Boys Lax Runs through Hyde, Trips over Holderness

The warm spring weather is finally here, and with that warmth comes bigtime lacrosse. Last Saturday, the Big Blue Boys Varsity Lacrosse team faced Hyde (ME) at home in Phelps Stadium. After a week of hard practice and no game on Wednesday, the boys had honed their skills in preparation for Hyde. The match displayed the Big Blue’s revamped offense as Andover attackers moved the ball well with Coach Dugan’s newly devised motion package, running around, over, and through their visitors from Maine. Prior to the game, Coach Dugan told the boys, “This team would like nothing more than to get in a dogfight with you guys. Shut them down early.” Taking these words to heart, the Big Blue went on to tear apart the Hyde defense with 16 goals. Led by six goals and five assists from Captain Tom Barron ’04, Andover generated plenty of quality looks and moved the ball the best so far this year. Thomas Hawkins ’06, Nick Stamas ’04, Sam Kennedy ’05, Dave Wilkinson ’05, Nate Kellogg ’05, Ben Weiner ’06, and Harry Goldstein ’05 also found the back of the net. Once again, goalies Matt Smith ’04 and Paul Fenstermaker ’04 played exceptionally well in goal, tallying save after save until the final whistle. In the end, the scoreboard read Andover 16, Hyde 5. Freshman Peter McCarthy ’07 commented on Andover’s success, saying, “When we played Hyde, the offense looked great, and the defense was strong. I hope we can build off of this game for the rest of the season and continue to improve our play.” And then there was Holderness. On Wednesday, the Big Blue ventured up to Plymouth, NH to play the Holderness Bulls. Last year, the Big Blue beat Holderness by a score of 11-7 in a tough, tight game. This year, Holderness once again came ready to play, scoring five goals to Andover’s two in the first half. PA players were having difficulty finding looks at the cage, and even more problems finishing the few looks they found. The Andover defense lacked communication in the first half, but were able to talk out many of the kinks during halftime, holding the Bulls to just one goal during the second half. However, the defensive improvement proved to be too late, as Holderness took the game 6-3. “We had a rough game,” said Matt Ward ’06, “hopefully we can make it up during the rest of this week with good practices.” After having only one practice between playing Hyde and Holderness, the team looks forward to two hard practices before this Saturday’s contest against Deerfield Academy. The offense will continue to work on going hard to the cage, creating offensive opportunities, and finishing them. Defenders will turn up their play a notch during practice to challenge PA’s attackers even more in order to prepare them for other strong New England defenses. Wilkinson, looking forward to Saturday’s prime-time matchup, commented, “Holderness came out strong and beat us on ground balls. This wasn’t a game that was won by superstar players. They won because they out-hustled us. We didn’t wake up until late into the second quarter and the momentum was on their side for the rest of the game. We’ve got a long ride and our biggest game of the season on Saturday at Deerfield. Hopefully we will be able to rally and get up for the next game.”