Girls Soccer vs Tabor: The Breakdown

Tomorrow, the PA Girls Soccer squad, fresh off a big victory over the Harvard JV team at home, face off with the Tabor Academy Seawolves. Andover Offense Andover’s lack of offensive punch has been at the heart of all three of this season’s losses, as the Lady Blue has gone down 3-1 to Williston North Hampton, 6-4 to Andover High, and 8-0 Loomis. Despite last Saturday’s blowout against Loomis Chaffee, Andover is “coming together,” as starting Goalie Julie Wadland ’06 said, The girls hope to bounce back and play strong in tomorrow’s game against the Tabor Seawolves. Head Coach Lisa Joel echoed Wadland’s thoughts, saying, “We just need time to get our talent working.” Having lost 12 seniors from last year’s team, Andover has been looking for younger players to step up and fill the gaps, but does not have the luxury of time. Even with such a young team there is an abundance of offensive talent, coming from freshmen Kara Hollis and Emily Kennedy, as well as returning strikers Allie Holiday ’06 and Co-captain Kinnon McCall ’04. In essence, Andover has the right pieces of the puzzle and just needs to figure out how to piece it all together. Andover Defense Andover will be looking to Co-captain Allegra Asplundh-Smith ’04 to spearhead the Lady Blue’s defense this season, as the Andover Girls Soccer squad tries to bear down and not give an inch. The key to the Girls’ defense resides in net. Wadland is a dependable goalie with great nerves. Jessie Birecki ’04, a midfielder with a defensive mindset, will help to control the tempo as a connection between the backs and the strikers. One of the few returning players, Rebecca Howe ’06 is a threat on both sides of the ball. Bringing an excellent combination of athletic flair and game sense to the PA team, Howe is a “quiet talent,” as Coach Joel said. Joel continued, Howe possesses “the endurance to go 80 minutes, which she will likely be called to do.” Tabor Although Tabor is no soccer powerhouse, the Seawolves are always a tough opponent because of their “scrappy players,” as Coach Joel put it. Tabor’s players have always been gritty, and Andover will need to stick to their own two-touch style of soccer to gain command of the game. Tabor’s unorthodox style of play has given them a not so scrappy record of 2-0-1 this season, the tie coming against a traditionally strong Milton Academy team. This Saturday, Tabor will be looking to disrupt Andover’s rhythm by launching the ball upfield and hoping their strikers can chase it down. The first few minutes of Saturday’s game will be crutial in determining if Andover can retain composure and resist playing into Tabor’s messy game.