Despite facing a U-19 Spanish National Team goalkeeper, Andover Girls Soccer scored four goals in their shutout of Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH). Andover later fell 3-2 to Thayer on Wednesday, bringing its record to 6-6-1 on the season.
Playing against a nationally-ranked goalie, Andover anticipated the need to play a strong offensive game, according to Mary Stuart Kerrigan ’22.
“We went in knowing that their keeper plays on the U-19 Spanish National Team, so we knew that shots from the 20, 30 yards out weren’t going to get in past her, so we pretty much just penetrated the 18 [yard line] and looked for slots on the weak side to finish the ball, and it ended up working really well,” said Kerrigan.
One of Andover’s four goals was scored by Myra Bhathena ’22, securing her first career goal for Andover.
Bhathena said, “I saw the ball coming towards me and I knew I was less than ten feet away from the goal. I tapped it in and the next thing I remember is the entire team circling me. It was an incredible feeling to be able to put the ball into the back of the net but I knew that the work behind this goal was more important. [Madison Bourassa ’20’s] free kick was an amazing bullet that deflected off a defenders shin and happened to come towards me. Luckily, I was in the right spot at the right time.”
Despite having many players out with injuries, including Co-Captain Elise MacDonald ’19, many players stepped up to help Andover defeat the NMH squad, according MacDonald and Kerrigan.
“A lot of people had to step up and be leaders in the middle of the field… and everyone just did a phenomenal job supporting each other on the field and on the sidelines. I am just so proud of everyone,” said MacDonald.
Kerrigan added, “We communicate a lot as a team and we all have each other’s backs. We didn’t have our [Post-Graduates] this weekend, so we really had to work hard and a lot of Uppers and people who had been on the team for a while stepped up and really became good leaders and it brought us to a 4-0 win over a quality team.”
Although MacDonald could not play in the game itself, she found other ways to help her team stay motivated.
“At halftime basically we just told everyone to keep working hard, keep pushing themselves, giving 110 percent, running as fast and has hard as they could because we’d get a lot of subs in,” said MacDonald. “Usually [Co-Captain Allison Zhu ’19] and I… give a little motivational speech, play really hype music, and just try to keep the energy up in any way we can.”
In its loss to Thayer on Wednesday, Andover let up three goals due to mistakes made by the team, according to Katherine Marquis ’21.
Marquis wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Their goals happened because of our mistakes and things that we should improve on. There weren’t any amazing plays, but they just took advantage our mistakes.”
According to Bhathena, the team will make sure to rest and prepare themselves for the next game.
Bhathena said, “We are going to rest ourselves mentally and physically. We have no practice Thursday or Monday after the game so we can recover and get ready for the remaining games.”
Andover will play its next game at home against Deerfield this Sunday.
Editor’s Note: Allison Zhu is a Commentary Editor for The Phillipian.