Andover Girls Lax Upsets Taft; Riordan, Vardaro Each Net Four

The Andover Girls Lacrosse team brought home two more victories last week and is on track to what could be an undefeated season. Upsetting Taft, the squad that accounted for one of the team’s two losses last season, the girls remain undefeated, with a season record of 5-0. After avenging its 2002 loss to Taft, the Lady Blue went on to dominate Governor Dummer, bringing home a 19-9 victory. Taft gave the Blue its first real competition of the 2003 spring season. The Blue faced not only the strongest squad it had seen all season, but also the most horrendous weather conditions of the term. Playing in pouring rain, the Andover girls had a difficult time focusing and getting into the game. In the first half, the girls struggled to work together and bring their skills to the field. Taft, playing on its home field, quickly took advantage of Andover weaknesses. Finishing the first half trailing 4-3, the girls knew they had to find their winning rhythm if they wanted to walk away with a win. With only 20 minutes left and the score at 5-4 in favor of Taft, the girls found their rhythm. At that moment, everything came together, and Andover took a commanding lead, scoring four consecutive goals. The game ended in favor of Andover, 10-7. Both Anne Riordan ’03 and Danielle Vardaro ’03 contributed greatly to the win, as each scored four goals. Captain Barbara Badman ’03 and Sarah Demers ’03 tallied a goal each, and Cortney Tetrault ’03 helped out with an assist. Back in the goalie box, newcomer Julie Wadland ’06 made seven saves, anchoring the team’s defense. Athlete of the Week Riordan summed up the game, saying, “The first half was really slow, but late in the second half, we rallied and stepped up our offense to what we’d be perfecting for every day in practice. After that, things finally started to come together.” With the score so close as the last 20 minutes approached, the girls knew that a comeback was more than possible. “Although we were down at the half, we knew we had to step it up if we wanted to win,” said Captain Badman. “We settled the offense, and made smarter plays. Basically, we tired them out and ended up scoring a good four goals in the end to secure the win.” Their game on Wednesday against GDA was what every coach, player, and fan hopes for. Everything came together for the girls, playing what Coach Dolan called, “a great all around game…and a great team effort end to end.” The Andover team dominated as soon as they hit the field, taking control of its offense and defense and correcting any difficulties it had had in Saturday’s game against Taft. After the first half, Andover had a commanding 13-5 lead. In the second half, the girls remained focused, confident, and on task as they continued to maintain their lead. Working on their passes and offense, the girls remained focused to prevent GDA from making any sort of comeback. The game ended with a score of 19-9 in favor of the Big Blue. This game was really a team effort, with nine players scoring goals and numerous tallying assists. Captain Badman led the scoring with six goals and two assists. Vardaro, Riordan, Meg Coffin ’03, and Mimi Hanley ’03 each scored twice, with Vardaro and Riordan bringing in five goals and two assists, respectively. Tetrault, Liz Demers ’05, Kat Dix ’05 and Amanda Belichick ’03 each scored once. Jessie Birecki’ 04, Jeanne LeSaffre ’03 and Demers ’03 each tallied one assist. In goal, Wadland and Kathleen Minahan ’03 both made five saves to stop the GDA offense. The general consensus was that the GDA game showed a huge improvement in the Lady Blue’s game. Captain and lead scorer Badman commented, “Everything was clicking. Everything we had practiced came together. Our teamwork was amazing; that’s why there were so many assists. People were really good about seeing the open player, even when a double team was drawn. I would say that this is one of our best games so far, at least offensively.” Riordan agreed, “The GDA game was awesome. We were more relaxed on offense, and our defense really stepped it up. We need to work on our transitions from defense to offense, but otherwise everything was under control.” The girls, who are currently ranked 10th in New England/ISL by, will face off against 29th-ranked Tabor tomorrow.