Last Wednesday marked the start of the Girls Varsity Lacrosse season, one that hopes to be very successful. Their game last Wednesday resulted in an 11-8 win over St. Paul’s. The game, while both coaches and players agree it was not up to their full potential, was chock full of skill for being an such an early season game. The defense was amazing, keeping the dangerous St. Paul’s offense away from the goal early and often. The offense, while in need of some skill refinement, was able to get 11 shots into the St. Paul’s goal. The game started out quickly with two swift goals for the Lady Blue. Their lead was under fire as Saint Paul’s quickly retaliated. Over the course of the half, the score remained close. With Andover leading 5-4 and just over 30 seconds left in the half, the game was still in either team’s hands. The half finished perfectly for Andover with offense scoring two quick goals before the whistle blew, leaving the half time score a solid 7-4. In the second half, the Lady Blue came back on the field to maintain their lead. In the half, both the returning letterwomen and the new recruits received significant playing time, displaying the team’s depth and potential for both this season and future ones. Coach Dolan used the lead to mix up the line up and allowed for the team-newcomers to play alongside returning starters as she began to shape up the different lines of players. Meg Coffin ’03 explained the team’s initial game plan. “We went into the game without expectations, and while we have a lot to improve on, it was a great start. Even though the game was close, it was great to get in a win.” With the season getting to such a late start, the girls went into the game not knowing how they would compare to other teams, but Wednesday’s win adds to the great expectations for this year’s team. Offensively, the biggest contributors to the game were Captain Barbara Badman ’03, Danielle Vardaro ’03, and Cortney Tetrault ’03. Badman scored four goals while Vardaro brought in three. Tetrault scored two while Anne Riordan ’03 and Sarah Demers ’03 scored the remaining two goals. Coach Dolan summed up the game: “I think the offense, considering that it was our first time out, did well. Our offense, while it needs work, is easily fixable. Our defense was better than expected, and even more, Julie Wadland ’06 did really well in goal. While it felt like more like a scrimmage than a real game, I was really satisfied with the level of play. Also, I was very pleased with the physical condition that I saw in the team.” Everyone was pleasantly surprised with the level of defense seen on the field. They played with cooperation and refined skills that one would not expect to see until later on in the season. Defensive standouts Nyssa Liebermann ’03, Katie Regner ’03, Kinnon McCall ’04, Whitney Kelly ’04, and Skylar Washburn ’05 all played superbly to surprise fans, coaches, and other players with their ability to find a winning rhythm in their first game together. Wadland, in her first stint as a lacrosse goalie, stopped seven fierce Saint Paul’s shots. This defensive five-some, backed-up by Wadland, looks to be promising over the remainder of the season. Returning player Amanda Belichick ’03 agreed with the coach, “It was a good game,” she started, “We played really well on defense. Offense was a little bit rushed, but it looks really hopeful. Everything looks like it is going to come together. It wasn’t a great game in that we didn’t play amazingly, but our potential is definitely there, and it was also just good to get a win to start out the season” Said Vardaro, “We had an okay first game. It was good because it gave us an idea of exactly what we need to work on to be the outstanding squad we want to be.” Kelly added, “We were able to come up with a win and our first game has proved our strengths and weaknesses.” Freshman star goalie Wadland summed up the game, saying, “On the whole, the team played well. We were certainly happy to be finally playing a game.” As Jessie Birecki ’04 put it, “We definately saw bits and pieces of what could be a great season ahead of us. Obviously we have a lot of work to do, but I know this team is up to it.” The girls continue their season tomorrow at 1:15 as Groton visits Andover to challenge PA. Said Birecki, “From now on, every team we play is a good one. We know we’ll be ready.
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