Girls Soccer Battles Exeter in Season Finale

Entering in to tomorrow’s game with a 2-12-1 record, the Andover Girls Soccer team is playing more for pride than glory as they look to upset Big Red in Saturday’s final season showdown. The Girls have been developing throughout the season as its relatively young roster gains experience. Co-captains Allegra Asplundh-Smith ’04 and Kinnon McCall ’04 have been leading the Girls through this rebuilding phase, made especially challenging from the gaps left by last season’s twelve seniors. With only four seniors of their own, Exeter is dealing with a similar test, and it will likely be the play of the less-experienced athletes that determine the outcome of the Saturday’s battle. Having lost four games by only one goal, Andover often comes close, but has trouble getting those few game deciding shots to fall. When it has clicked for the Girls, the team has exploded, taking down the Harvard JV team 5-2 and blowing out St. Paul’s 5-1. Andover’s strong defense has been the key to keeping games close, and with Asplundh-Smith’s leadership, Big Blue’s backfield has a good chance of keeping the game within reach. Goalie Julie Wadland ’06 will have to defend against an Exie onslaught lead by Exeter Co-captains Amelia Wesselink ’04 and Maggie Suydam ’04, a talented combo that Andover will have to respond to. Strikers Ali Holiday ’07, Lexi Dwyer ’04, Kinnon McCall ’04 and Emily Kennedy ’07 will have to take advantage of any and all scoring opportunities in order for the Big Blue to come home victorious. They will be trying to bang it by Exeter goalies Shannon Guy ’04 and Liz Logan ’06, two talented keepers who have let in a combined 10 goals in their first 13 games. The Exeter pair has given up more than one goal on only one occasion, a season opening 3-0 loss to Choate, and boasts a combined 5 shutouts. Andover’s mid-field trio of Becca Howe ’06, Cara Ruccolo ’05 and Katie Koh ’05 will need to focus on moving the ball to open space in hopes of catching Exeter off-guard. Midfield play will be make-or-break for the ladies in blue, who will need to control the tempo during transition in order to successfully move to ball up field. Unfortunately, the girls losing record has erased any hope of a post-season tournament bid, but expect them to bring it, and bring it hard against Exeter.