, Andover hopes to work on its communication and intensity on the field, according to Zhu and Glass.
“As we continue to practice, our communication will improve and allow us to transition quicker. We need to take advantage of our back line’s ability to intercept the opposing team’s passes by stepping up and counterattacking,” said Zhu.
Glass said, “As a team I think that we could work on better communication all throughout positions, and I also think that we could work on doing high-press more effectively and being first to the ball.”
Chang is optimistic that the team will play to its many strengths, contributing to a successful future season.
“It’s still early in the season, and though we obviously have a lot to work on, I think that we have a ton of talent and potential on our team this year. Up top, we have so much strength and speed. In the midfield, we have very technical and active players. In the back, we have lots of communication and solid defending. I think that if we can just piece these three things together, we will have even more success in the future. I’m excited to see what we can do this season,” said Chang.
Andover will face Rivers away on Saturday.